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Old 06-18-2007, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,082 posts, read 9,133,427 times
Reputation: 2955

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Hello Everyone,

I'm looking at commuting from Downtown Ventura to Canoga Park (Topanga Exit on the 101).
I'd be leaving around 8:30-9:00AM.
I'd be coming back to Ventura around 5:30-6:00PM
The drive seems to take about 40 minutes in light traffic.
What do you guess it would take during those times I listed?
Is there a better way to go?

If only the metrolink from Oxnard had a later train!!

Thanks!
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Old 06-18-2007, 11:55 AM
 
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,475,599 times
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At the most, an hour or so. Haven't done that commute but live half way between. You just never know how it will go so give yourself the hour or more to be safe. It really bottle necks up the Camarillo grade and again in Calabasas. I have done the drive from the Valley to Ventura at the times you listed and that does take an hour with stop and go traffic. Just get your favorite tunes downloaded or listen to good talk radio and after awhile you will adjust. Good luck.
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,082 posts, read 9,133,427 times
Reputation: 2955
Thanks for the reply.

Hm... okay. That's not such good news. I hate heavy traffic and I can't deal with it every day. Maybe I should re-think my move. I'll drive it a few more times and see if I think I can stand it.

I can always take the train to lower my stress level, but the metrolink's latest train leaves so darn early, that it's kind of pointless. I want to surf in the mornings, but that's not gonna happen if I have to be at the station by 7:30. Ugh, if they'd just run one more train at 8:30! I guess I can just deal with the afternoon onshores and take the early train.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,766 posts, read 9,263,410 times
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Default Surfliner around 7:30 a.m.; VISTA around 5:30 p.m.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Hello Everyone,

I'm looking at commuting from Downtown Ventura to Canoga Park (Topanga Exit on the 101).
I'd be leaving around 8:30-9:00AM.
I'd be coming back to Ventura around 5:30-6:00PM
The drive seems to take about 40 minutes in light traffic.
What do you guess it would take during those times I listed?
Is there a better way to go?

If only the metrolink from Oxnard had a later train!!

Thanks!
Amtrak's Surfliner leaves Ventura at around 7:20 a.m., Oxnard at around 7:30. Your Metrolink ticket should be valid. Check Metrolink :: Rail 2 Rail. Maybe you could surf every other day.

Check VISTA's Conejo Connection for p.m. schedules coming back, Ventura County Transportation Commission (broken link). Two schedules leave Warner Center area for Oxnard at around 4:30 and 5:30 p.m.

Last edited by Winston Smith; 06-18-2007 at 09:22 PM.. Reason: title
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Old 06-19-2007, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,347 posts, read 76,328,716 times
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Could you head to Topanga, surf there, and take Topanga Canyon north to the valley? You'd have to shower somewhere. I'm not too sure what the northbound traffic is like on Topanga either.
Something to consider or perhaps an occasional alternative.
Also, you could surf county line, Leo, or a few other places between Mugu and Topanga. If you surfed north of Malibu canyon then you could take Malibu canyon road to Mulholland to the valley or go all the way to the 101. Plus heading north from Malibu Canyon you would avoid nasty PCH traffic towards topanga. That's what I would do. (Of course if I still had my Mugu badge I'd surf there on the base!!!)
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,082 posts, read 9,133,427 times
Reputation: 2955
Quote:
Amtrak's Surfliner leaves Ventura at around 7:20 a.m., Oxnard at around 7:30. Your Metrolink ticket should be valid. Check Metrolink :: Rail 2 Rail. Maybe you could surf every other day.
If traffic is driving me too crazy, I suppose I could take the surfliner once in a while. Metrolinktrains.com says that the surfliner can't accomodate bicycles, is that really true? I like that it stops in downtown Ventura, though. I could ride--or even walk--to the station.

I don't understand the VISTA schedule. Is the second row part of the same route? Otherwise, it looks like most of the busses don't go the whole way. Also, does anyone know if the VISTA allows bicycles? I guess I can call them if nobody here knows.

Topanga is a heck of a drive from Ventura. I don't know why I'd go there when C-street and some other 805 spots will be out my back door. The coastal drive might be less busy, but it would add more time to my commute than traffic, and it's still a drive. I'm planning to dp, shower off, maybe grab a little breakfast, then just drive in to work late and show up 9:30-10. I'm hoping that will put me on the backside of the traffic hump.

I just wish I could catch an 8:30AM Ventura - 9:30AM Chattsworth train, and then hop a 6:00PM Chattsworth - 7:00PM Ventura train back. Then I could just chill for an hour before and after work, read a book, write or play a game on a laptop. But they don't have a "slacker" train for guys like me. Just "rat race" trains that all leave in the gawdawful early and get back in the gawdawful late.

Quote:
(Of course if I still had my Mugu badge I'd surf there on the base!!!)
QFT. (Quoted For Truth)
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Old 06-19-2007, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,766 posts, read 9,263,410 times
Reputation: 1388
Default VISTA schedule deciphered; bikes OK on train and bus

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Metrolinktrains.com says that the surfliner can't accomodate bicycles, is that really true? I like that it stops in downtown Ventura, though. I could ride--or even walk--to the station.

I don't understand the VISTA schedule. Is the second row part of the same route? Otherwise, it looks like most of the busses don't go the whole way. Also, does anyone know if the VISTA allows bicycles? I guess I can call them if nobody here knows.
I take my bike on the Surfliner all the time! The double-decker "California Cars" have three bike racks in every car (except the cafe car). Don't know why Metrolink claims you can't take your bike.

