My Return Trip

3 09 2008

When I flew into LA a week ago, I picked up a rental car for a week.  That week ended this morning, which meant I had to return my Chevy Cobalt to Hertz.  Unfortunately I couldn’t just drop it off here at the Pasadena branch… that would have cost a little over $200 more.  Instead, I had to return the car to LAX.

I woke up at 8:00am and prepared for what I knew would be an exciting adventure: getting to LAX with the rental car… then getting back to my apartment without it.  It took me close to an hour and a half to get to LAX – partly because traffic was so bad, and partly because I missed one of my turns.  (Though thanks to a phone call to my mom I was able to get back on course quickly… thanks mom!)

After I dropped off the car and was preparing to make my return voyage, I got held up a bit at the airport.  …something was going on in Terminal 1, which messed up the routes for the shuttle buses.  (There were police and TSA folks everywhere).

I was finally able to track down a “G Shuttle Bus” … which took me from the airport to one of the stations for the Metrolink Green Line – one of the light rail lines.  At the station I bought my Metrolink Day Pass for just $5, then boarded the train.  I traveled on the Green Line for a few stations, then got off at the station that intersected with the Blue Line, another of the light rails.  The Blue Line took me deeper into L.A., where I got off at the 7th Street Transit Center and picked up the Red Line – the subway portion of my travels.  The Red Line took me to Union Station where I was able to pick up the Gold Line, which would take me to Pasadena.

The light rails basically run on the honor system… you’re supposed to buy a ticket at an automated machine at the station before getting on the train.  There are no gates or ticket collectors… you can walk right up to the platform.  If you’re caught on the train without a valid ticket, you get fined $250 (I think).

As I got on the Gold Line, I noticed two sheriffs standing on the train.  As soon as the doors closed, they announced that they were coming around to check for tickets.  …thankfully I had bought my Day Pass back at the first station.

I rode the Gold Line until almost the end of the line and got off at Lake Avenue – about 2 blocks from my apartment.

1 shuttle bus, 3 trains, 1 subway, and 2 blocks of walking later, and I was back at the apartment.

Total return time: less then 2 hours
Total cost: $5
Total frustrations: 0

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3 responses

4 09 2008
danrob

i would love to live in a place with public transportation! I would gradually give away my car for that! (dont’ tell steph)

are you thinking about getting a monthly pass or something like that?

4 09 2008
tfounds

Not sure about getting a monthly pass yet… we’ll see how the first month or so goes. There is a ton of stuff within walking distance as it is, so the monthly pass might not be necessary. …but it sure is wonderful not having a car!

12 09 2008
mlbeck

Tim, dude, met any interesting people on the trains?

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