Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website

Many times I’ve heard stories about people with their long commutes, or the single mother riding the bus for a few hours to work, on the news or featured on a blog, or things like that.  They’re touching stories, but I never really had experiences like that until this summer. Which is not to say that I know what it is like to be in that situation persay, but I feel like I have a better idea.

A rundown of a typical interning day:

5:45am – Wake up, get dressed, eat, etc. Download some podcasts to possibly listen to later during the commute.
6:30 – Leave for the train station
6:55 – Take the Metrolink train to downtown LA
7:35 (or so) – Get to Union Station
7:37 if I run to the subway or we get in early, 7:47 if else, then take the subway up to Sunset
8:10 (or so, depending on the Subway) – Get on a bus down Sunset
8:40-9:30, really depending on traffic – Arrive at the offices

And the same coming back in the afternoon, though usually there’s more traffic on Sunset, and the bus ride becomes closer to an hour.  Getting home somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30, depending how late I stay at the office, how long the bus takes to get to the subway, and then what time the subway comes to Union Station (there are only a few trains that come back out to Industry at night, and I’m always a bit afraid I’m going to miss all of them and be stuck at Union Station for a night...or figure out some crazy bus route that will get me back home).

Though the reliability (or lack of it) with public transportation can be aggravating sometimes.  I will say that it probably saves me money and time compared to driving (if I even really had access to a car during the day too). But, it’s hard to know the traffic down Sunset. Going there is usually alright, but coming back gets me all tensed up sometimes, in fear of missing that train. It’s frustrating to be powerless in those types of situations (if I was driving, I might try to go down to Beverly or 3rd or some other street…which is harder to do when you’re not the bus driver). But then I try to remind myself to relax – just sit back and read my book. Or if I’m standing and the bus is super crowded, to just stand there and try to relax as much as I can.  The last time, I missed the train I wanted by about 2 minutes, so I had to wait for the second to last train of the evening. Though it was a little nice, getting to sit (finally bought myself a pretzel after 2 weeks!) in the oversized chairs at Union Station, and enjoy my pretzel and a book.

I do think it is interesting to ride through different neighborhoods on different modes of transportation and see how people differ (and how much room you have to relax on that mode of transportation!).  I enjoy the morning commute, when I arrive at Union Station, and watch all the commuters go whichever way, and get myself swept up into the crowd, all heading everywhere at the same time. There’s a certain magic to it (though it misses an element o f majesty that I think Grand Central has in New York).  And it’s always fun to watch the running commuters (I’ve been one of them a couple times too). Business people, college kids, high school kids, and tourists – I see them all every day.

But if nothing else, this whole experience puts that 15 minute walk from North Campus to Rockefeller, or the walk up Libe Slope into some perspective…

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