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  #121  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 2:09 AM
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
Many times a day I drive this road and traffic flows depending on the time of day. The myth this freeway is always backed up isn't so true. Even with traffic flowing at LOS D it still is much quicker than Expo line. This line should absolutely match a cars speed or what is incentive to take it?
As I said before, it would be very hard to find a system that will beat a car driving a freeway/expressway in any densely populated metro in the USA.
Even in the NY Metro the car can still be faster than a train traveling over a distance like Santa Monica to Downtown LA outside of Manhattan. Now you may even be able to beat the subway going across Manhattan on the FDR up to Harlem from downtown. I've been in and driven a car along the route and taken the subway as well to this destination.

Also I used to drive the 10 Fwy 5 days a week years ago back in the early 80's it was bad then, and it's worse now. I do agree there are times traffic flows better than others, but the majority of the time during the day it's quite heavy and never lite. Even in the biggest metropolitan in the USA New York, there are certain times of day/night and even certain times of the year that traffic flow is some what smooth.

As for me personally, the incentive would be to not have to drive at all. I hate traffic in LA, and it takes a toll on your mental state, and its very draining. When I get to work it takes time for me to whine down, and focus on the pressure of the job. When I was able to take the train(I live in the burbs and work in another county now) to work from Long Beach to El Segundo, I felt relax when I arrive to work. Some days I even got to sit and take a nap on my ride to work, and it saved me a lot on gas and wear and tear on my car.

Now if I lived in Santa Monica or Downtown LA or anywhere near that route, I would most certainly leave the car at home and use the Expo Line the majority of the time. I personally feel it is less stressful than dealing with the heavy traffic in the LA basin the majority of the time.
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  #122  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:00 AM
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^ Agreed. Outside of rush hour traffic, driving is and will always be faster than rail 95% of the time. You can get from DT to SM in like 20-25 minutes if there's no congestion and you're going 65-80 mph (which lots of drivers would do in that situation).

The same generally applies to New York. If someone who lives on Long Island needs to go back to the city (Manhattan) at 10 PM for whatever reason, obviously driving would get them there quicker than the LIRR.

I also think LA drivers are really spoiled in general and don't know how good they have it, even with traffic as bad as it is. For instance, just going two miles across town in other cities can take at least 10-15 minutes.
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  #123  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 2:43 PM
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As I said before, it would be very hard to find a system that will beat a car driving a freeway/expressway in any densely populated metro in the USA.
Even in the NY Metro the car can still be faster than a train traveling over a distance like Santa Monica to Downtown LA outside of Manhattan. Now you may even be able to beat the subway going across Manhattan on the FDR up to Harlem from downtown. I've been in and driven a car along the route and taken the subway as well to this destination.

Also I used to drive the 10 Fwy 5 days a week years ago back in the early 80's it was bad then, and it's worse now. I do agree there are times traffic flows better than others, but the majority of the time during the day it's quite heavy and never lite. Even in the biggest metropolitan in the USA New York, there are certain times of day/night and even certain times of the year that traffic flow is some what smooth.

As for me personally, the incentive would be to not have to drive at all. I hate traffic in LA, and it takes a toll on your mental state, and its very draining. When I get to work it takes time for me to whine down, and focus on the pressure of the job. When I was able to take the train(I live in the burbs and work in another county now) to work from Long Beach to El Segundo, I felt relax when I arrive to work. Some days I even got to sit and take a nap on my ride to work, and it saved me a lot on gas and wear and tear on my car.

Now if I lived in Santa Monica or Downtown LA or anywhere near that route, I would most certainly leave the car at home and use the Expo Line the majority of the time. I personally feel it is less stressful than dealing with the heavy traffic in the LA basin the majority of the time.
Fair enough. I still think steps should be taken to reduce end to end travel times like grade separation and burying the entire line from Flower/Pico to USC and then transition to elevated all the way to Santa Monica. This could easily shave 20 minutes each way off which adds up to hours for some people's year. That is worth it and potentially a deciding factor in a potential rider, no?
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  #124  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 2:44 PM
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The same generally applies to New York. If someone who lives on Long Island needs to go back to the city (Manhattan) at 10 PM for whatever reason, obviously driving would get them there quicker than the LIRR.
No, it's not a speed consideration, its the frequency of service, and whether you have to then switch to the subway to get to the final destination in Manhattan. The LIRR would most certainly get someone into Manhattan from LI faster than driving at almost any time of day. (The trains are often packed at any time of the day.) But the frequency of LIRR trains in the evening decreases a lot in the evening and weekend, and so does the frequency of the subway.
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  #125  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 2:52 PM
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there's also the issue of what to do with your car once you arrive at your destination.

