Column: Of missed trains and the balance of the universe

Sunday’s column (read it here) should look familiar to regular readers of this blog: I repurposed posts about missing a Metrolink train and about a plumber’s visit into a column, as well as using a few of your comments.

It’ll be new material to the vast majority of my audience, and a holiday-weekend column, when many won’t be reading the paper anyway, seemed like a particularly good time to try this. (I’ve done this once or twice before, but probably not as often as I should.) I liked being able to give column shout-outs to a few frequent commenters here.

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  • Andy

    Today i took 8 trips on public transit on the MTA Metro. Complete garbage. Yet again, MTA, I reaffirm it is absolute garbage. If it is made so difficult for locals to use, how can tourists use it? I consider myself a knowledged user of the MTA, Metrolink, and Amtrak Surfliner, but today still kicked my butt. I brought a group of 12 ppl with me touring LA. Monterey Park, Olvera St, Bradbury Building, Hollywood, Jtown, we saw it all all with public transit.

    Obnoxious bus drivers that REFUSE to load you a day pass even when you ask them. Multiple attendants that get angry at you when you ask questions. Riding buses that are so full, patrons can’t even get on, and then having 2 other buses of the same line pass you that are only half full.

    Because the service desk at Union Station was empty and unmanned I had to manually add value to the 8 tap cards and then manually load 8 day passes on 8 cards because the bus driver screwed up the first time (I previously bought 8 new tap cards with $5 loaded for this day but the driver screwed up my balance now).

    Having ridden close to two dozen metro and rail systems around the world, the MTA is the most absolute garbage. It was a horrible transit day and I’m quite ashamed my guests had to witness this horror of the LA Metro transit. Where they and I come from, what we experienced today would be unthinkable.

    and BTW, when you get to Union Station, the grand daddy of LA’s public transit and there’s no one to sell you a tap card in the middle of the day, there’s something wrong. Just imagine having a malfunctioning card and all your money is stored on that card, how do you get it fixed?

    ARG… LA public transit = absolute garbage!!!!

    [Andy, next time, don’t hold back. Share how you really feel. (Sorry, couldn’t resist.) — DA]

  • Andy

    Missing a train blows… embarrassingly I’ve missed trains and silverstreaks many a time.

    Metrolink. If you miss the 9:00 pm train, the next one ain’t until 11:30. That happened once coming down from Silverlake. My friends drank too much and couldn’t drop me off at the Santa Monica and Vermont station in time. I thought about Silverstreaking it, but it’s a long long walk from Downtown Pomona to Arrow and Towne even though the buses pass by Towne Ave, they don’t stop! So I waited over 2 hours in the station for the last train!

    I once missed a Metrolink into Union on Sat morning from Pomona north. I tried to catch up with it at Covina station… didn’t work. Ended up getting a speeding ticket on the 10 fwy by Kellogg Dr.

    I once fell asleep on the Metrolink on the way home.. suddenly I woke up and looked out the window and realized it was Pomona north. Dashed out the door in the nick of time. Spared me a 20-30 walk walk from Claremont staton back to my house in Pomona. The 187 runs too infrequent to even bother trying to take it.

    [Most of my missed connections are due to not factoring in enough time for the subway; they come every 12 minutes, and if you’ve just missed one, you may not get to Union Station in time. Haven’t fallen asleep on a train yet but that is one of my fears! — DA]

  • Doug Evans

    Any column that has my name in it (in bold print, no less!) is an automatic winner by me… and, I would think, an automatic Pulitzer Prize winner, though the Pulitzer committee hasn’t seemed to agree in the past. Hmmph.

    And in case the bean counters at the Daily Bulletin are keeping track and wondering if an extra copy of this issue was purchased at the Vons near my house just so I could see my name in print… yes. Yes, it was.

    [Bean Counter: “Add one.” Second Bean Counter: “Check.” — DA]