Shelbyrae Black was making the long commute from her home in Downtown Long Beach to her office in Westwood. But when she discovered that LBT launched a pilot service from Long Beach to the Westwood area, called the UCLA/Westwood Commuter Express shuttle service in 2019, she came right on board. One of her New Year’s resolutions was to be more environmentally conscious, so taking public transit instead of driving her own car was a perfect change to help meet that goal.
She describes the service as being a blessing. “I know this sounds dramatic, but it was life changing. I would no longer arrive to work grumpy or with anxiety due to traffic. I was noticeably more energized and happier. Sitting on the 405 and driving for 1 hour and 45 minutes in the morning and afternoon was mentally exhausting,” said Shelbyrae.
On top of being less stressed and more energized, she was able to maximize her time on the bus by enjoying books, podcasts and shows. “It took out the stressful element of finding parking at work or having to pay for a garage, or even having to stop to pump gas.”
Shelbyrae even convinced two of her coworkers to start utilizing LBT’s service. Initially they were hesitant, but after one trip they were hooked.
In addition to riding LBT to get to work, she also started using public transportation to get to other major destinations, such as the airport.
Growing up, one of Shelbyrae’s favorite movies was “Speed” and she recalls that the people who rode the bus knew each other and the Operator on a first-name basis. She was happily surprised to learn that’s how it is in real life too!
“It was always the same people and driver and you get to know everyone, it’s like a community.”
The UCLA/Westwood Commuter Express, like other LBT services, is operating under a modified schedule due to COVID-19. Please visit ridelbt.com to see the UCLA/Westwood schedule along with best practices to ride safely with LBT.