It may seem impossible to get around Los Angeles without a car, but one Downtown L.A. resident actually doesn’t own one and relies completely on public transportation to get around.
Nikki Aronson starts every day the same way. She walks two blocks to the bus stop, times it just perfectly and rides the DASH about 15 minutes to a stop just outside her office.
The DASH, or Downtown Area Short Hop, is a local bus service that helps riders circulate their neighborhoods.
“It’s a little unknown secret I feel like not many people know about it. A lot of times in the morning it is just me and a few other people so it’s not super-crowded,” says Aronson.
She says it's an easy commute to work, but the bus gets stuck in the same traffic as everyone else. “It’s not always the fastest option,” she says.
But it is the most fiscally responsible. Aronson says it's cheaper to ride public transportation and use ride shares than it would be owning her own car. The DASH only costs 50 cents per ride.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation wants to keep the price low to ensure that more riders can afford it.
DASH services are mostly in downtown but can also be found in 27 other neighborhoods from Hollywood to the Valley to the West Side. A new line will soon be serving the Arts District, which Aronson thinks is a great idea.
“The Arts District is such a fun place, there are so many bars and restaurants. I think expanding the DASH there is a genius idea,” she says.
Another way LADOT hopes to increases ridership is by putting electric buses into rotation.
“I think I would like to sustain this lifestyle as much as possible. But again, some areas like West Hollywood aren’t as easily accessible by public transportation,” says Aronson.
The DASH can also link riders with the Metro to better connect them with other areas of the city.
It's all part of an ongoing effort on behalf of LADOT to continue to encourage Angelenos residents to ditch their cars in favor of public transportation.