Tag Archives: train

The Triumph of Navigating a New Bus System

By Rachel Essel

When I studied abroad in St. Petersburg, Russia, the only way for me to get around besides walking was public transportation. If you’re not familiar with St. Petersburg’s geography, the city consists mostly of two main islands and sections of mainland and I lived on one of the islands with my host family. Due to the nearest metro stop to me being closed for remodeling, I had to take mostly buses and trams everywhere which made things a lot more complicated.

The first day of school my host mom actually took me there, and we left while it was still dark out to get on a tram, to go to the next closest metro stop to meet my fellow students where a bus would take us the rest of the way to school. It was so confusing and took so long and then my host mom drops this bomb on me: I won’t actually be taking that route to school, that was just to meet at the correct metro stop the first day. So at the end of the day my host mom takes me out to where I will catch a bus that will take me all the way to school the next morning.

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Metro to the Beach!

By Zsuzsa Londe

Here is a suggestion for your Labor Day Weekend: try the new Metro Line to go to the Santa Monica Pier or the beach!  The Expo Line has a stop at the South Campus gate of USC, the Expo Park/USC station. Just walk past Tommy Trojan, continue on Trousdale Parkway to Exposition Blvd, and there take the Metro towards Santa Monica. You could be watching a beautiful sunset off the pier or from the beach within 40 minutes.

Once there, don’t miss a stroll on 3rd Street Promenade, a fun and store-filled walking street just a few blocks from the pier.

HAPPY LABOR DAY WEEKEND!

Here are useful resources:

The metro map/stations: http://media.metro.net/riding_metro/bus_overview/images/806_2016-0522.pdf

How to get the tickets: https://www.metro.net/riding/fares/  ($1.75 one way)

Buying graduate student tickets at USC: https://gsg.usc.edu/resources/tap-program

The Santa Monica Pier: http://santamonicapier.org/

Live webcam of the Pier: http://www.pacpark.com/the-park/live-cam/the-park/

The Commuter Life: Riding Metrolink

By Pleres Choi

Believe it or not, Los Angeles does have a train system. Within LA, there is the light rail (mostly) underground metro system, and, for those who must commute from outside LA, there is Metrolink. If you ever need to use Metrolink, I would suggest packing a whole lot of patience and your smartphone (with your social media apps in tow); because, the truth is, your time will always be at the mercy of this public transportation option.

This summer was the first time I’ve had to commute daily to work using Metrolink, “Southern California’s premier regional passenger rail system.” My daily starting point always began at the Buena Park station and my final stop at Union Station in L.A., giving me approximately thirtyUnion Station - Los Angeles minutes inside the train. But, when the train would arrive at Buena Park and, consequently, when I would arrive at Union Station was an entirely different matter, and unfortunately completely out of my hands.

According to my summer experience, I learned that you have to be incredibly forgiving and flexible with your time. My train frequently arrived late at Buena Park, anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour late. We commuters had no idea when such a delay would occur, although many of us soon learned to usually expect at least some delay. And yet, a daily commuter cannot ever risk the chance of herself/himself arriving even a minute late to the station, since Metrolink does warn that the train could arrive “up to five minutes ahead of schedule” (though obviously not too frequently).

It doesn’t end here. When I use the Metrolink to commute from L.A. to home, it happens to be incredibly precise with its schedule, leaving Union Station exactly on time, unforgiving of a few extra minutes. Of course, this is Metrolink simply doing its job right. But there have been more than a few times when I sprinted to the train as fast as my legs would allow, only to have its doors shut in my face for having arrived fifteen seconds too late. During these times, I think to myself, “if only you were so punctual when coming to pick me up!!!”

So…why then do I still choose to commute to L.A. with Metrolink, you may ask.

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