Los Angeles has a well-earned reputation for dropping the ball in the public transportation arena. However, there are a few bright spots. While the “subway to the sea” suffers from local political struggles that may take years to resolve, light rail continues to expand at a good pace, and the Culver City station just had its grand opening! Yesterday, my friend Kim and I opted to drive to the station (where there was copious free parking) and take it to the end of the blue line to 7th and Hope downtown. It was a mere buck and half each way (fifty-five cents for seniors and disabled people!), and the trains were clean, efficient, and pleasant. We were able to walk from the station to The Last Bookstore and then have a delicious meal at Bottega Louie on the way back, all without the hassle of driving and parking.
Interestingly, you don’t insert your ticket to get on or off the train, but they spot check for tickets during the ride. Not that any of you would ever think of taking advantage of this semi honor system, but if you get busted you get fined $250, so don’t even think about it. On our trip, they didn’t check on the way out, but they did on the way back.
Don’t be discouraged by the Metro’s general lack of signage at the new station (which is at Washington and National, though it’s hard to tell from their map.) It’s a great way to get downtown from the west side and connect to other routes throughout the metropolitan area.
*cue Berlin song