Is It Possible to Love Public Transit in Los Angeles?

The answer is "Yes!" for Kenny Uong who is passionate about L.A.'s buses and trains, knows how to get around without a car, and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

June 14, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau @clementkhlau

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority

Vesperstock / Shutterstock

Los Angeles is well-known for its car culture, traffic, and freeways, but it actually does have a public transit system. And there are probably very few people who know and use this network like Kenny Uong, who was recently featured in this article by Nita Lelyveld of the Los Angeles Times. At age 21, Uong just completed his junior year at Cal State Northridge, where he studies urban planningUong has thousands of followers on Twitter, where he passionately shares his love for buses, trains, all things public transit, and his adventures across Los Angeles County.   

Uong's story is inspiring. Some of the highlights he shared with Lelyveld include:

  • He first fell in love with public transportation when he was about 3 years old. His parents did not have a car, and they still do not. The family came to California from Vietnam in 1998, before he was born.
  • When Uong was around 5, he started collecting Los Angeles bus and train schedules and Metro brochures. He soon started mapping out the routes and schedules of the buses his family would take, serving like a transit app.
  • By the time he was 10, he had memorized the entire Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority public transit system.
  • For his 10th-grade English class, he wrote a poem called “Metro is the way to go.”
  • For a ceramics class project in 11th grade, he shaped the word "Mobility" in clay, surrounded by images of a traffic signal, a bicycle, and a bus.
  • Growing up, his dream was to be a Metro planner. Now as a young man, he is more interested in joining a nonprofit or advocacy group to promote transit justice.

Please read the source article to learn more about Uong and his love for public transit.

Saturday, June 5, 2021 in Los Angeles Times

Street-level view of sharrow symbol on asphalt with parked car in background

How Sharrows Became Cycling’s Most Hated Symbol

Originally designed as a low-cost way to encourage safer road sharing between bikes and cars, the sharrow has become a symbol of the lack of commitment to protected bike infrastructure in many cities.

August 2, 2022 - Denverite

A image of the World's Columbian Exposition overlayed with a picture of Keanu Reeves in the rain from the movie Point Break.

Keanu Reeves Set to Play Daniel Burnham in ‘The Devil in the White City’

Planning is going to get a new level of star power as a limited series adaptation of The Devil in the White City gets ready for television screens in 2024.

August 8, 2022 - Reel Chicago

View from middle of street in downtown Telluride, Colorado with mountains in background

Marrying Urban Identity and Economic Prosperity

A new book posits that truly successful communities have a strong economic base and a firmly rooted sense of place.

August 5, 2022 - Governing

Women Public Space

Urban Design Through a Gender Lens

Building cities to be safe and accessible for women and LGBTQIA+ people has benefits for all users of public space.

29 minutes ago - Architecture Daily

Rendering of downtown Milwaukee sports stadium with soccer field

Sports Stadiums Bring Few Economic Benefits

While their developers often tout jobs and local economic development as benefits of major stadium projects, research shows these venues often make little impact on local economies.

1 hour ago - Urban Milwaukee

Dallas Freeways

A How-To for ‘Freeway Fighters’

Ten recommendations for effective freeway removal advocacy.

2 hours ago - Strong Towns

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Hand Drawing Master Plans

This course aims to provide an introduction into Urban Design Sketching focused on how to hand draw master plans using a mix of colored markers.