A Nuyorican in LA: The Gaping Divide Between the Have-Cars and the Have-Nots

Everything here is not Los Angeles Metro. For example, for my teen to get to high school she takes a DASH bus, run by a completely different entity, the Los Angeles Department of Transportation, with its own separate fare. There is also no student free ride here. My teen can get a half-fare TAP card but, just like loading up your TAP card, it isn't very accessible. Buses here take dollar bills, unlike in NYC, so the key to riding here is to always have lots of singles and change.

The first time I took the LA Metro train, I couldn't understand the lack of turnstiles. Here train stations are run on an honor system. I stood with my daughters for 20 minutes watching people tap their cards and walking through. Of course getting stopped by an LA Sheriff's Deputy and not having paid means a steep fine. I think I'd rather have my turnstiles. I also think Los Angeles needs to do a better job at making sure those who need the bus system the most can access it.

People like me.

Follow Maegan "Mamita Mala" Ortiz as she chronicles her adventures as a Nuyorican in LA, including her quest for the best schools for her daughters, and the story of how the self-proclaimed original "Twitterputa" fell in love and ended up here in the first place.

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