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Orange Dream Machine

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The local papers can't get enough of The Orange Line. The Daily News ran what seems like their hundredth front page story on the new transitway today and the Times took it to the editorial page making the case for more parking at the orange line/red line transfer location. LAist rode the Orange line for the first time last week and was pleasantly surprised with how enjoyable the ride was. It felt a little like riding BART up north and gave us the opportunity to see parts of the valley we don't normally get to enjoy when we're in the car avoiding distracted cell phone drivers and aggressive red light runners along Victory Boulevard. The Route is actually pretty darn attractive. We've got some more pics after the jump but here are our tips for riding the new bus:

1. If you want to park your car, go to the woefully underused Van Nuys/Oxnard station. Unlike the easily visible park & rides at Balboa, The Red Line and Pierce College, you'll need to go on Vesper to get access to the two parking lots and then cross Van Nuys Boulevard to catch your bus. The lots were empty in the middle of the day when we rode. 2. Apparently the ride, at least for now, is mostly on the honor system. While there are cool high tech pay stations at each station, you're able to enter the bus at each doorway and there isn't any real way for the driver to track who has paid and who hasn't. We waved our ticket in the air and that seemed to be enough, although others just got on and sat down. Without turnstiles to limit access to each station, it seems you could ride for free without much problem.

3. Bring a book. It is a smooth and relaxing ride and an excellent chance to catch up on some good reads. Don't bring comic books, though. The cute Pierce College students sitting across from you will smirk and whisper snarkily about you.

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White Glove service at intersections to protect against lame people who don't pay attention to traffic signals.

Anybody know what these plants are that are planted all along the route?

We thought these were very cool but according to some No. Cal. folks they end up becoming sleepaway lockers for the homeless at night.

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Why we ride.