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 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.