The LA Metro

March 20th, 2007

IMG_7768, originally uploaded by ultraclay!.

When I went to Los Angeles last summer, I didn’t know what to expect. All I had ever heard was that it’s the anti-New York. On the short list of things I just had to see was the LA Metro. The idea of a subway system in this city of drivers intrigued me.
While walking through Hollywood, I walked down to the Metro station at Hollywood and Vine. The station is a lot farther underground than most stations in New York. It’s steep escalators and high ceilings reminded me a bit of the DC Metro.
Even though it was early evening, when I’d normally expect a rush in one direction or another, the station was empty. I never saw more than 10 people, even when a train came in.The wide, cavernous space seemed that much bigger without people. Seeing a subway station that big deserted seemed vaguely apocalyptic.

Disorienting me further, I couldn’t find the turnstiles or anything familiar. In the entryway, where I would usually expect to find such things, there were scanners of some sort. I saw someone walk by and pass their card over it before walking to the trains.
There was no turnstile. No gate, no barrier at all. In the entryway was a sign stating that riders were required to show their ticket if requested.
I was expecting somethings to be different in LA, but not a subway run on the honor system. That’s just weird.

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