Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dayshot: GMBL Granted My Wish

The first time I attempted to use a Gardena Municipal bus, my plan was thwarted because I had my bicycle with me and I did not know that GMBL buses were not equipped with bike racks. I stood there on Manhattan Beach Boulevard forlornly for a few minutes (I did not have a smartphone so I couldn't look up an alternate route) and eventually found my way to wherever I was going. 

So, when I actually began to live in Gardena in August 2010 and got a job in Little Tokyo, I didn't even think to figure out how to get there by bus. I had the privilege of not thinking about it and chose to drive. I eventually moved out of my friend's spare room and signed a lease (gasp) to share an apartment with another friend. There happened to be a GMBL stop directly in front of my apartment building and, upon investigation, I found that one of the lines that stopped there could drop me off within about two blocks of my part-time job in Little Tokyo. Sure, I was disappointed that there were no bike racks on the line, but it was hard to complain when I could jump out of my apartment two minutes before the bus arrived and still make it to work on time.

Then, it happened. The buses were equipped with bike racks! I was surprised and elated when I first saw them, even though their arrival came on the heels of a service change that meant I had to walk two blocks to my stop instead of two minutes (spoiled, I know.) 

Here is a picture of Cornelius the Cerulean Centurion nestled securely in said rack one morning:
Cornelius, racked. 3/26/12
The unfortunate thing is that these racks are made mostly of plastic and feel much less sturdy than the all-metal racks on LA MetroTorrance, and LADOT buses. I suppose these plastic racks were cheaper. I had trouble putting them back up for the first few weeks, probably because they were new and thus sticky. I still have some trouble with the handles now and then. The other all-metal racks work so smoothly. Ah well. It's still a tremendous help that I can take my bike on GMBL, and I like that I can support my local bus line rather than have to use LA Metro when I need to bring my bike along. 

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