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 @clemusc

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 planning. Uong 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.

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