|PHOTO BY PAUL T. BRADLEY|
I once dreamed of being a transportation planner: fast-roping into jungles, skirting ancient booby traps to snag gilded idols, natives and Nazi occultists in hot pursuit. Sadly, urban planners do none of those things. The most daring thing most of them will ever do is Sharpie "Fuck you, Robert Moses!" onto their Trapper Keepers. I'm not cut out for that.
While I'll never get to write scintillating reports on Arterial Levels of Service, I can still appreciate the bureaucratic ballet that produces public transportation. I even like riding trains occasionally.
The thing is, I rarely ride them. I barely touch the Metro. Most of the time it's too complicated to get from, say, Silver Lake to Santa Monica, Red to Expo to bus, a buck fifty per line and nearly three hours shot. Why bother when you have a perfectly decent car?
And yet there is that whole $5 day pass thing — you can ride any train, and any bus, in the entire metropolitan system, with just one pass. Which got me thinking: How far could you stretch it? You could ride from one end of L.A. County to another in a single day. Other than hustling chess at the library, it might be the cheapest way to kill a day in Los Angeles — and potentially much more interesting.
I decided to give it a try.More »