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Postage Stamp Train Tickets

Using the train regularly now, I think I've figured out the Metro ticketing system.

If you stand at the machine trying to figure out what it costs to get to Union Station or Culver City, or whatever, you will pull your hair out with frustration, but if you think of it as a postage stamp it becomes a lot clearer.

If you send a letter across the street or to New Hampshire it costs the same. In the same way, for $1.75 you can get to wherever the trains go (what a deal!), as long as you can get there in a couple hours. At least I think that's how it works. Metro could be clearer with its messaging but it's not bad once you change how you look at it.

UPDATE: Since I'm on the subject of trains, I just had the worst experience this morning. I waited 20 minutes (during rush hour) for a train in Monrovia and then it was shoulder to shoulder all the way to Pasadena. Sardine City. 52 minutes door to door. I started taking the train because it was almost as fast and much more pleasant. Today it was much slower and much more unpleasant than driving. A few more experiences such as I had this morning and I'll be back in my car.

- Brad Haugaard


  1. Last Sunday, coming home from downtown LA, everyone on the train had to get off at Sierra Madre because only half the trains continue on to Azusa. I didn't know this. And while the wait was only supposed to be 7.5 minutes, it ended up being over 20 minutes before the next train. During that time, the three Metro employees had enough time to joke among themselves, but not to tell us any more than that there was a minor "service disruption." It was only a half-hour later when back on the train cruising through Arcadia did we find out it was a "car vs crossing gate" incident which had apparently held us up.

    And this points to a major complaint about Metro: They are very poor at communicating with riders, ESPECIALLY when something unexpected happens. When they do try to tell passengers what is happening, it is intelligible because of lousy speakers and a noisy environment. And the few times I have heard the message, it's little more than "go find and bus and fend for yourself."

    As for the fares, you have it mostly right. It's $1.75 per *one-way* trip including transfers to other Metro lines for up to two hours. It doesn't include the return trip, which requires another $1.75. The two hour rule applies to when you enter the gate, so you can be riding after two hours, as long as you boarded that last leg before the two hours expired. I would be very hard pressed to think of an area I couldn't get to on a single fare.

    Here's the Metro fare page:

    1. I've found their twitter feed to be pretty up to the minute with info..