Updated: A Day Without a Car in LA? Here I go!

News editor prays for no breaking news on this Earth Day as she attempts to make it from Burbank to La Cañada via Pasadena by bus.

Wish I'd remembered my bike chain was broken. Wish I'd remembered Band-Aids. And  I really, really wish for a lack of breaking news today.

After paying $62 to fill up the tank on my Ford Escape, and crying, I opted to celebrate Earth Day by taking the bus. Everywhere. This is certainly not the first time I've ridden the bus. It is, however, the first time I'm relying on it solely to get me to my meeting in Pasadena, the in La Cañada and my yoga class up the street from said coffee shop. Basically I need the bus today to get me through my day.

12:05 p.m. The 12:38 #92 that will take me to my transfer in Glendale is about 10 minutes away by bike. Bummer my chain is broken so now I'm hoofing the 1.2 miles as fast as my chunky thighs can manage. Socks would really help this developing blister situation.

12:35 p.m. Boarded the wrong bus and watched mine, on the other side of the street, fade into the smog. It appears I need help differentiating direction, as in south east corner from north west corner.

12:50 p.m. A rider waiting for another bus explains her cateracts don't allow her to drive anymore, but since the stroke, she's lucky she can walk.

1 p.m. A distracted driver scrapes her wheels along the sidewalk where I'm standing, causing me to recoil into the gentleman who said we still have another three minutes to avoid pedestrian hazards. Another three minutes in the California sun equals another California burn, so I apply more sunblock. I'd forget my shoes sooner than my Coppertone.

1:10 p.m. Comfortably aboard the #92 headed to Glendale, I'm flummoxed by the lack of #92 schedule routes on the panel display. There are plenty for the 222, which scares me just long enough to confirm with the woman next to me that I'm, in fact, on the #92.

1:45 p.m. Waiting on the 780 to Pasadena. No way I'm making this meeting on time - sorry, Patrick! But I am proof, filing this column from the bus, that Patch editors are mobile newsrooms.

2:15 p.m. Second of three legs, done. #780 pulled to Colorado Boulevard and Lake Avenue - just in time for an outlet so I can plug in and figure out how to get to La Cañada.

3:15 p.m. My Echo Park colleague gives me two Band-Aids from the first-aid kit in her car. Bless you, Anthea.

3:30 p.m. What do you mean, Metro Trip Planner, that I have to go back to Glendale to get to La Cañada from Pasadena? It's just up the road!

3:35 p.m. Anti-war protester climbs aboard #780 with an unwieldy cart crammed with posters, flags and buttons. He has a much easier time sliding into a seat than I do with my yoga mat-protruding back pack.

4:24 p.m. Exited Glendale and Broadway in Glendale to wait for the Beeline #3 toward JPL. Can't get my ear buds in fast or deep enough to drown out the woman on the bench proselytizing about how 7 and 8 year old girls in Africa don’t need to be educated – it should just be the teenager girls. Come on, Bruce, block this battleaxe.

5:12 p.m. Arrived in La Cañada, an hour before my yoga class. The Beeline, being only 25 cents, looked like it might not run so very late into the evening. The class runs till 7:45 p.m.

Good thing I asked. "Sometime around 7:30,'' the driver said, as I alighted and dialed my husband, Dan, asking for a ride. Alas, the great bus adventure ends in a carpool.

Jill Karnicki April 23, 2011 at 06:18 AM
Ah, the bus adventures! Kudos for doing it in LA! I used to ride it in DC all the time. Much different city, much more bus rider friendly. Hope the blisters heal soon!
Peggy Casmer April 23, 2011 at 07:04 AM
DC does have better transportation and most people do carry bandaids :)
Greg Evans April 23, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Taking the bus to "celebrate" Earth Day in LA is like driving a car to get around in NY to celebrate "Mars Day!"
Linda Silvestri April 24, 2011 at 06:15 PM
Bussing it in L.A. or any part of So. Cal... not the easiest thing to do! I've been there. What a great way to celebrate Earth Day and a fun read for all of us, hee hee!
Kathryn Silva May 04, 2011 at 03:48 PM
Sounds like the real story is bus inefficiency! :)


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