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Thread: Yup, the bus.

  1. #1
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    Yup, the bus.

    Does anyone else take the bus?

    I tried commuting to work via bus/bike combo for the past week and it's been interesting.

    I live in Redondo Beach and work in Culver City. I have tried a number of different routes to get to/from work. I have more flexibility than normal bus commuters because I also have a folding bike (Brompton) that I take with me so I can bike much longer than the typical walk+bus commuter.

    My door to door commute via bike is 16 miles but I have found that I am just not motivated to ride every day. I have an electric bike and that's fun but I don't get any exercise with the electric bike. Ideally I'd like to keep my commute at around 4-8 miles by bike and supplement the rest by public transportation.

    If anyone is interested, here are some observations:

    1) I tried commuting by bus + rail. I rode my bike about 4 miles to the Metro Green line station in Redondo Beach. I then took the metro train from Redondo Beach to Aviation (LAX) and then took the Culver City bus to Sepulveda/Sawtelle and then rode my bike again for 3 miles to get to work. The actual train portion was great (only took about 10 minutes once the train came (train comes every 5-10 minutes or so)). The bus wait a short 10 minute wait and the actual bus ride was around 25 minutes. However, door to door took about 2 hours and the biking in Redondo Beach to/from metro wasn't fun.

    2) Beach Cities Transit to LAX, Culver City bus from LAX to Sepulveda/Sawtelle. This also took about 2 hours. The BCT bus doesn't take a direct route and drives through El Segundo so that tacks on another 15 minutes.

    3) BCT bus to Manhattan Beach, bike up to the beach path for 8 miles to Marina Del Rey, Culver City bus from MDR to Culver/Main, bike 1 mile to work.

    This is nice because the route is fun along the beach path but it's a bit of a trek. 9 miles of biking each way.

    One issue is that the Culver City bus in MDR only comes once and hour so if I just miss that, I'll probably just ride up ballona creek to work (another 6 miles).

    4) Metro bus to LAX, Culver City bus from LAX to Sepulveda/Sawtelle. This is about 1.5 hours if the bus wait time is minimal. The metro bus takes a more direct route than BCT but is also more crowded.

    I have pretty much decided that in the mornings I will go with #4 and take the metro bus to LAX and then transfer to the Culver City bus and then ride 3 miles to work. It will be as fast as around 1:30 and as slow as 2 hours.

    In the evenings, if I can get out of work by 5:45, I plan to do #3 and bike up to the bus stop that is 1 mile away and take the bus to MDR. I then ride down the beach path to Manhattan Beach (8 miles) and then take the Beach Cities Transit bus home. Door to door this ends up at around 2 hours but it's a decent workout and it's fun.

    However, one minor issue is that last night I did this to come home. I left work at 5:40 and got to the bus stop at 5:50. Bus was supposed to arrive at 6 but didn't arrive until 6:15. I paid $1 for the bus and 40 cents for a transfer (for BCT). Bus drivers aren't the most meticulous people so later I realized that the transfer that the bus driver gave me had the hole punched for the date in between the 13th and 14th but closer to the 13th even though it was the 14th.

    I got to MDR at around 6:40. Rode the bike down to Manhattan Beach and got to that bus stop at around 7:15. Bus came at 7:30. Got off at home at 7:45. Walked into my door at 7:50.

    But the problem was getting on the bus in Manhattan Beach. I gave the bus driver the transfer and the conversation went along the lines of:

    Me: (handing him the transfer)
    Driver: Where did you get this?
    Me: I got it from the Culver City bus. It's an inter-agency transfer. Is it valid on this bus?
    Driver: (no response)...this is from yesterday.
    Me: (I'm generally non confrontational) I just got it on my way here from the Culver City #7 but if you can't accept it, I'll pay you the $1 fare instead.
    Driver: That bus doesn't stop here
    Me: I took the bus and then rode my bike down here (pointing to my bike)
    Driver: hmmm...ok.

    Driver seemed skeptical...guess he's not really used to people taking a bus, riding for 8 miles and then taking another bus.

    The bus is pretty empty and I actually rode the same bus last week with the same driver but that time I got off the Culver City bus at LAX which is the same stop so I guess he didn't have an issue then.
    2012 Cervelo R3 w/ SRAM Rival
    2012 Brompton M6R
    2012 Dahon Speed D7 - 9c 2806 rear hub motor + 12s 5ah lipo = 25mph
    2009 Trek 6500
    TidalForce S-750 electric bike - 9c 2807 rear hub motor + 14s 15ah lipo = 35mph

  2. #2
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    I work in RPV, so I used to catch the 232 and then the 344 to RPV; however, it would always take ages to get there. I then began commuting via my bike, which is much faster and keeps me in shape. It's a total commute of 22 miles round trip. Once in a while I do catch the bus, when my bike is in the shop. It's fun, I like it.

    Whatever works for you bro, as long as you're happy

    oh yea if you have a smart phone go to:
    http://www.metro.net/service/nextrip/

    It tracks the buses via gps, so you know exactly when they are coming. This always allows me to better manage my time. I go get something to eat, some coffee, whatever lol

  3. #3
    Senior Member El Gigante's Avatar
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    Another Multi-Modal, (if that's what they call it now), commuter here. I work in downtown LA, (at USC), and live in the San Fernando Valley. My commute is about 5 miles from home to the Universal City Red Line Station, subway to 7th Street Metro, then 2 miles down Flower St. to Jefferson, hang a right on Jefferson, and .5 miles to campus. Its a pretty ideal route, since it's short enough to be ridden in just about any weather condition, (I don't ride when its raining, but how often is that in SoCal?), but long enough that you do get a nice ride in.

    By the way, +1 on the nextrip app for a smart phone. You do have to go thorough a number of screens to get to the bus line/ stop that you're waiting at, but its pretty accurate and does give you a good estimate of your wait time.
    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

  4. #4
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    I still take the bus sometimes. I've been averaging about twice/wk on this commute. I usually take my electric bike for 1 day when I have to get home early, etc. And I still drive around 2 days/wk for days when I have to go somewhere far after work for dinner, etc.

    the nextrip app is nice but it was down yesterday morning which was really annoying.

    Yesterday was my worst trip to date. I rode my bike for 4 miles to get to the culver city bus stop. Bus was supposed to arrive at around 6pm but there's no nextrip for culver city buses so who knows. it didn't get there until around 6:25 so it was a really long wait. got on the bus and got off at lax where i had another 20+ minute wait. it was more than 2 hours door to door (about 2:20) in this ordeal. definitely not worth it if it takes that long.

    at the culver city stop, i got so sick of waiting after 20 minutes that i was getting ready to just ride my bike home. the 2 hispanic guys at the bus stop with me were like "hey bus is coming"...i guess they have better vision than i do because i couldn't see it. but sure enough, the bus slowly appeared into view for me about 30 seconds later.

    i think this would be usable if the bus arrival times were more predictable. nextrip is great but i found that it's about 2-3 minutes off sometimes which is good enough for me. but they just don't have it for culver city which sucks.
    2012 Cervelo R3 w/ SRAM Rival
    2012 Brompton M6R
    2012 Dahon Speed D7 - 9c 2806 rear hub motor + 12s 5ah lipo = 25mph
    2009 Trek 6500
    TidalForce S-750 electric bike - 9c 2807 rear hub motor + 14s 15ah lipo = 35mph

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