One of the major obstacles for students seeking internships and jobs in Los Angeles is the availability and accessibility of public transportation to and from the job location.
Four out of five voters in Southern California are in favor of expansion of public transportation, according to a study released by the Southern California Association of Governments this month.
Carl Martellino, executive director of the USC Career Planning and Placement Center, said increased access to public transportation would expand students’ internship and job opportunities.
“The more transportation improves, the more opportunities for internships in different parts of the city could open up,” Martellino said.
Expanded transportation would help alleviate the stress and time it takes students to travel to their internships, Martellino said.
“Students are pretty adaptable and find ways to get to their internship or they figure out how public transportation could work,” Martellino said. “Part of this is because we are so centrally located, but the easier we can make the access the better it is going to be.”
Catherine Burke, associate professor of public policy and a public transportation expert, said the current construction of new train lines, including the new Expo Line that will stop at USC, will benefit students seeking internships and jobs in Los Angeles.
“The new train system near campus will be very helpful for students,” Burke said. “Students will be able to take the [Expo] Line up to Union Station, and then they will have access to all the other trains giving students access.”
Burke, however, said the city needs to do more to expand Los Angeles’ public transportation system.
“Los Angeles needs much more cost effective transportation so that they can run 24/7,” Burke said. “It would give students a lot more access than they realize.”
Bridget McAnany, a sophomore majoring in business administration, said getting to her internship downtown would be difficult without public transportation.
“Because I don’t have a car on campus, if I didn’t have access to public transportation, I wouldn’t be able to have a job,” McAnany said.
Shakyra Moore, a sophomore majoring in business administration, takes the bus to her internship downtown as well. She said increasing public transportation in the city would help students with internships as well as other Angelinos.
“Los Angeles is super spread out and there’s a lot of people here,” Moore said. “Not everyone wants to drive because of traffic. Even if I did have a car, it would probably take me longer to get down there than taking the bus would.”