LA Metro Bus Passes Are Killing Me

My son takes the LA Metro bus to high school every day. This works pretty well most of the time. There's an occasional late bus. But usually it's not too bad. The only part of the system that is really broken is purchasing the bus passes. This part is unbelievably difficult.

High school students can get a discount card and then purchase a monthly sticker to place on the pass. This is a pretty good system and decent deal if you are riding the bus almost everyday. So far so good. Once a year we have to drive over the nearest Metro outlet (which isn't all that close) and get a new student card. Not super convenient, but not too bad. The monthly sticker part is a major pain.

The local Ralphs is supposed to have monthly stickers. They don't start selling them for the next month until the 28th of the current month. If you don't get your sticker on the 28th or 29th they are sold out. It's crazy. Your only option then is to drive over the Metro outlet and get one there.

You would think Ralphs would purchase more stickers. I'm no businessman, but this seems like common sense. If you sell out every month, you could sell more. If you sell more, you'll make more money. Doesn't this seem like a good deal? But no, every month they are just perfectly happy to sell out of stickers instead of selling more.

The year before my kid started high school, you could purchase stickers online. What a great idea! But LA Metro removed this option, "for your convenience." I don't think they were thinking about my convenience when they removed that option. They were thinking about their own convenience. So now my only option is to drive over to the nearest Metro outlet. You would think a city the size of LA would have a pretty good network of Metro outlets. But no, that would make it far too easy for people to ride the bus. So all of LA has to go to one of four locations. Crazy.

So this month, Ralphs was predictably sold out of stickers and I drove over to the Metro outlet -- only to find out that they are closed on Mondays!!!! I went back on Tuesday to find a huge line that took half an hour to wait through. Argh! Why is it the simplest things are the most difficult?

In the unlikely event that someone from Ralphs is reading this, BUY MORE STICKERS TO SELL! If someone from LA Metro is reading this, BRING BACK PURCHASING THE STICKERS ONLINE.


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