Reasons I love the Eastside- #1 The Montebello 40 Bus Line

Montebello 40 Bus Stop on 4th and Gless

Across the street from my art studio in Boyle Height there’s the nicest bus stop ever. It’s not a MTA bus stop, because nothing nice is connected to the MTA (at least in the neighborhoods that are not gentrified yet, since I’m around family here I’ll just say the neighborhoods that are black and brown, ever notice how PC in the negative way only means, “why can’t I make fun of the ethnic people, with the ‘funny’ names and ‘funny’ way of doing things,” but if you’re not PC in regards to rich middle-aged white guys you’re accused of being overly sensitive or a reverse racist…so weird, must be nice to be a middle aged rich white guy.)

The Montebello 40 is rad, not just because it has a clean bus and bus stop (I know the City of LA takes care of bus stops, but if Metro had a bit of pride, they would make a bit of an effort in making sure that property with their name looked decent.) Not just because it actually follows a schedule. Not just because I can get on the Montebello 40, buy a transfer (total $1.15) and end up paying less than I would for a one way fare on the MTA ($1.25,) but because the people on the bus are rad. And they talk to you, not the “I don’t have a place to live,” mumbling crazy talk, but normal talk.

The bus drivers remember you and not only that, they spot you. I remember once I couldn’t find an ATM and the bus driver said, “You got a pretty funky hat there, so you can get on.”

That would never happen on the MTA, keep in mind where I pick up the 40 is across the street from I guess from what I’ve heard from some was one of the most violent and largest projects in America, the Pico Gardens projects, but times have changed. I can’t even tell that it used to be a project. Now it’s a mixed income development and no one comes out of there but nice family with little kids that wave at you, but what I’m saying this isn’t a wealthy neighborhood. This is a working and middle class neighborhood so it’s not that people won’t keep things nice if they are not filthy rich it’s just most government agencies don’t make an effort to keep things up if people aren’t filthy rich and writing 5000 letters a week and that’s a damn shame.

The people in Boyle Heights have a lot of pride in their neighborhood, but they don’t do that hipster bullshit. In Boyle Heights if you’re not an asshole, they are completely cool with you. I haven’t had one, “I was here since 1990 and you don’t know blah, blah, blah…” stories, not one. I heard those kind of dumbass stories all of the time in Silver Lake, from people who moved there from Van Nuys (but lied and said they were from Encino, like that was better) five seconds ago.

I’ve had nothing but love from the people of Boyle Heights.

And it’s not just the drivers or the bus stop, it’s the other passengers when I’m on my way somewhere and I’ll see Marie, Veronica, or Shirley from the 40, they’re always happy to see me. They tell how great of a future I’m going to have. It’s like running into old friends, not old friends from high school, because my friends in high school were total bitches.

The Montebello bus line is one of the reasons I love the Eastside.

Browne Molyneux

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About Browne Molyneux

My name is Browne Molyneux. I'm a lady. I'm a radical feminist. I'm black. I'm an Angeleno. I'm an artist. I'm carFREE. I'm a freelance writer. I'm a blogger. I'm a philosopher. I'm a humanist. I'm a journalist. I formerly wrote a column on transportation, Tracks for LA City Beat. The above are all of the things I have to work on being, got questions email me. My topics of interests include but are not limited to politics, transportation, dark green issues, economics, race relations, feminism, culture, working class urban life, media, art, Los Angeles and literature.

12 thoughts on “Reasons I love the Eastside- #1 The Montebello 40 Bus Line

  1. I remember when you could take the Montebello bus into Downtown, and you could use the free transfer to get on the RTD! We would walk an extra block just for those lil’ savings, much better spent on Mario Bros. or Moon Patrol.

  2. I really enjoyed this story. I think it’s weird how people don’t realize how tight some of the communities are here. My family, despite not living in Boyle Heights for years, won’t stop talking about the old neighborhood whenever we get together for family functions.
    East Coasters get all nostalgic for Brooklyn or wherever but fail to see we have the same kinda neighborhoods here.
    Can’t wait to read more from you and the other bloggers on this site!

  3. That’s awesome. The 40 is awesome. Thanks for pointing that out, sense I don’t read blogs…lol…j/k, sort of…


  4. FYI, the City does not maintain the bus stops. Bus stops are administered by the transit agencies who contract out a company (usually an advertising company) to clean and maintain it.

  5. The city is the one that accepts the bids in regards to which advertising agency takes care of which bus stop.

    The City owns the bus stop the advertising agency just takes care of it directtly, so that they can advertise on it. The advertisers don’t own it. The City can revoke the advertisers contract.

    My saying the city meant the city where the bus stop is stationed is in charge of who takes care of the bus stop and it’s completely out of public transits hands.

    Anyways METRO should still care and have some kind of contract with the City in regards to a certain level of service that must be maintained in order to own one of these bus stops. There should be some kind of proactive approach from METRO or the City. Anyone. Someone should really give a damn you know?

    These bus stops become very cheap advertising for these companies and some kind of standard must be enforced by METRO or the City.

    Corporate entities are going to do the least possible allowed.


  6. Oh my God, I kinda got lost in the PC thing, something about middle aged white guys. I stopped reading I figured PC, realy I am too white: I stopped and thought hmm? PC? hmmm? “oh people of color!” Yah, I get that, my nephew is half black, skater Venice Beach Rad dude.
    He is the apple of my eye. Then I kept reading and you said something about a white middle aged guy. I thought “oh shit” I am white. Aint that just about a bitch.

    ANY WAY THERE GOES THE NEIGHBOR HOOD as the ol’ sayin goes I’m moving there.

    I am PC but I’m what they called me when I worked at Sylmar Juvenile Hall, (as a secretary) The pink girl, cuz I look pink. I so white I’m pink.

    So my peeps keep an eye out for the tall smiling pink blonde on the Montebello 40 going to work on 5th and Flower. Im a legal secretary living LARGE in my new Hood.

  7. I had fun as a kid in Boyle heights. Pickels were 5 cents each. yelling at the ice cream truck to stop. Going to the store the long was cuz going the short cut you would have to haul ass not to get bite by the big mean dog that was waiting for you to pass by. Good Times!! haven’t been to Boyle Heights in for ever, since i moved out at the age of 6. Last time I past by it was so different, some how i \remember it being more family friendly, now it seems more like homes are being rented out by the room, hense more single people and some are up to no good. Its seems more dirty, more run down. Like people don’t care. It just has change so much for me and for family & friends that I don’t know anyone that lives in Boyle Heights anymore. When I was growing up in Boyble Heights I had chinese, white, jews as neighbors. It was a different screen. The crime in the area was going up and thats when my parents made the choice of packing up and selling the house. I remember the house a beautiful 2 story old wood house on Winter St. big rooms even bigger back yard. Left all that behind to move to a 1 story house in a quite neighborhood called Whittier. Now that am older and look back I can say I really love the part in my life I lived in Boyle Heights. I now Live out of California but when I do go visit family, I think of taking a stroll to Boyle Heights. Maybe on my next trip to California I will.

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