Thursday, July 1, 2010

Ditching My Car?

I've been driving since I was 16. Driving is, of course, a rite of passage for American teenagers. But driving has also been a necessity since I joined the workforce (and during my four years commuting to UC Irvine).

Now that I'm relocating to LA, that's changing. LA's MTA is building the Expo Line, which will offer two stops within a five minute walk of my office. My employer, USC, also operates several tram lines that connect to LA's burgeoning rail transit system. So when I move this fall, you can be sure I'll move somewhere close to a Metro Rail stop. (Right now, we're leaning towards the Gold Line, but the Red Line is an option, too.)

The Expo Line that someday will possibly take me to work

It won't be my first experience commuting to work via public transit. When I spent a summer of 2003 in the Washington, DC, area for an internship, I took the Metro from my apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland to my office in Alexandria, Virginia. (Don't ask.) It wasn't the most convenient way to get there, but I loved being able to relax and simply read. Driving, especially when you have to deal with traffic and stoplights, can be stressful.

I'm even considering selling my car. Why make payments -- and pay for parking -- on a car that will sit in the garage almost all the time? I have a certain friend who did something similar a while ago, and even blogged about it. Turned out well for her!

And besides, as others too are realizing, car ownership isn't what it used to be.


  1. The best thing about taking public transit--even better than saving all that $$--was all the reading I was able to get done! Plus, it's so relaxing to let someone else deal with traffic. Will Andi keep her car so you guys will have at least one car?

  2. This is going to be LA's decade, I seriously believe. With the necessary urban infill happening all over Downtown LA, Hollywood, Koreatown, etc., along with the incredible expansion of our rail system (Purple Line to UCLA, Expo to Santa Monica, Downtown Connector, Gold Line to Azusa, Crenshaw Line from LAX to Expo Line, etc. etc.) we are going to go from the butt of all "car-obsessed society" jokes to a sustainable city with a good public transit system!

    Imagine two words in the same sentence that will actually make sense to people: "transit" and "LA."

    Also, it is important that transit not only increases mobility in the region, but activates empty/dead sidewalks that create VISUAL energy and excitement that has been lacking tremendously for a city as large as LA. I have so many friends who have come back from vibrant cities like Shanghai, Beijing, New York, Tokyo, Taipei, etc. and have lamented the lack of energy in LA. Sleepy town they call it.

    I can't wait for LA to grow up!!!