Next stop Fullerton, watch your step...
Diane asked us to write on transportation for this month's Green Mom Carnival. Perfect timing, this morning, I'm riding the train into LA and that gives me an hour of productive computer time in and out. After the initial craziness of figuring out schedules and drop off points, it's become a mindless exercise.
Buena Park, please use handrails when walking about...
I've been in LA for seven years and until six months ago I never knew that the Metrolink to downtown existed just a mile from my home. I heard the whistle in the distance, but had no reason to check it out further. That all changed when I had to commute to downtown. From my home in Orange to LA it's only 35 miles - a nothing commute if you traveled at highway speeds, when we don't - a 35 minute ride is more like 1.5 to 2 hours one way. Ugh.
This is Norwalk / Sante Fe Springs, all aboard, the doors are closing...
I was forced into finding an alternative or be willing to get up at 5 am and beat the rush. As much as I like an early morning drive, the afternoon bumper car party can not be avoided.
I looked on the maps and in bright blue, red, gold and purple colors you could see the Metrolink train routes which were everywhere except coming out of my town. It turns out they don't color the Amtrak/Metrolink route because it's an Amtrak, track. No wonder I couldn't find it.
Now the question becomes how much and is it worth it? For me it's not quite a financial wash, I drive a Honda Civic that averages 33 mpg in the city, or 2-3 gallons a day at $3 something. Let's call it $10. Then there is parking at $6.50 in the cheap lot.
Honda miles/painful drive and long commute - $16.50 a day.
No miles/computer time, predictable commute - $24 a day with the 10 pay pass.
What do I get for the $8 extra dollars? Head time and less adrenalin pumping through my body as I dodge idiots cutting in front of me.
I can plan my day instead of my day driving me. If I grab the 7:30 train vs. the 7:00, there are less people and we skip over the city of Commerce and head straight into LA. In less than 45 minutes i'm dropped at Union Station, from there I pick up the red line and three stops later I'm a block away from where I have to be. Nice.
In less than an hour I can go from my office at home to my office in LA and still pick up an extra 30-45 minutes of computer-and-me time. Not a bad trade off.
Union Station, all passengers must exit...
Time to pack up, thanks for riding along.