Ed Begley Jr continues tradition of taking public transportation to Oscars

‘I’ve been riding the metro since before it was the metro,’ actor says

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 13 March 2024 19:54 GMT
Related: The best moments of the Oscars 2024

Ed Begley Jr has continued his push towards being environmentally friendly by using public transportation to get to the Oscars.

The 74-year-old actor’s daughter – Hayden Begley – shared a video to Instagram on Sunday of her father travelling to the star-studded event. While attending the Oscars in 2023 with Hayden, Ed also took the subway and bus to the event for a third time.

In her recent video, Hayden asked her mother – Rachelle Carson – how she was getting to the Oscars, before the actor said she was driving there. When Hayden noted that she’d be taking the subway to the event, her mother responded: “Oh god, whatever.”

Hayden went on to film her and Ed – who was wearing a classic black suit and blue tie – as they travelled to the 96th annual Academy Awards. She specified that while she wasn’t her father’s “plus one to the Oscars this year, he still wanted to take Metro to the awards”.

While he was in a seat on the bus, Ed then described how he’s been an avid fan of Los Angeles’ public transportation system.

“I’ve been riding the metro since before it was the metro. It was the RTD,” he said, referring to when LA’s transportation system used to be called the Rapid Transit District (RTD). “I used to take the 93 line downtown into Hollywood.”

After noting that he still rides the bus and “loves” doing so, he then showcased his Academy pin – “for being a governor” for the academy for 15 years – on his jacket. His outfit also included a Metro pin, in honour of how he’s been using the public transportation system since 1962.

Hayden went on to describe her previous experiences taking the bus and subway to the Oscars, before expressing that she understood why her mother didn’t want to do it.

“As someone who has thrice taken the bus to the subway and then walked about half a mile in seven-inch heels to the Oscars, I do understand my mother’s hesitation,” she said. “Thank god there are people like my dad who don’t mind wearing running shoes on a red carpet.”

She documented her father’s arrival at the event, as he said: “A little subway, a little walking, and here we are.” Hayden’s video ended with her waving at her father and telling him she “loves” him, before he walked into the Oscars.

Hayden also quipped about taking public transportation to the Oscars, even though she didn’t attend the event. “We did it again folks…kinda,” she wrote in the caption.

In the comments, many fans have praised the St Elsewhere star for his environmentally friendly decision to take the subway to so many star-studded events.

“Thank you for posting this. Your father’s commitment to a clean environment is so admirable. Also when you said ‘I love you’ to your father, as he waved bye, it brought a tear to my eye. You are a wonderful family,” comedian John Di Domenico wrote.

“Why is the Department of Transportation not building an entire campaign about how public transit is for everyone featuring your dad?!” another added.

“I really respect your dad’s commitment to the environment. He’s a real one,” a third wrote.

Last year, Hayden and Ed went viral for taking public transportation to the Oscars, as the actor has been vocal about relying on Los Angeles’ Metro system. After the pair proudly flashed their metro cards during last year’s red carpet, they spoke toThe Independent about their love of public transport. While Ed encouraged more Los Angeles residents to use the metro, the actor, who spent part of his childhood on the East Coast, also drew a contrast between the subway in LA and New York.

“David Letterman would ride the subway to do Late Night,” he told The Independent in March 2023. “People from Madison Avenue and people who are doing difficult jobs for very little money ride the subway and the buses in New York. It’s very different in LA because we’re spread out. The transit system here goes from Pomona to Trancas; from Santa Clarita to Long Beach. It’s a big area they’re serving, and doing the best they can.”

He added: “My goal, and I think Hayden’s too, is to try to get attention to it in a positive way, so that more people try public transportation.”

Over the years, Ed has been described as an “uber-environmentalist”, having been an early pioneer of electric vehicles, recycling, solar panels and veganism since the seventies. He also planted a drought-tolerant garden of native California plants, buried a 10,000-gallon rainwater tank in the backyard and irrigated fruit trees with a greywater system before it became fashionable

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