”You will have to buy a car there, Matej”
That´s what my friends and people who already lived in LA were telling me before I came here. Of course I didn´t take it very seriously because I have lived in big cities before and since there´s a public transport or I can just walk, I thought they´re just exaggerating.
It has been more than a month since I arrived to Los Angeles and I have to admit that, in part, they were right. I am starting to realize how big the city is and how difficult it is to get from one part of the city to another. Having a car and commute is a very important part of people´s life here, I think more than anywhere in the United States.
You have to choose very carefully in which area you want to live and how far it is going to be from your work.
I was very lucky to find an apartment in Santa Monica, just 15 minutes walk from the company where I work. It makes my life much easier considering that some of my colleagues spend more than 2 hours commuting every day. I used to live in Paris which is a big city as well but the public transport works there very well so you can easily get wherever you want within 30 minutes. So moving to Los Angeles was a big change for me. The most frequently asked questions by me now are “How can I get there?” or “How long will it take to get there?”.
However, there are ways how to survive in LA without a car, you just have to be ready to spend more time to get where you want to. Upon my arrival I was quite surprised by the amount of people using other ways of transportation, so it´s just a myth that everybody´s got a car here. So many people are using bikes, “birds” ( that´s how the rentable scooters are called here 🙂 ), buses or metro.
I´m not planning to buy a car, so far it works for me walking and using public transport but I´ll see what the future brings, maybe I´ll change my mind soon 🙂