Monday, November 16, 2009
This Is What It Takes To Get Everyone to Ride Mass Transit
Apparently, all it takes is free rides -- too bad the Metro wouldn't be able to withstand such an economic model for long.
But just like it has on opening day for all of its lines (including the original portion of the Gold Line in 2003), Metro went fare-free on Sunday to celebrate the launch of the Gold Line extension into the real Eastside.
We got on at our usual Gold Line stop -- the Mission station in South Pasadena -- and realized this may not have been the best idea. We had the baby and stroller, which were tough to navigate on a train packed with riders.
Then, the dealbreaker: As we approached the Chinatown station, a voice informed the crowd that the elevator was broken at Union Station -- and that we'd have to get off there anyway and then reboard the same train going to East L.A.
I guess that was the only fair way to get people on the Gold Line a shot at getting on the train. Otherwise, anyone who didn't board in Pasadena would have been stuck without a seat on the packed trains.
As much as we were interested in checking out the new Metro stops, and perhaps grab a tamale or lunch on the Eastside, it was just too much. The Gold Line extension isn't going anywhere --so we've decided to check it out and plop down a few bucks to ride it in the coming weekends. Piece of mind comes at standard fare.
Instead, it was margarita time (for me) and lunch time for all of us, on Olvera Street.