For all of the Metro’s reliability, when it’s unreliable, it hurts. Almost personally. Like the city itself is trying to remind me that it’s a car city and the transit system exists as a favor. Plus there are the long, long distances. Going to LAX, which is bad enough by car, is essentially the Oregon Trail on the Metro (thankfully, I never caught cholera). It’s the same with the Westside, in general. Pack a lunch, say goodbye to your loved one, bring a change of clothes. You’re going to be out there all day.
The flip side of the good human moments are what I like to call “Life Lessons from Sketchy People.” Because, it’s true: some very, very sketchy people ride the Metro. And they can get chatty. Waiting for the bus sometimes means standing at the corner of Highland and Santa Monica and listening to an obvious meth head explain that he’s found the secret to the universe: a Day-Glo construction worker’s vest. With that, he can go anywhere, anywhere at all, and no one will stop him. When you start thinking, “Yeah. That’s right. I should get me one of those,” that’s also about the time when you watch the cars whizzing by with jealousy.