So it's not exactly news, but I'm going to soon be purchasing a car. Anyone who knows me knows that I've been saying so for a few years, but I've been seriously shopping in the last week or so. Most of this is year/price-comparison and insurance-quote-comparison, but I'm thinking in the next month or two to have a set of four wheels at my disposal.
Friends have joked that at that time I should change my Twitter account from CarlessValGirl to something more fitting.
I've been taking public transportation on and off for about five years. Within that five-year period it has been workable. However, the last six to eight months have definitely been far from pleasant. From buses that don't arrive on time to buses that don't arrive at all, to having to deal with wonky Sunday schedules and even weekday schedules that aren't conducive to having much of a life, it's gotten to be a bit of a thorn in my side having to fight with Metro day-to-day. Predictable commutes are one thing, and taking the Orange, Red, and Blue (etc.) lines are fine in and of themselves. The Rapid buses aren't a problem, either. Rather, it is the local bus system that is making it an inconvenience to get around in LA. Since I live in the relative suburbs of Los Angeles and not over the hill... well let's just say I'm in the market for something a bit more practical in making spontaneous jaunts as well as fixed.
Now, monetarily, going Metro is probably a good idea right now. Even more so, riding my bicycle is probably a lot easier on the wallet. I don't intend on giving either mode of transportation up, at least not my bicycle. Don't believe me? I don't think I ever shared the story of the few times I've house-sat for my folks for a couple of weeks. They let me borrow one of their vehicles so I could get to their house, my house, work, school and wherever else. It was great. But after about three days I kinda went stir-crazy. I felt like I was zooming in a capsule without feeling the air on my face. I actually panicked. It actually sunk my mood to such a low degree that I rode my bicycle into work the next few days, came home, and drove the car to their house. I have a feeling that when it comes to some local things I will make full use of my bicycle. For recreation, for here-and-there things. But if I have to run around town? It would be nice to have a car. Trends in the availability of the local bus arrivals, etc., have driven this point home more than ever expected.
Bicycling is as much a part of who I am as anything else, so I won't be giving that up. But as far as most other things go, it has been my view that it is only practical to go without a car in Los Angeles if you're at a place in your life where everything is centered and you're not looking to expand upon it. I'm twenty-five years old. Single. I'm not at that point and time yet.
Maybe I'm frustrated. Maybe I haven't explored all the options. But in this case, the car would be the option, not the sole everyday go-to. Tell me how many people in Los Angeles will tell you that.