This Map Shows You How Easy It Is To Find A Metro Station You Can Park At
So, maybe you're getting tired of sitting on the freeway every day on your commute. You know there's a train, but that one time you drove to the station with every intention of riding the rails from there, the parking lot was filled when you arrived and you didn't know what to do next.
Well, lucky for you, the fine folks of Streetsblog Los Angeles have procured a map (made by Mehmet Berker) that shows you exactly how many parking spots there are at every single Metro Rail and Rapid Bus station, and whether or not you need to pay. Maybe the station you visited was full, but perhaps the next one won't be. In any case, the map offers a pretty cool look at how L.A.'s Metro system is uniquely set-up to meet the needs of Los Angeles.
Across its entire transit system, Metro has 24,121 parking spots. While many of these are in flat parking lots (e.g. the Culver City station), several hundred are also located in parking structures (e.g. the La Cienega/Jefferson station). Parking structures are notoriously expensive, and each of the spots in these buildings cost Metro roughly $24,000 each to build, according to Streetsblog.
On one hand, free parking is a godsend to commuters living in suburban areas like the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys, who commute to a location near a train station. Without parking at the stations (and without convenient car-free options to get to the station), people in these outlying areas have little incentive to take the train. On the other hand, providing free parking is, as Streetsblog points out, essentially subsidizing higher-income riders. Parking is pricey, and the money spent on building and maintaining parking could go to, for example, running more bus service where needed.
That, and parking around train stations takes up lots of valuable land which could, in theory, be devoted to something else like, for example, housing. Anyway, enjoy your Friday evening.