Column: Some fighters appear to do their training on the train

In Sunday’s column: a Metrolink crime blotter; RC’s Metrolink parking fee rubs some the wrong way; news from Upland (including a Beckham sighting); and a John Wayne movie mentions San Dimas.

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  • SAWZ

    I’ve never seen a fight on the train among the hundreds of trips I have taken over the 20+ years of the system–it would be very frightening if I had.

    Yesterday, Saturday, two of my RPEA (Retired Public Employees Assoc. of CA) colleagues accompanied me to LA on the Metrolink. They departed from the Rancho Cucamonga station. I had forewarned them about the parking fee in Rancho–when they got to the parking lot, they were nicely surprised to learn that the parking fees are only in force on weekdays–parking is free on the weekend. I do think the RC spokesman has a very flimsy reason for the fee–perhaps we should start charging for parking at the Montclair Plaza because some of the shoppers come from Rancho Cucamonga. Don’t people have enough fees in their lives without having to deal with a new fee for parking in a train lot in order to buy a highly priced train ticket!

    It was the first trip for both of my colleagues to CA Plaza where we saw a show at the water court and then were to depart from the Pershing Square stop back to Union Station at about 10:00 p.m. Neither of them are as ancient as I, so they had the $10 weekend-day passes. I gave them a quick orientation on how to use their pass to get through the turnstiles for boarding the subway. I went through first to demonstrate–my ordinary senior pass allowed me to zip right through the turnstile. Then I stood there looking at the other two while they tried to put the little chip on the sensor eye and come through. Wouldn’t you know it–they each got a flashing message that said, “Expired.” I was livid (and embarrassed).

    I had thought about e-mailing you to ask if you had encountered any such trouble using the transfer chip on your weekend pass. Then, I remembered how busy you are doing your book signings, so I wrote a feedback letter to Metrolink instead. I received a quick response from Metrolink asking me to please be informed that they are having instances of bad card stock at some of the vending machines, and some of the passes are expiring prematurely and not allowing passengers through the subway turnstiles. They said they are diligently working on the problem to rid the system of the bad card stock. Then they thanked me for my input and for being a patient Metrolink customer–I wasn’t so patient last night.

    • John Clifford

      Ah, now I understand. About 2 weeks ago I had a “bad chip” on my metrolink pass. Fortunately, I was traveling on a Thursday morning during “rush hour” and they had a metrolink rep standing near the turnstiles in Union Station who, when I let him know I had a problem, immediately handed me a separate 1-day TAP card.

      Oh, and David, you really need to take Diana Sholley on a train ride to show her that it’s not as scarey as the experience she and her husband had.

      • davidallen909

        I’ve heard that about bad cards. Not sure what someone is supposed to do when there’s no personnel standing there to help.

        Regarding Diana, evidently she and her husband left Union Station via the busway side and then walked south past the Men’s Jail and through skid row. It’s no wonder they had a bad experience!

        I don’t know that I want to give up a Saturday to show them around, but I could plan an itinerary for them…

        • John Clifford

          Given her seemingly bad sense of direction it might be better to let that sleeping dog lie.