In a county designed for motorists, Los Angeles Times columnist Steve Lopez delves into the life of Carmen Mendoza, a Bell Gardens resident who relies entirely on public transportation. Her 15-hour days consist of a total of eight buses. She takes two of her children, Andy, 14, and Nicole, 11, to two different schools and also goes to work. After school, Andy attends soccer practice and Nicole takes dance lessons. Mendoza chose schools outside of where she lives because she wants her children to have a better education and more opportunities. She and her husband did not complete school in Mexico and she wants it to be different for her kids. While commuting on buses for such long distances has its disadvantages, Mendoza highlights how it allows her to be together with her children. Furthermore, if her kids went to schools in their neighborhood, she said, they would have too much idle time.
Not to be forgotten in the transportation mix are tourist-oriented companies that not only depend on the availability of transportation to and from attractions and hotels but also on the prosperity of ambulant tourism in the form of tour buses. However, a new Los Angeles city ordinance would threaten the livelihoods of those selling tour bus tickets in Hollywood. The new ordinance calls for tour operators to abstain from selling tickets on public rights-of-way. Tour operators who normally promote their services on public sidewalks opposed the measure since that would force them to lease retail space even as their revenues continue to narrow. In related news, the prospect of another future federal government shutdown, however remote, threatens to endanger the growth of business travel, according to a trade group.