Getting Around

Unlike other major cities in the US, Los Angeles does not have a history of having a great public transportation system. But its getting better! Just in the last years the metro system (which is LA’s rapid transit rail system) was expanded to include the Westside. With so many interesting neighborhoods spread out, and with the reputation of being a car city, it can be overwhelming to plan how to get from A to Z in Los Angeles with your family. Here a few tips on how to get around:

Metro (Rail and Buses): Metro Rail has six lines serving 80 stations across LA County. The Metro Blue Line connects Long Beach, the Green Line runs between Norwalk and Redondo Beach, the Metro Red Line subway services Downtown, Hollywood and the San Fernando Valley. The Metro Purple Line runs between Union Station, Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue. The Metro Gold line runs from Pasadena to East LA. The Metro Expo Line runs between Culver City and Downtown. Metro operates about 200 bus lines across the city and offers three types of bus services: Metro Local buses (painted orange, make frequent stops along major thoroughfares throughout the city), Metro Rapid buses (painted red, stop less frequently and have special sensors that keep traffic lights green when a bus approaches), and commuter-oriented Metro Express buses (painted blue, which connect communities with Downtown LA and other business districts and usually travel via the city’s freeways). DASH buses are small, clean-fuel shuttle buses, run by the LA Department of Transportation and operate along 33 routes serving local communities, but only until about 6.30pm to 7pm with limited service on the weekends. To ride Metro trains and buses, you can buy a reusable TAP card. They are available from vending machines at Metro stations with a $1 surcharge. The cards allow you to add a preset cash value or day passes.

Cars: One of the best ways to explore Los Angeles is to go by car and take in the sights worry-free (aside from potentially enduring a few traffic jams). Besides being a means of transportation, cars are considered a way of life in Los Angeles. Some of the best views can be enjoyed on scenic drives along Pacific Coast Highway and Mulholland Drive. Fill up your tank, turn on the air conditioner (or roll down the window), and blend in with all the other thousands of Angelenos commuting through the city.

Bike: There are beautiful recreational bike paths throughout Los Angeles, including the famous bike paths along the beach and coast line. To help bicyclists explore LA, Metro has a variety of options so passengers can combine their ride with Metro Rail and bus, including CicLAvia (twice a year), which opens miles of city streets to pedestrians and bicyclists.

Flyaway Bus: The LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) FlyAway Bus service is a frequent, non-stop transportation system from LAX to locations throughout the city. Passengers are dropped off at the upper departures level of each terminal at LAX, and passengers board the busses on the lower arrivals level in front of each terminal under the green “FlyAway, Buses and Long Distance Vans” signs. Each bus is marked with its service location (Union Station, Hollywood, Van Nuys, Westwood)

Uber: A great option to be taxied around the city. Just keep in mind that Los Angeles Uber does not have the “family” option for car seats like they do in NYC. You need to bring your own car seat! Many drivers will not take small children without a carseat.



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