Public Transportation Etiquette For Citizens Of Los Angeles


New York City’s cadre of social critics, gadflies and roustabouts take a great deal of pride in lambasting Los Angeles for being a municipality that rewards the dullard. The Woody Allens and Fran Lebowitzes of the world relish any opportunity to cast aspersions on the good people of the City of Angels. According to the stereotypical tony East Coaster, Los Angeles is a haven for twits, egotists, scam artists and Kardashians.

It’s high time that those of you out there cease and desist with the insults. Los Angeles is a wonderful place, teeming with culture, vibrant history and Kardashians. As a matter of fact, Los Angeles is unquestionably the Los Angeles capital of the world. I implore Angelinos to take more pride in their home and to refute the scurrilous claims emanating from the east.

In order for our fair city to claim its rightful place in the American firmament, we have to start acting like New York’s equal. I suggest the first place we start is our public transportation. We have a robust transit network, with only a few blind spots that aren’t even that discouraging. If you actually want to go to Westwood for anything other than a UCLA sweatshirt or a Jerry’s Deli, you should probably just move back to wherever you came from. You are the problem, not the solution. Madison, Wisconsin misses you, and there are plenty of Targets and Jamba Juices for you there too.

Public transit is the backbone of any world-class city, so supporting ours is paramount to the cultural war effort. If one is to ride public transportation, one must take every step possible to follow the unwritten rules of the system. New Yorkers should be able to come here and feel like we know what we’re doing on the rails. As such, allow me to offer my advice for the Angelino on how to navigate our subways, buses and light rail without embarrassing themselves in front of a Manhattan day trader on vacation desperate to find more sunscreen and a star map.

If you want to stand on the escalator, stand to the right. If you want to walk, walk to the left.

To the New Yorker well versed in subway culture, this seems like common sense. There are people in NYC that are, like, in a hurry and stuff. The escalator can facilitate a faster trip up or down the station. In Los Angeles, it sometimes seems as though everyone is just lollygagging to and fro with no concern for time. This reinforces the stereotype that LA is a city for the lackadaisical lookie-loo. In truth, it’s just that New Yorkers think that if they don’t appear to be in a hurry, their neighbors will think they are from LA. Most of them have absolutely nowhere to go and this troubles them greatly.

Angelinos are actually just deep in thought, pondering the grand questions of existence, like “will my pilot get picked up?” or “what if I can’t get reservations at Sotto tonight?” This is an introspective town.

Take a second to concern yourself with the needs of others. If you are not in a hurry, stand on the right side of the escalator so those that have no pilot or dinner reservation to ponder can move swiftly through the station. Remember, in New York, if you are in the way of a person in a rush, they will just push you down the stairs. Save that money you’d have to spend on neck surgery for a facelift. Trust me, you’re going to need it sooner rather than later.

Do not make unnecessary conversation.

This is transportation, not speed dating. You are not going to meet cute on the train. You are not going to change someone’s mind about politics while desperately clutching a strap. No one wants to help you practice for your audition. Bring a book, magazine, tablet device or headphones. Do not bring your best cocktail party anecdote.

Get a monthly or weekly pass if you ride the bus.

No one has the energy to see you fumbling around your pockets for exact change as they queue up to board a bus. Be prepared. This is not just the Boy Scout motto. This is also what I am going to scream at you while you spill dimes all over the ground. If you have a monthly or weekly, or even a day pass, we can all board the bus without incident.

Learn to ignore crazy people.

Angelinos tend to blanche at the sight of a person who lacks all of their mental faculties, unless they have a three-picture deal with Paramount. Lunatics are an important piece of the fabric of any major city. They keep squares, dweebs and Bill O’Reilly fans out of your home. Find a way to ignore them, like every urbanite does. The aforementioned book, magazine, tablet or headphones will do quite well for you in this instance.

By the way, if you start making unnecessary conversation on the train, I am going to assume you are a crazy person and I will ignore you.

If you follow these simple rules, you will able to elevate Los Angeles in the eyes of the pretentious New Yorker. Also, you’ll have the added benefit of never running into a Kardashian on the subway.

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