“Have You Never Ridden The Subway Before?”

August 7, 2013

metro stationLos Angeles is transitioning into having locked turnstiles in the subway stations.

What a novel idea, huh? To pay to get into the train.

I know I’m having a bit of an attitude in that sentence, because seriously, what city operates its public transportation based on the honor system?

Sure, I’d like to believe all people will pay if we just ask them to. But, I think having turnstiles is smarter.

Anyway, there are these helper people in vests at the subway stations teaching you how to pay. And I see all these people who sometimes are trying to tap on their way in and out of the station (though, really, Los Angeles, why do you even have the tap area on the way out?).

Also, I see some people double paying (’cause there are extra tap stations inside for people switching between lines – also, seriously, L.A.? You pay just to switch lines?).

Anyway, when I see these people (who all hopefully have unlimited monthly passes) paying all over the place, I think, “Have you never ridden the subway before?”

But then it dawns on me. The answer is actually probably no. They live in Los Angeles. Why should I expect them to just have this inherent understanding of how a subway works? I got so used to subways in both Boston and New York that I kind of work under this assumption that everyone knows how to use one.

But that is not true.

Just yet another lesson that I should always be trying to broaden my worldview and not always coming from too much of a my-experiences perspective. .

2 thoughts on ““Have You Never Ridden The Subway Before?””

  1. Kind of a tangent, but in the early-mid 20th Centuries L.A. had a really extensive system of streetcars (Similar to our above-ground Green Line branches in Boston). In the mid-20th Century the entire system was torn out and replaced with buses.


    So being car-centric isn’t what L.A. was always about–it’s more like what was deliberately done to the people there by (bad IMHO) public policies in the mid-20th Century. (A discussion for another time…)

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