“It’s just a really low stress option for me.”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Arienne
- Vehicle in Question: Red Line Subway
- Spotted at: Hollywood/Western Red Line Station, Los Angeles Country Metro Rail, 1672 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Q: Hi Arienne. Welcome to Defend Your Ride Los Angeles. So the Red Line? Why don’t you own a car?
A: I moved out here about 10 years ago. I had the same car that whole time, a ’97 Taurus. It just got to the point where I wasn’t using it. It just started to fall apart. I didn’t want to pay for any repairs because the car wasn’t worth as much. I just got rid of it and have been using the subway and the buses ever since. It’s been three or four months now, pretty recent.
Q: Most people in L.A. can’t survive without their cars. How do you manage?
A: I think I’m just sort of lucky geographically speaking because I live five minutes away from a subway station. For a long time, I’ve been taking the Red Line train to work. I also get on a bus for part of my ride to work. I work at USC. We have a lot of public transit options in that part of town. It’s just really convenient for me.
Q: How long is your commute each way?
A: It’s an hour each way. It’s not bad, except that when I drive it’s half an hour. I always have to tack on extra time to get to where I want to go. I’m halfway on the Red Line train, which is underground, and I’m halfway on the bus. I have to wait for the bus. I go to MacArthur Park and take the 200 there.
Q: What do you use if you have to run big errands?
A: I use Zipcar, which has a lot of cars in my neighborhood and also where I work. Basically, you’re a member of Zipcar and then you can rent a car by the hour. It’s like $9 an hour, give or take depending on the car you pick. I don’t have to buy insurance for the Zipcars.
Q: What do you like most about our mass transit system?
A: I like it for me because it’s easy for me to get to where I need to go, especially during the week. I don’t have to think about it. I don’t have to be stressed out in traffic, which I hate. It’s just a really low stress option for me. I can read on the train and the bus. I can do some crochet projects or something. It’s nice not worrying about anything until I get into my office and do my real job.
Q: What do you like least about our mass transit system?
A: The fact that I can’t be spur of the moment about anything. I really have to think about it and go online to see if the bus or the rail system goes where I need to go. I can’t just walk out to my carport, jump in a car and go anywhere I want. I have to think about it beforehand.
Q: Where’s the farthest you’ve ever gone in mass transit?
A: I’ve gone up to Pasadena quite regularly. I take the Red Line to the Gold Line. Then maybe a 10-minute walk. I was right where I needed to be for a few meetings I had in the fall, very convenient and direct. You just go to Union Station. Union Station is beautiful, so it was kind of a thrill to have this trip because you get to see this beautiful old building. Then jump on the Gold Line light rail to Pasadena. It’s just very pleasant.
Q: If the sky were the limit and you could own any car, what would you buy?
A: Oh gosh, I don’t know. I’m not a car person to begin with, so just something that’s reliable. It would be nice to have something that’s environmentally friendly, but all cars are so expensive. I don’t know. It’s a lot of money you could be putting somewhere else in your life.
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com
View previous Defend Your Ride features as well as other great stories for people who love cars at losangeles.CbsLocal.com/Autos.