The sprawling metropolis that is Los Angeles is often hard to navigate without a car. Still, public transportation is an option, either for the full ride or for a portion of that ride. That said, going the distance is often a tough call when it comes to certain areas of the City of Angels, so be sure to call first before taking public transportation from point A to point B. With that in mind, following are five ways to get around without the need to spend money on gas in our neck of the woods.
Metro Los Angeles
1 Gateway Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Metro Los Angeles is an integrated bus and railed system that services Los Angeles County, a vast area that may require transferring (sometimes more than once) and sometimes between train and bus, depending on the route. A personalized Metro trip planner on the Metro Los Angeles site will help you negotiate this massive mass transit system and determine what line to take, where to find that line and where to exit. Know before you go that the majority of Los Angeles’ bus and rail lines begin at about 4am and continue on past midnight. That said, evening options are fewer so be aware before you set out to use Metro Los Angeles.
LAX Flyaway Union Station
The Union Station Flyaway is a big deal for commuters who simply want to get to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in the most efficient and least bothersome way possible. This handy service operates from Bus Stop 9 at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza where passengers enter on the Bignes Street side of Union Station. A bus lane lets this Flyaway get to LAX in the fastest and safest way possible and the return is just as convenient. For returning from the airport, passengers can grab the bus on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal under green “FlyAway Buses and Long Distance Vans” signs. Also, keep in mind that outbound at Union Station, stopping at the circle is prohibited so arrange to get picked up elsewhere if someone is coming to drive you to your residence from there.
LAX Flyaway San Fernando Valley
Traveling to LAX from the Valley is not a fun option for many drivers who then need to find a way to store the car or truck until after a flight or when picking up loved ones by actually going into the terminal. Enter the LAX FlyAway bus which operates from the FlyAway Bus Terminal located at 7610 Woodley Avenue in Van Nuys, a perfect alternative to taking the trip on your own. For details, consult the site above.
Flyaway LAX West Los Angeles
Driving to LAX, as previously indicated, can mean a long drive time, a lot of traffic and a frustrating outing in your own vehicle or that of a friend’s. This particular Flyaway out of West Los Angeles is a big help. Located outside of the UCLA parking structure 32 located across from Westwood Village on the north side of Kinross Avenue, one block west of Galey Avenue, travel time to LAX takes from 25 to 45 minutes, depending on traffic. One-way fare is $10.
251 S. Hill St.
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Known as the shortest railway in the world, Angels Flight in downtown Los Angeles connects 351 South Hill Street, located near the Metro Red and Purple Lines’ Pershing Square subway station at the corner of Fourth and Hill Streets, to California Plaza Watercourt at 350 South Grand Avenue. For just 50 cents, or 25 cents if you are in possession of a current Metro Pass, you can proceed to the funicular that goes up and down a steep hill between Hill and Olive Streets. The stretch is shown at 298 feet but hard to negotiate on foot. Luckily, you never have to do that since Angels Flight is open every day all year starting at 6:45 a.m. and running until 10 p.m
View Guide To Los Angeles’ Public Transportation in a full screen map
TEST Los Angeles freelance travel writer Jane Lasky, contributes to publications such as Travel + Leisure, Vogue and Esquire. Her weekly sojourning column ran in 40 newspapers for 20 years. Jane is anything but an accidental tourist. Check out her articles on Examiner.com.