The VISTA buses also accommodate bikes, either on a bike rack on front or underneath in the luggage area. The Conejo Connection schedule is a little confusing because it's combined with the schedule for another line, Highway 101. The Conejo Connection -- Oxnard/Warner Center -- is highlighted in green. The Highway 101 line goes all the way to Ventura, but terminates in Thousand Oaks. The schedule is a mess, but in the time-table portion, look for the times highlighted in green; that's the Warner Center schedule. Northbound - Ventura County Transportation Commission (http://www.goventura.org/vista/101_n.htm - broken link). Southbound - Ventura County Transportation Commission (http://www.goventura.org/vista/101_s.htm - broken link).

Last edited by Winston Smith; 06-19-2007 at 12:10 PM.. Reason: nb/sb vista links
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,082 posts, read 9,133,427 times
Reputation: 2955
Ah, I get it now. So, if you have a bike, it makes sense to get off at "stop 1", and on at "stop 11" on the Warner Center loop, so you're just on for the freeway trip, and that seems to be about an hour, by the schedule. Cool.

How far would you guess it is from the Esplande Mall to downtown Ventura?

Looks like moving to Ventura wouldn't really change my commuting time much:
- It would still take about an hour each way, except I'll be driving instead of biking like I do now. Still, the trade-off is I can surf every morning without having to get up at 3:30AM.
- If I want to take the train/bus, I have to skip dawn patrol, and the commute takes an extra 45 minutes or so, but that's 45 minutes of bike riding, and I don't have to freaking drive!

I'll have to be creative with my schedule, and I'll probably get screwed every once in a while when I miss the train or there's an accident or something, but overall this is looking more do-able. Living in the 805 would def. be a HUGE improvement in quality of life.

Even Amtrak says bikes are only allowed as checked luggage at certain stops on the surfliner. Huh. Well, if you do it all the time...

Thanks for all the advice. Next step is to try the drive/train/bike/bus a few times (on Thursday) just to make sure...

A few more questions:
Is the drive better or worse when school is out?
How crowded are the trains? Am I going to be killing people with my bike?
Is there usually at least standing room on the bus?
Anybody wanna carpool from Ventura to Warner center sometimes at the times I listed?
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Old 06-19-2007, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,766 posts, read 9,263,410 times
Reputation: 1388
Default I'll tackle what I know

Quote:
Originally Posted by sponger42 View Post
Ah, I get it now. So, if you have a bike, it makes sense to get off at "stop 1", and on at "stop 11" on the Warner Center loop, so you're just on for the freeway trip, and that seems to be about an hour, by the schedule. Cool.

How far would you guess it is from the Esplande Mall to downtown Ventura?

Looks like moving to Ventura wouldn't really change my commuting time much:
- It would still take about an hour each way, except I'll be driving instead of biking like I do now. Still, the trade-off is I can surf every morning without having to get up at 3:30AM.
- If I want to take the train/bus, I have to skip dawn patrol, and the commute takes an extra 45 minutes or so, but that's 45 minutes of bike riding, and I don't have to freaking drive!

I'll have to be creative with my schedule, and I'll probably get screwed every once in a while when I miss the train or there's an accident or something, but overall this is looking more do-able. Living in the 805 would def. be a HUGE improvement in quality of life.

Even Amtrak says bikes are only allowed as checked luggage at certain stops on the surfliner. Huh. Well, if you do it all the time...

Thanks for all the advice. Next step is to try the drive/train/bike/bus a few times (on Thursday) just to make sure...

A few more questions:
Is the drive better or worse when school is out?
How crowded are the trains? Am I going to be killing people with my bike?
Is there usually at least standing room on the bus?
Anybody wanna carpool from Ventura to Warner center sometimes at the times I listed?
May not answer all of your questions, but here's what I know:

Downtown Ventura to Esplanade, around five miles. Ride your bike south on the beach bike path, continue south on Harbor Blvd, east on Olivas Park, past the Auto Center, over the bike path by 101 on the Santa Clara River bridge, then Oxnard Bl to Esplanade. Or, look into the city bus, SCAT, route 6 Welcome Aboard the South Coast Area Transit Website!.

Driving vs. train/bus. VISTA is $2.00 one way. Amtrak/Metrolink, around $7.00 one way if you buy a 10-ride pass. At these prices, the train/bus is probably cheaper than driving (considering all of your costs, gas, maintenance, traffic tickets, etc).

Getting screwed once in a while. You have an advantage since you're using a bike to fill in the gaps. There are later-evening trains departing Chatsworth for Ox/Ven in case you leave Warner Center late. The commuting inconveniences for living in west "805" are worth it, IMO.

Bikes on Surfliner OK - trust me! Use the bike racks on lower level. No, you won't kill anyone with your bike. The worst inconvenience I ever have is people placing suitcases in the bike-rack area. Just move the suitcases or tell the conductor. People aren't supposed to place suitcases by the bike racks.

Room on bus/train. When I used the Conejo Connection VISTA bus, it was never standing room only, and I never had any problems getting my bike onboard. The buses are not like city buses, they're big, like Greyhounds. You will have a seat. The Warner Center bus is a commuter for workers; it's not affected by school kids. The Amtrak can get busy with college kids around the holidays.

Hope this helps. Good luck!

Last edited by Winston Smith; 06-19-2007 at 02:53 PM.. Reason: SCAT link
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Old 06-20-2007, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,082 posts, read 9,133,427 times
Reputation: 2955
-Downtown Ventura to Esplanade-

Any particular reason to take the roundabout way, rather than just ride straight down Main street until I get there? That seems a lot faster. I'd probably be making that ride in reverse, actually, heading downtown after getting dropped off by the vista.
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