Saturday, January 14, 2006

MTA Trip Planner

Yesterday I drove to Oxnard to see a client. That is a beautiful drive (I took the coast route), but it is just too long and uncomfortable to drive that far. I've tried to figure out how to take mass transit out there, but I haven't been able to figure out how. Metrolink goes out that way, but then I can't find a bus to take me the rest of the way. And anyway, Metrolink frequency is designed for commuters, so there are big, hours-long gaps in service between rush hours.

Which brings me to another point. The MTA web site, specifically the Trip Planner, should do a better job of integrating all the regional transit networks. As far as I can tell, the only other systems it includes is Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus, and the Culver City Bus. Ventura, Foothill, Orange County, etc., etc. don't seem to be part of it.

The largest omission from the MTA Trip Planner is the LADOT Dash system. This is a system of neighborhood buses. You've probably seen them around. Most do circular routes through a particular neighborhood, running every 10-15 minutes throughout the day. They cost 25 cents! They are very cool. I've figured out how to take the Dash to an MTA Red Rapid bus line that saves me quite a bit of time on one of my regular routes. But I had to figure it out myself. The MTA web site gives a link to the Dash (if you look hard enough for it), but that's it. Here's the link: http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/index.html . Check it out. It's a nice system that covers 27 different neighborhoods throughout the city, many of which overlap for easy connections.

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