From the Archives: Baby’s First Bus Ride
This post was first published on a now-defunct site called Being Savvy San Fernando which was a daily blog where I wrote up little stories, tips, and local events for parents of pre-schoolers in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. This was approximately June, 2009 when Brady was freshly two years old.
Balboa Station on the Orange Line
Okay, he’s not actually a baby anymore, but it is his first bus ride, and that sounds better than “Toddler’s First Bus Ride.” Since he started talking, one of the 2-year-old’s favorite things to shout is “BUS!” He shouts it when he actually sees a bus, or when he sees a truck or other large vehicle, when he finds a toy car that looks similar in shape to a bus, and especially when we hear the garbage trucks come down the street on Monday mornings. I don’t know why it’s such an occasion, but the weekly works of garbage collection trucks is a fascination to my children, and they must watch the vehicles until they are down the street and gone around the corner.
On a day last week when I found myself home for the day with only the 2-year-old and hours to kill, I decided to take him on a bus ride to give him the thrill of his young life. The only bus I’ve been brave enough to take since I moved to the Valley is the Orange Line which opened in 2005. Four years later it still looks new and because the route is dedicated, it’s a quick ride with not too many stops. An easy check of the timetables on Metro.net showed me that we could catch a bus at almost any time, so I drove over to the Balboa station at my leisure, around 11:00 AM on a Thursday.
The kid quickly figured out what he loved about riding the bus. Buying the ticket!
A one way ticket on the Orange Line cost $1.50. A full day pass for the Metro system costs $5.00, and monthly passes that use a TAP Card system (patrons literally tap their cards against a sensor when entering the boarding area of the bus station) are available too. When the bus pulled up, the child lost his little mind with excitement, and instead of yelling “BUS! BUS!” he stopped talking altogether.
For most of the ride, he sat in my lap, staring wide-eyed around him, taking it all in. I managed to get him in his own seat for long enough to shoot this photo.
We rode to the end of the line, which is at the North Hollywood station, where riders can connect to the Metro Rail’s Red Line which can take you all the way to Union Station. Since he’s not into trains that much yet, I can save that for a future excursion.
North Hollywood Station
Once we got home, I attempted to turn our little adventure into a lesson about buses, complete with arts and crafts. Original drawing by me, artistic flair by the 2-year-old.