Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dodger Game Express

I had the privilege of attending the Dodgers' home opening on Tuesday afternoon and utilized the free Dodgers Express bus from Union Station to just outside the field level entrance at the stadium. For someone like me that works at Union Station there could not be a more practical means of transport to the game and this service will save me a considerable amount of money ($15 per game). It being a sold out game, the Express bus was running fairly frequently and I waited a mere 10 minutes to board. My fellow riders were particularly rowdy as we had less than 30 minutes until the first pitch and the traffic on Cesar Chavez was brutal. Some suggestions I heard from the riders included: 1. creating a bus only lane before game time to allow for faster trip times
2. allowing the bus to turn right from the far most left lane into the parking lot rather than having to travel in the congested center and right lanes
3. having a bus only travel lane once we've entered the line for parking
My personal suggestion is that they make more than one drop off to allow those people with reserve and top deck level tickets to disembark closer to their seats. I would imagine that those individuals sitting at the field level will probably be driving to the game seeing that $150+ per ticket was in their budget. I didn't take the Express back to Union Station as I was lucky enough to have the bearded man pick me up and take me to dinner, but I will at some point during the season and report back on how it fairs. I suspect that it might be faster to walk down to Sunset Bl. and take a regular Metro bus (Route #2, 704) but that will also be part of my research. Finally, I want to test out if I can make it back from a 7:00pm game to Union Station in time to make the final Gold Line train (that is if the game ends in 9 innings, and doesn't last 5+ hours like Wednesday's game). All good information to know whether it is truly possible to attend a Dodger game in L.A. sans personal vehicle.

Overall, I was impressed with the Metro representatives on hand to direct people to the bus, and especially amazed at the driver for putting up with all those awesomely rowdy and crazy Dodger fans. Here's hoping that after this year, it will be seen as a reliable and necessary service that either the Dodger organization or Metro will make available every season and not just if funding is provided by the Southern CA Air Quality Management District. For more information on why and how this was funded, please read the LAist article.