This morning, when I got to my cubbifice, I found a copy of this week’s BrandX on my desk opened to this story on the Backbone Bikeway Network called “More than a bike path” (page 14). It’s got the following illustration:

Backbpme Bikeway Network. Source: labikeplan.com

In that same issue, BrandX reran Ari Bloomekatz’s up close-and-personal of Jacquelyn Carr – aka Snob On A Bus – from last Saturday (link to original story).

Picture of Jacquelyn Carr of “Snob On A Bus”, featured on BrandX

Jacki, 26, lives near UCLA, and is a regular on the 720. I’m glad that Ari made the following insight:

“Carr represents a relatively small but highly important segment of the MTA’s passenger base: people who could commute by car but take the bus instead. Such ‘discretionary riders’ currently make up a little more than a quarter of total ridership.”

He also adds that riders like Jacki are extremely important to Metro as they proceed with their rail-building efforts because the hope is that they can lure discretionary riders (also referred to as choice riders) out of their cars, thus lessening traffic congestion.

I made a face when Charles initially brought up Jacki’s blog. He basically put me in my place, and rightfully so: Not everyone is as experienced a bus rider as you, S.

Charles reminded me that the prospect of doing things like transferring buses, waiting for buses late at night, navigating a large bus and rail network like Los Angeles, or simply being a passenger on a bus when you’re a woman can be very scary.

Charles also pointed out that I grew up here (Jacki did not) and that I’ve been riding school buses and public buses my entire life.

Fair enough :-)

The topic of Jacki’s many blog entries indicate to me that there are a lot of things that we at BeAGreenCommuter can help explain and demystify with regards to riding the bus. I think our first topic will be transfers, since for UCLA commuters, there are a lot of flavors.

Other topics:

  • Night-owl bus riding
  • How to take kids onto a bus
  • How to engage in conversation with someone on a bus
  • How to be polite when you want to keep to yourself
  • How to use Google Transit
  • How to get to UCLA from a myriad of far-flung destinations

What would you like to see covered here? Consider me your guinea pig.

-Sirinya