Friday, August 01, 2008

Something else that got my panties in a bunch

KTLA Commuter Experiment--KTLA has been celebrating "Commuter Week" this week. On Thursday, they sent Traffic/Weather gal Jessica Holmes on a Metro adventure. She threw a dart at a map of Los Angeles, and then had to take public transportation to get there. Once she arrived at that destination, someone in the newsroom would throw the dart again and she'd go from Point B to Point C and so on as time allowed. Their aim was to show Angelinos how easy and convenient it is to "Go Metro."

Her dart landed somewhere in Culver City. They had two representatives for public transportation in the studio (from MTA and Metrolink), but didn't consult them for the best route, choosing instead to send her off willy-nilly. Jessica left the studios at Sunset and Van Ness and caught the #2 bus at Denny's by the 101 entrance. She took the Sunset Blvd bus and headed westward. At one point, I believe (I was in the bathroom so I didn't see) she got off at La Cienega. She ended up back on the #2 to Sepulveda. An hour after she left the studio, she got off in Westwood, got lost around UCLA, was asking strangers if they knew how to get to Culver City and at this point I had to leave for work.

Why do the actions of some silly news gal get the polycotton blend wedged up my butt? Because instead of showing folks how "easy and convenient" it can be to take public transportation, she effectively sent the message "Screw it. Take your car; it's faster." I was frustrated watching her and I KNOW how to get places on the bus. I can't imagine what was going through the minds of people who have never ridden the bus, their target audience. At no point while I was watching did they ask for guidance from the MTA representative. And seriously, who just gets on a bus heading west without some kind of game plan? As a former bus rider (10 years, in a city that supposedly doesn't have good transportation), I have found my way all over Los Angeles County on buses, trains, and metrolink quite easily--by consulting the maps and schedules first! has a feature in which you can enter your starting and ending destinations and they will tell you the best possible routes to get there. To get to Culver City from KTLA studios, Jessica need to walk up to Hollywood Blvd, a few short blocks, take the 217 bus to Fairfax/ Venice and transfer to the 33 bus.

Now, I didn't see the end of the show so I don't know if Jessica ever made it to Culver City or if she made it to any other destinations. I also don't know if they ever mentioned that you can map your route using the handy website feature or call 1-800-COMMUTE for guidance along the way. I do know that most morning news watchers are only watching it briefly while they get ready for work and most probably didn't see the outcome. If they were trying to get commuters to ditch their cars for a more environmentally-minded mode of transportation, they failed miserably.


Anne-Marie said...

You should write in and complain. We've started doing that lately with all the things that piss us off. So far I have had one asshole response and one 'we are really sorry' response. Still waiting for one to give me free stuff though :)

Ellen Bloom said...

I agree with should definitely send them a link to this blog post!

This just makes KTLA News look stupid!

WineGrrl said...

Keep in mind that the young lady in question is not exactly rocket-scientist material. It probably never occurred to her to walk anywhere.

MonkeyGurrrrrl said...

I sent a complaint in to the BBB (on-line) and got complete resolution within 8 hours - after the "customer service" reps told me it would take at least 48-72 hours. I think I'll complain more.