AX 22 Post-Thoughts #3 – Getting Around

July 23rd, 2022 in Anime Expo 2022, Rants by

Now, with AX being at the Staples Center Arena, it is somewhat easy to get to. There is a subway line that runs close to it (provided you are near a stop. The Biltmore is.) and the shuttle buses are, for the most part, reliable and safe (but more on that later). Driving your car to the venue gets pricey, at $20 a day. But one mode of transportation that was as ubiquitous about the area as discarded Starbucks cups were eScooters.

A variety of companies have these available (there are rent-a-bikes, but those have to be returned to their station, which isn’t where you are) and they can be found everywhere, and I mean EVERYWHERE. Since the parent company can keep track of them (as they do need to be recharged), you pick it up where you find it, take it to where you need it and leave it near your spot for the next millennial to glom onto.

Yes, there are a couple of areas where they are in greater numbers: apartments and hotels. But, much like a Starbucks, they appear to be on every corner. However, I did not see that many right at the Expo.

Part of the problem is that there are a ton of people milling about. Yes, you are reminded that you are to drive in the street and not on the sidewalk, but the streets are dangerous, especially when someone is driving their van with risqué displays of a rather ‘healthy’ woman and no one is paying attention to you, so you become a Road-Ready Flat Snack. But the sidewalks are equally congested as you get closer and closer to the venue.

I did see a few folks who, apparently, brought their own transportation, but where do you park it when you get here? Fold it up like a Razor Scooter and tote it around? Lock it up somewhere, where you will remember where it is, after you stumble out of ‘Waifu Wars III’ close to midnight? Put it in a parking garage?

It’s hard enough to navigate about the Expo and what is going on without more baggage to weigh you down. One question that I had was area scope. Now, at the bus stop across from the Biltmore, one bus that showed up was for Disneyland, which was about 42 miles away.

Could I scooter to the House of Mouse? Am I limited in radius and the thing will seize up on me if I venture too far? What if I run out of juice? And if you don’t have a credit card or debit card, then you are looking at a pretty big paper weight.

I don’t even want to talk about safety on these things. I mean, there is nothing between you and the road and if you get t-boned, it’s going to leave a mark. And if you are a pre-Luddite like me, the whole thing smells of some kind of government plot to reduce the population by using machines that will wipe us out, as we don’t understand how they function. (“Which one is the brake?”)

Now, they might be such a fad novelty, that is why everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon, but being the first does not mean you’ll hang around. When I come back next time, it will be interesting to see how much is still about, both in number of companies and number of scooters.

In the meantime, the shuttle buses do run about every 20 minutes or so and if you are in that big of a hurry, perhaps you should awaken yourself earlier to get a jump on the day. Just a thought.

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