maybe that's not a big consideration for LA (i don't know), but in chicago i would never entertain the notion of driving my own car into downtown because i don't want to fork over 25+ bucks just to park the fucking thing. being that i live a half-block from an el station that takes me straight to the loop, transit all the way, even if it's 5 -10 minutes slower than driving at off-peak times.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 30, 2019 at 3:09 PM.
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  #126  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 2:59 PM
plutonicpanda plutonicpanda is offline
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^^^^^
I can't speak for Manhattan or Chicago which I'm sure are different animals, but I haven't found parking to be too much of an issue unless an event is going on. You can usually find lots to park your car for $8-12.
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  #127  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
there's also the issue of what to do with your car once you arrive at your destination.

maybe that's not a big consideration for LA (i don't know), but in chicago i would never entertain the notion of driving my own car into downtown because i don't want to fork over 25+ bucks just to park the fucking thing. being that i live a half-block from an el station that takes me straight to the loop, transit all the way, even if its 5 - 10 minutes slower than driving at off-peak times.
That too. In NYC you either have to park it in a garage and pay out the nose, or factor another 30+ minutes to look for street parking.

Last year I drove to Venice Beach and spent at least 30 minutes trying to find street parking, only to just give in and park in a surface lot. I don't remember exactly how much it cost to park, but I don't think it was cheap. If a subway had been an option, I would have left the car at my hotel and done that instead.

Edit: It was also ridiculously expensive to park the car at my hotel.
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  #128  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:08 PM
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there's also the issue of alcohol. when i'm out on the town outside of working hours, i'm gonna be drinking. not 22 year-old forget your own name black-out drinking, but some drinks none-the-less, which makes driving a very dumb choice.

when we're out for the night, we've gotten in the habit of taking transit to our destination(s), and then ride-sharing home at the end of the evening when you just want to get back to your bed ASAP without waiting for trains or dealing with transfers and whatnot.
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  #129  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
maybe that's not a big consideration for LA (i don't know), but in chicago i would never entertain the notion of driving my own car into downtown because i don't want to fork over 25+ bucks just to park the fucking thing. being that i live a half-block from an el station that takes me straight to the loop, transit all the way, even if it's 5 -10 minutes slower than driving at off-peak times.
With parking apps, downtown parking is a lot easier than a few years ago. I'm a huge fan of SpotHero and the like.

I recently parked in a downtown Chicago garage with in-out privileges for three nights for $15 a night. There were surface lots for under $10 a night. We also parked for half the day at 900 N. Michigan for like $10 and near LP Zoo for nothing (on-street, used residential guest pass). We parked at the Eataly garage for nothing (parking is free with purchase).

Much easier, faster and cheaper than taking a toddler on public transit. We have a Bugaboo stroller that weighs a ton, and is horrible on stairs. Now if it were just me I'd take transit, walk or bike.

And LA is even easier for driving. I've never had a problem driving LA. It's congested, but traffic moves, esp. on surface streets, and parking is always really cheap. You may maybe $5 wherever you're headed. Dirt cheap if traveling with others. LA also has good drivers, nothing like Miami or outside the U.S.
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  #130  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:22 PM
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And LA is even easier for driving. I've never had a problem driving LA. It's congested, but traffic moves, esp. on surface streets, and parking is always really cheap.
This is the one thing I think gets left out and why the traffic here doesn't bother me too much. If the traffic moves and I can fuck with it. Its when it is stop and go and that shit gets annoying really quick. Outside of a rush hour, traffic moves for the most part.
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  #131  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 3:31 PM
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Much easier, faster and cheaper than taking a toddler on public transit.
for sure. baby/toddler logistics are their own circle of hell - the stroller, the diaper bag, the special food, the special everything - i definitely do not miss that aspect of that phase of life.

now that my kids are 3 and 5, they fucking love taking the train places. every time i tell them we're gonna take the el somewhere, they both start jumping up and down with excitement.

hell, one time i even took my son on a brown line loop to downtown and back just to kill some time, his face plastered to the window the entire time, watching the city roll by down below.

and they're still free on CTA, so.......




