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Everything you need to know about riding Metro
|Posted Nov. 19, 2008|
The Metro is the public transportation system for Los Angeles, primarily in form of light rail and bus. While the bulk of the Metro services are not available to the La Verne area, this is the way to get around town once you’ve rode into the city on the Metrolink.
(Note: when I say “Metro” from now on, I am referring to the subway system, because honestly, I still find Los Angeles buses intimidating. Besides, many Los Angeles hotspots are accessible via subway plus light walking).
Perhaps another reason people choose not to use the Metrolink is due to the anxiety of navigating through the subway system once they reach downtown. This is a true shame because the Metro is a lot cleaner and straightforward than the unfamiliar rider would believe. The Metro is a great, inexpensive way to get around town if you need to ditch the car. And, like any journey, it feels like a mini adventure. So get onboard!
But there is an upside! One ticket is valid for two hours after the purchase time. For instance, you can exit the subway at a stop and hang around for a bit, then re-enter the subway as long as you are still headed in the same direction. Take that, New York City subway system!
Riders may note that there is no turnstile to pass through and there is no ticket validation system. It seems like anarchy. One wonders what the incentive is to even buy tickets in the first place due to how easy it is to enter the train. But as with the Metrolink, random ticket checks may happen at any time, resulting in a hefty fine and public embarrassment. So take a minute and buy a ticket at the machine, which now accept credit and debit cards.
Remember- if you rode in from the Metrolink and are thinking about purchasing a Metro ticket, don’t! Your Metrolink ticket entitles you to one free line ticket or one bus ticket. But if you riding on more than one Metro rail lines, you must purchase a ticket.
Weekly prepaid tickets are also offered in the Metro Customer Center at Union Station, downtown Los Angeles.
Map and Train Lines
When they are operating, the subways are pretty speedy. If you miss your desired subway, another will arrive within fifteen minutes (or 20 if late at night), allowing you plenty of time to get to know your fellow metro travelers on your platform.
Each line has a separate schedule of times and locations available on the train.
To read the schedule
Next, verify which direction you want to go: it should say in large letters at the top if the direction is northbound, westbound, etc.
Finally, locate your departure stop at the top horizontal line. Departure times are listed vertically, beginning at the top of the page with the morning hours, leading down to the evening.
Once onboard, all of the train walls display a linear map of stops for that line. Some trains are even equipped with a working light map, displaying the approaching stop. The conductor announces each approaching stop as well, though sometimes it may be difficult to understand what he is saying, so stay alert and keep an eye out for where you are in your commute.
And there you have it: a basic understanding of how to get around using the subway in Los Angeles. It seems like a lot of information at first, and might possibly confuse you. But the way I see it, if you can conquer the Los Angeles freeway system in your car, you are capable of doing just about anything.
Lesley Michaels can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.