A review of the Los Angeles Metro

I recently started taking the Los Angeles Metro to work and wanted to share my experience especially since it has overall been better than I originally anticipated.

The misconception

People tend to think that Los Angeles does not have public transportation. At the very least I used to think Los Angeles did not have a good public transportation system my entire childhood and early adulthood This simply is not true.I now use the Metro everyday to commute and I wish I had changed my mentality earlier

The Metro is very usable

Admittedly Los Angeles is a very expansive city, and with that comes longer times either by car or by public transportation. But the Metro does a good job of covering all areas of the city. Instead of sitting in traffic now I'm able to read, or write this blog post for example.

The good

The things I like about the LA Metro is that

  • It's cheap, only 1.75 per ride which for me ends up being much cheaper than gas and related car expenses
  • It's pretty reliable
  • Covers the vast majority of LA
  • Means I don't have to find and pay for parking when I go to Downtown LA or Santa Monica
  • I don't have to worry about the risks of driving, such as nodding off, DUIs, or other drivers

In general, I can take the time to relax rather than fight my way through traffic and at the end of my journey I don't have to worry about where to leave my car, something that can be quite expensive. Overall I can get from Long Beach to Downtown in LA in the same time, with less stress, and at a tenth of the cost.

The bad

The things I dislike about the LA metro are

  • It sometimes has very long delays
  • It directly go to certain places, meaning you have to zig zag across LA sometimes`
  • At night, I still feel unsafe using it in certain areas
  • Some of the people are unscrupulous unfortunately

On the flip side the Metro is not optimized for your specific trip. Getting from Long Beach to Redondo Beach isn't as straightforward as it would be if you were to hop in your car. And I don't always feel safe hanging around the platforms late at night, even as a male. To the Metro's credit however they are adding new lines, such as the Expo line, and armed guards frequent platforms and the trains every so often.

The way I use the Metro

For commutes I pretty much use the Metro as expected, I take both from and to trip on the Metro with one transfer. It works great and saves me a lot of stress on workdays. On weekends if I'm going to downtown LA I take the metro to the closest stop to my destination and take a Lyft the remaining distance. Using it this way saves me a lot of money over using a rideshare the entire distance. Some of my coworkers drive to a Metro station, park their car there, and use the train for the remainder of their commute.

Verdict: Very practical and very usable

If you've never given the Metro a try I would certainly say do so. Instead of defaulting to car for all your trips, use Google Maps and see if public transportation can get you where you need. You'll likely be pleasantly surprised.