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L.A. is known as a car-loving city, but it actually has an extensive and reliable public transit system. Each day, about 1,443,008 rides will be taken on Metro Bus and Metro Rail. It also connects with other regional systems such as those of Santa Monica (the Blue Bus) and Culver City to reach large swaths of the Greater L.A. area.

For both tourists and locals, Metro can be an enormous boon. Why?

1) Avoid parking fiascoes. Parking in L.A. can be both scarce and expensive. One of the main reasons for this is that the city’s streets grew at a time when streetcars dominated the cityscape. Most people didn’t have cars, or at most had one. When the car boom arrived, most stores and homes had insufficient parking area allotted. When there is parking, especially at tourist sites, it can be very, very expensive. If you ride Metro, you won’t be paying $10, $20 or more for parking! And you won’t be driving around the block three times to find a space or have to walk WAAAAAY out to the far end of a giant parking lot to reach your car, either.

2) Riding Metro is good for the environment. Most of the fleet runs on clean-burning natural gas, and the fuel used per rider is less on public transit than in a car.

3) Riding Metro is fun. Most of the buses and trains are clean, the drivers are friendly and often informative about places along the route. You can sit back, enjoy a book, make a friend, or just sightsee instead of focusing on traffic. Kids in particular LOVE riding on the bus. Many think that riding public transportation is fun in of itself, not just a way to get someplace fun. (However, I’d recommend that you keep rides to under a 1/2 hour for children unused to riding public transportation.)

4) You won’t be paying for gas. California has notoriously high gas prices. Avoid paying them by riding Metro instead.

Among my favorite places to go by bus or subway? Anywhere Downtown, the Getty, Santa Monica, and Hollywood. Soon a train will take right to the museums at Exposition Park!

Have I convinced you to try Metro? Follow the link below to find timetables, maps, trip planners, fares, and more.

http://www.metro.net/around/

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About beccakinla

Freelance writer and unrepentant homemaker. Writer of many genres and author of "A Dozen Daisies for Raizy," "Sliding Doors and Other Stories," and "Mazal's Luck Runs Out."

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