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Now if it were just me I'd....... bike.
oh hell yeah.

bike is best.

but now that i'm a married family man it's rarely "just me" going places, other than my daily commute, which i do bike everyday.

having a car absolutely makes getting the family to different places easier, but if we're talking just downtown, we take the train every time. i wouldn't even consider driving.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 30, 2019 at 4:40 PM.
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  #132  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 4:25 PM
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Originally Posted by plutonicpanda View Post
This is the one thing I think gets left out and why the traffic here doesn't bother me too much. If the traffic moves and I can fuck with it. Its when it is stop and go and that shit gets annoying really quick. Outside of a rush hour, traffic moves for the most part.
Not where I live, Saturday and Sunday’s might even be worse. Trying to get out of the San Fernando Valley to West LA via the 405 anytime after 10am is a nightmare. Same with getting to Hollywood and downtown LA using the 101 or the 5. Yes it’s better going the opposite direction, but heading into LA is pretty bad on weekends all day and well into the evening.

Don’t let there be a event happening at Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, The Coliseum, you better prepare for a 3 hour trip. This is when I will take the subway from North Hollywood into LA. Of course like someone else mentioned when you have a Toddler with a stroller and all the other items you need to carry for a child, we just pack up the SUV and drive.

Also parking can be cheap if you’re willing to walk a bit, but most times to be close to the action it can cost you a lot more. For example I pay around $10 in Santa Monica for 3 hours near the Promanade, but I believe it will cost you more to park at the beach or on the pier. Same with downtown LA, in South Park it can cost you $10, but also as much as $50 depending on what is going on and the further from the action the less expensive it will be.
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  #133  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 4:37 PM
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No, it's not a speed consideration, its the frequency of service, and whether you have to then switch to the subway to get to the final destination in Manhattan. The LIRR would most certainly get someone into Manhattan from LI faster than driving at almost any time of day. (The trains are often packed at any time of the day.) But the frequency of LIRR trains in the evening decreases a lot in the evening and weekend, and so does the frequency of the subway.
Door-to-door is what counts, not the speed of the train ride. What are LIRR’s headways at 10 PM? If they’re 15+ minutes, then driving would be faster. I’ve confirmed this on Google Directions before. If not driving a personal vehicle, then Uber/Lyft would be faster (I’m talking car travel in general).
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  #134  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 5:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
Door-to-door is what counts, not the speed of the train ride. What are LIRR’s headways at 10 PM? If they’re 15+ minutes, then driving would be faster. I’ve confirmed this on Google Directions before. If not driving a personal vehicle, then Uber/Lyft would be faster (I’m talking car travel in general).
If you're coming into Manhattan, from LI, by personal car, it's still probably a bit faster by LIRR at 10 PM, because the bridge/tunnel crossings will still be bad at that hour. In the middle of the night, no.

Uber/Lyft will be faster, though, because you aren't parking, but that's easily $100 round-trip. Just setting foot in an Uber, without moving an inch, is basically $11 in NYC now, due to all the new fees. And when congestion pricing come into effect next year, just setting foot in an Uber will cost twice that.

But it obviously depends on your exact origin and destination. If you're nowhere near an LIRR station, and your destination is nowhere near Penn, driving will often be faster outside of weekday business hours.
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  #135  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 5:21 PM
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Not where I live, Saturday and Sunday’s might even be worse. Trying to get out of the San Fernando Valley to West LA via the 405 anytime after 10am is a nightmare. Same with getting to Hollywood and downtown LA using the 101 or the 5. Yes it’s better going the opposite direction, but heading into LA is pretty bad on weekends all day and well into the evening.

Don’t let there be a event happening at Dodger Stadium, Staples Center, The Coliseum, you better prepare for a 3 hour trip. This is when I will take the subway from North Hollywood into LA. Of course like someone else mentioned when you have a Toddler with a stroller and all the other items you need to carry for a child, we just pack up the SUV and drive.

Also parking can be cheap if you’re willing to walk a bit, but most times to be close to the action it can cost you a lot more. For example I pay around $10 in Santa Monica for 3 hours near the Promanade, but I believe it will cost you more to park at the beach or on the pier. Same with downtown LA, in South Park it can cost you $10, but also as much as $50 depending on what is going on and the further from the action the less expensive it will be.
Of course if there are special events traffic will be jammed up. With the traffic here as I'm sure you know it doesn't take much for a portion of the entire system to become jammed. The 101 usually flows fine until Normandie if you're lucky, often the backups start at SM BLVD.

I think another issue with the children is some of the things you see on the subway. Homeless people visibly doing drugs, failing to abide by the rules, lax enforcement, and obscenities being screamed at top volume makes for a less than ideal environment for families. I am a very friendly and talkative person so, anecdotally, far too often I strike up a convo with tourists who experience the subway and off of that decide they will use other means of travel from here on.

