We went to see Mason Jennings play in Santa Monica last night. (Actually at Barnum Hall on the Santa Monica High School campus...odd venue.) Since my wife works in Westwood and we live on the east side, it made more sense for me to take the bus to her office than to go crosstown in two cars.
I know that public transportation in LA (especially the bus) has a bad reputation, but I was pleasantly surprised. Got on at Vermont & Sunset and arrived in front of UCLA 55 minutes later. The bus has a tv screen showing news, trivia, games, and ads. There's also a map (powered by MSN) with GPS that always shows you where you are and announces the next stops. It was on time and relatively clean, though the comfort of the seats left a little to be desired. Riders were mostly students, though that probably had more to do with the route and the time of day (I rode at 4:30pm).
The trip planner on the website was also relatively impressive. Granted it could have a little better error correction and navigation, but not having to enter a city and using a / between intersections is pretty brilliant. I'm surprised the mapping engines haven't picked this up as the standard instead of fumbling around with thethe mishmash of &/and/+ that they always have. Also surprised we didn't pick this up for the surfboard, as for me it's much more fast and natural to type a / without looking than & or +.
...and fortunately, I've read elsewhere (now I suddenly can't remember where) that Metro will soon finally join the Google Transit family (cf. OCTA, who was an early adopter).
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