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VOICES / A FORUM FOR COMMUNITY ISSUES | Gripe

'I'm Tired of Being Late for Work'

September 26, 1998|KIMBERLY HAAS | MTA bus rider

I ride MTA bus line 78/79, depending on it as my sole source of transportation. In the past two months, I have been late to work seven times because scheduled buses never arrived. According to the published schedule, a bus is due to arrive at Huntington and Maycrest every six minutes during weekday rush hour. I have frequently waited 20 or 30 minutes with not a single bus going by.

I spoke with one of the drivers, who told me that the problem is with the maintenance of the buses. Frequently drivers arrive at work and there are no buses available for them to take out on their routes.

The MTA is a public entity, charged with serving the residents of Los Angeles, who pay for this service with taxes and fares. As a resident and passenger, I am deeply disappointed and very angry about the lack of reliable service. It affects every aspect of my life: I am late for my job and personal appointments and I have difficulty meeting financial obligations because I lose money from being late to work or having to pay cab fare when a bus does not arrive. There is also the emotional toll: I cannot describe how frustrating it is, not knowing if a bus will show up as scheduled and how embarrassing it is when I have to explain--yet again--to my boss or a friend or the dentist or whomever, that "the bus didn't come."

I have contacted the mayor's office, because as both the mayor of Los Angeles and the chairman of MTA's board, Richard Riordan bears ultimate responsibility for this untenable situation. I would like to remind the mayor that it is the bus-riding citizens of this community, among others, who voted for him. And he has failed to meet his obligations to us.

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