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Taking the Train to Work

I took the train to work in Pasadena today, from the Monrovia station to Memorial Park station. Parking is free at the Monrovia station and parking slots are nice and wide. 

It was standing room only when I got on the train about 7:35 or so and I stood all the way to Pasadena. (Metro reported later that the Irwindale parking garage was packed by 7 a.m. I believe it.) Otherwise, the ride was beautiful. At exactly 45 minutes door to door, it took about 10 to 15 minutes longer than by car, but on the other hand, no battling traffic. On the way home (I left at 5:08) it was crowded but I had no trouble finding a seat. It took 41 minutes door to door - pretty close to driving time.

My one complaint is with the Tap card ticketing system. It is far better than when I took the train from the Sierra Madre Villa station several years ago, but is still pretty poor. It appears Metro knows how poor its system is because it had an employee helping people figure out how to use it. I would have held up the line for ten minutes if I'd had to do it myself. As I walked up in the morning a woman finishing said to the Metro employee, "Pretty confusing." Indeed it is. Unlike the last time I used the system, at least this time there were some instructions, but they are unhelpfully placed AFTER you encounter the machines. You could decipher them to guess (I'm still not sure this is true) that you don't exactly buy a ticket to a destination but I think you buy for a certain amount of time... maybe just  one way. Very confusing but I'm sure you get used to it.

Anyway, I had a good time overall, but then I love trains. 

- Brad Haugaard 

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