Wednesday, October 15, 2014

LA Metro Green Line

So after spending two weeks in Tunisia, I spent about 22 hours traveling home (4am Tunis time to 6pm Pacific time). The most frustrating part of the return trip was trying to get from LAX to work, where my carpool buddy would drive me home.

My flight was supposed to arrive at 4:30pm but we actually landed at and pulled up to the gate at 4:15pm. Bradley terminal was surprisingly empty but it was a very long walk from the gate to immigration. I have not traveled internationally for a few years so it was my first time in the renovated terminal. I walked up to an automated kiosk, answered a few questions, had my photo taken, and was given a receipt. I was also directed to a very short line and was out of the terminal in ~20 minutes!

Since I was early, I decided to save a few bucks and take the Green line from LAX to work. It's only a short bus ride (<3 miles) and two stops on the Green line. How bad can it be? Bad.

Metro Green Line

The Green line "G" shuttle bus is basically the unofficial LAX employee shuttle. It was the third bus that pulled up to the blue shuttle stop and it was about 80% full. I'd estimate about 2/3rd of the passengers were airport employees, from TSA to airline employees to baggage handlers. By the time we left the airport, the bus was completely full... standing room only. The bus drive chose to take Century Blvd to Aviation except there was some kind of road construction on Century (on a Friday afternoon?!) so the bus ride took ~40 minutes. When I rode the train last time (3 years ago?), it was only $1.50 and no one checked. Now they've implemented a card system where you have to scan in and out. The card costs $1 and the fare was $1.75 so the short trip cost me $2.75 total. Now I have another piece of plastic in my wallet.

I used to complain about LAX a lot, especially the international terminal since it was an embarrassment compared to airports at other major cities. I think they've fixed the terminal, but getting to/from LAX is still a major disaster. Since there no light rail option, there are a million shuttle buses for hotels, rental cars, parking lots, short and long-distance buses, airport shuttles, and lots of private cars, all circling the single road. In Hong Kong, I can get from the airport to Kowloon or Central in ~20 minutes. Try that at LAX during Friday rush hour.

Next time, I think I'll splurge and take a taxi or Uber.

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