The gaping divide between the have-cars and the have-nots
Living in the City of Angels without a car, in what is still considered the “hood” – non-gentrified territory – means the novelty of expanded rail lines, cleanliness, a relatively low fare, and an honor system of payment wears away quickly.
Everyone warned me but like most born-and-bred New York City residents I took my mass transit system for granted. I complained about rising fare costs while watching rat families play on the tracks at the 74th Roosevelt Avenue Station. I signed petitions making sure free student passes weren’t cut so my teen could take the subway into Manhattan for high school. I grumbled as I squeezed into a crowded train car wondering where the hell all these people were going at 11 p.m. and thrust my hips forward so no one “accidently” rubbed their hand or anything else against my ass.
You take it all for granted and you end up missing it.
“If you’re going to move to Los Angeles you better learn how to drive,” I was told, but with all the things I needed to do before moving from New York City, getting my driver’s license wasn’t high on my list of priorities. I naively thought that my kids and I could rely on a TAP Card the way we relied on the Metrocard to get around by bus and train. I even thought I’d save money since the one-way fare on the Los Angeles Metro train or Metro Bus is $1.50, less than the $2.25 I was paying per trip in New York. I also wasn’t averse to walking. I did it all the time in Queens, walking from Corona to Rego Park, from Rego Park to Forest Hills.
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