Vapid Transit

February 5, 2006 at 10:49 am in Uncategorized

Sigh. It seems the L.A. Times never misses an opportunity to slam this city’s mass transportation system. Not that it isn’t a topic ripe for the ridicule, but then so is the newspaper’s seemingly never-ending stream of guinea pigs who get on the bus and then tell the rest of us what a fucking drag it is. The latest in that long and boring line is one of its editorial writers, Dan Turner, who gives us “Taking the rapid out of transit” on the front page of today’s opinion section. Dan lets us know that he decided to rock the MTA and roll it all the way from Hollywood to LAX ‚Äî no easy feat ‚Äî not because he had to, but because he wanted to. Or his editor did.

Like many epic journeys of exploration, mine began not out of necessity but out of curiosity — the ancestral human urge to test the boundaries of endurance and knowledge. My quest: to get from my house in the Hollywood Hills to LAX, using only public transportation.

Turner goes on to quote famed Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton ‚Äî even daring to compare himself in his crosstown quest for the airport to Shackleton’s doomed 1915 expedition to the South Pole. And it goes downhill from there, just fast and nasty enough to compel me to write the Times a rebuttal:

Well look at that… guess it’s time for the L.A. Times to put another one of its own on the city’s mass transportation and let the ridicule roll. Doesn’t that get boring over there? It does on this end, but in fairness I certainly agree with Turner that in getting to LAX the system comes up way short. At the same time, I can’t help but recognize that some of the woes Turner encountered were of his own doing. Assuming he did some research to find the bus and rail lines that would get him to the airport, it’s ridiculous that he didn’t make himself aware of the ticket prices and the fact that the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) phased out transfers more than two years ago ‚Äî all of which is easily found on the MTA’s website.

He can hold a grumpy grudge against his bus driver and the broken Red Line ticket machines all he wants, but instead he should hold himself accountable. His failure to familiarize himself ahead of time with the cost of a $3 day pass ticket or to pack a few dollar bills made the ride bumpier and longer.

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