We were getting by on a shoestring in the City of Angels and took the Metro underground as well as city buses to get where we needed to go. “Don’t take the bus, it’s dangerous,” warned many LA-based friends. “No one takes the bus!” they exclaimed.
“Then why are the buses so damn crowded?,“ I challenged my ignorant friends to let me inform them about LA public transport.
Turns out “no one” is the working class of Los Angeles, many people of color, but also white servants to the middle class and upward. NO ONE are those Angelenos who cannot afford to own a car, but still need to get to werk.
For example, I got on a bus heading downtown, where we were staying, at a bus stop near the UCLA Medical Center. There was a line of workers from the hospital: not students, certainly not doctors and presumably not nurses, either, but folks in uniforms that, to me at least, seem to indicate they were part of the serving class.
“No one”, it appears, are people of color and working class whites. To our liberal friends and acquaintances, mostly white and middle class, who warned us to avoid — and fear — the Los Angeles public transportation system, these “no ones” who ride the buses are dangerous nobodies.