Re parking: yes I have seen parking as high as $150 around USC before. But in general it is almost never like that and usually you can get lucky and score street parking if you are quick and assertive enough.

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Originally Posted by Quixote View Post
Door-to-door is what counts, not the speed of the train ride. What are LIRR’s headways at 10 PM? If they’re 15+ minutes, then driving would be faster. I’ve confirmed this on Google Directions before. If not driving a personal vehicle, then Uber/Lyft would be faster (I’m talking car travel in general).
End to end travel times are what counts and that absolutely is affect by the trains speed. Depending on how long and the amount of transfers a rider has a train going 30 MPH faster than it usually does could save 20 seconds or 20 minutes. Once again, for a potential rider, factoring in how much time is spent over a year much like how sitting in traffic on a freeway is measured, this can add up to hours. I believe everything needs to be top notch but I think even with subpar trains and stations you would see higher ridership with high frequencies than a brand new shiny station and train with low frequencies.
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  #136  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 5:22 PM
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And when congestion pricing come into effect next year, just setting foot in an Uber will cost twice that.
Correct me if I'm wrong but there is talk about delaying that...
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  #137  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 5:35 PM
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Correct me if I'm wrong but there is talk about delaying that...
I haven't heard anything. The initial congestion pricing surcharge on for-hire vehicles is already in-effect, BTW.

Given the MTA desperately needs the money, and the approved budget is dependent on the revenue, not sure why they would delay full implementation. And that's on top of bridge/tunnel fare increases.

In 2020, if you're coming in from any bridge/tunnel from Jersey, you'll pay a $16 crossing fee + $12-$14 congestion fee, depending on time of day. So it will basically cost $30 just to cross the Hudson. And they're adding airport surcharges for for-hire vehicles. You could easily pay $100 from Newark Liberty to Manhattan.
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  #138  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 6:00 PM
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there's also the issue of what to do with your car once you arrive at your destination.

maybe that's not a big consideration for LA (i don't know), but in chicago i would never entertain the notion of driving my own car into downtown because i don't want to fork over 25+ bucks just to park the fucking thing. being that i live a half-block from an el station that takes me straight to the loop, transit all the way, even if it's 5 -10 minutes slower than driving at off-peak times.
The price of parking varies in LA, depending on what time of the day, whether it's a weekday, or a weekend. There's a price per hour to a maximum rate, there's a flat rate, there's a flat rate after a certain time, there's weekend flat rates, some lots validate, some don't... and then there are prices depending on whether it's a private lot versus a city-owned lot... I'm sure other cities in the US are this way too.

So, parking in downtown LA, can be as low as a dollar for the whole day, to 35 dollars (and up) for the whole day.
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  #139  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 7:14 PM
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I haven't heard anything. The initial congestion pricing surcharge on for-hire vehicles is already in-effect, BTW.

Given the MTA desperately needs the money, and the approved budget is dependent on the revenue, not sure why they would delay full implementation. And that's on top of bridge/tunnel fare increases.

In 2020, if you're coming in from any bridge/tunnel from Jersey, you'll pay a $16 crossing fee + $12-$14 congestion fee, depending on time of day. So it will basically cost $30 just to cross the Hudson. And they're adding airport surcharges for for-hire vehicles. You could easily pay $100 from Newark Liberty to Manhattan.
That is batshit insane and the people who proposed that should be relieved of their duties but that is another topic for another thread.
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  #140  
Old Posted Aug 30, 2019, 10:25 PM
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I think another issue with the children is some of the things you see on the subway. Homeless people visibly doing drugs, failing to abide by the rules, lax enforcement, and obscenities being screamed at top volume makes for a less than ideal environment for families. I am a very friendly and talkative person so, anecdotally, far too often I strike up a convo with tourists who experience the subway and off of that decide they will use other means of travel from here on.
i don't doubt that attitude might prevail among many tourists, but if you're accustomed to city life, that's just city life. raising my kids in the city, there's no way for me to shelter them from homeless people visibly doing drugs, or screaming obscenities, or other such sordid details or urban living.

i myself was raised in an inner-ring burb, but we lived 3 blocks from an el station and when my mom and dad took me and my sister downtown or to cubs/sox games, we'd always take the el. so i was probably exposed to some of that same stuff at a much younger age than a typical suburban kid. as a result, it doesn't seem off-putting to me to regularly take my own kids on the el.

as the saying goes, that's life in the big city.
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Last edited by Steely Dan; Aug 31, 2019 at 12:01 AM.
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