Get ready to trade in the highway for the freeway. The Phillie Phanatic for Dodger blue and pine trees for palm trees.
While the City of Angels is known for its beaches and sunny skies, another prominent feature of this sprawling city that students have to adapt to is its heavy car-centered culture. The Los Angeles Study Away program encourages students to have a car.
Kaitlyn Osborn said that she has only used her rental car and hasn’t used any form of public transportation. And Osborne isn’t alone. Fellow study away student Nike Foye said he drove out to Los Angeles specifically for that reason, “public transit [in LA] is hard to come by.”
“Not all places are accessible by public transportation here, if I were take the subway from my house … I’d have to drive to get to the subway which kind of defeats the purpose,” said Lou Pepe.
Trains carry an estimated 335,000 people a day in L.A. In Philadelphia, a city less than one third of Los Angeles’ size, SEPTA trains transport a hundred thousand more passengers. Renting a car isn’t the only way to avoid public transit: some students are taking a more modern approach to getting around their new home.
Students can take an Uber or Lyft to get around L.A., and although car sharing might not be the most convenient way to get around, some members of the program don’t see the cost of renting a car adding up. On average car sharing services would cost about 700 dollars for the semester. While renting a car could be as pricey as twenty five hundred.
While even SEPTA somehow puts the metro to shame it still has it’s perks. Because LA is so big, transportation just seems a little slower. It’s great if you want to have audio books and listen to Tolstoy and Delstoyesky because it does take a long time.