Sunday, September 13, 2015

LA: A rough Guide on Transportation

Upon Arrival

courtesy of 
1. Airport Transfer
Most traveler, if travel by plane, will most probably arrive at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), due to much lower fare, more direct flight frequency if compared to other airports.
Make your way to downtown/ Hollywood:

  • LAX FlyAway 
  • LAX City Bus  
  • Metro Rail
  • Private car hire, Taxis Scroll to the end to get FREE taxi rides
  • Car (Car rental is available at the airport)

Its helpful to know about other airports too if your visit centers around cities out of the greater LA. Other airports includes:

  • Long Beach Airport (nearer to Orange Country)
  • Burbank Airport (nearer to San Fernando Valley)
  • Orange County/John Wayne Airport
  • Ontario Airport (nearer to Onland Empire)

2. Arriving by train
courtesy of Amtrak
There are a few Amtrak route serving LA, for example, the Pacific Surliner and the Coast Starlight. I've been on the Starlight, and let me tell you it is a lovely way to travel the pacific coast!
Read more: Pacific Coast travel by Amtrak trains
If you are coming from Riverside, Lancaster and Oxnard... you'll probably be taking the Metrolink. All Amtrak trains and Metrolink regional trains stop at Union Station, served by LA MetroRail and local buses, so going anywhere is not a problem from there. In worst case scenario (like you are in a rush), you can find taxis at the west exit, although, I have to warn you that taxi rides are expensive. Car rental (Hertz and Budget Car) is available here too.

3. Traveling by bus 
If you are traveling to or from Las Vegas, Pheonix, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego etc, bus service is a good choice. If you book early, you can even grab some $1 tickets which is a great deal. (My bus ticket to Las Vegas costed $5. )
There are a few bus companies providing cheap intercity transfers.

courtesy of greyhound

  •  Greyhound. However, the terminal for Greyhound is at Skid Row district (east of downtown) which is a sketchy area, so be extra careful! (during my first visit, I called an Uber as soon as I reach the terminal. You do not want to stay there longer than you should. )
  •  Bolt Bus
  •  California Shuttle Bus
  •  Hoang Express
  •  Inter Californias 
  •  Lux Bus America
  •  MegaBus

Within the City

Public transportation or Car?

Driving in LA
(Personally never driven in LA, this part is written according to my research. Correct me if I am wrong!)
Public transportation in L.A. is sufficient if you plan to stay on the usual tourist path. If you plan to wander off the touristy destinations, renting a car is advisable, although I shudder at the thought of driving in L.A. Believe me its C.R.A.Z.Y!
Be prepared to face traffic jams at almost all time (sometimes, even on the freeway), make sure you have a GPS to avoid circling the same route again and again, and DO NOT missuse the car pool lane and freeway if you are cruising. Also, be prepared to witness some adrenaline-pumping scenes (Yup, Just like in the movies): police chases, paparazzi chasing celebrities, and you know it'll get crazier when you see a helicopter above the highway.

Metro Rail
A single-trip fare ticket is only valid on one line (yes, I was shocked too!), if you are transferring to another line, you have to pay for another one. Each ticket costs $1.75. So if you do the math, you can see that a day pass for $7 is more worth it than having to pay several time; If you are here for a week, just op for a weekly pass ($25). Unlimited Metro bus and rail lines services can be used with the pass. When I was in L.A., I used a TAP card given by my host. Although jumping on the metro without a ticket is possible (I saw some teenagers doing that due to unlocked turnwill), metro policemen patrol on the trains quick often. I was only there for 2 days and had encountered them 3 times (once on the platform). You won’t want to know about the penalty…

The buses are frequent and with 3 different colours: Local (orange), Rapid (red) & Express (blue). The local bus have the most stops at the curb while the Express bus has the fewest. So if you are in a rush, be sure to keep an eye for any Blue bus. It uses the freeway, so you can get to your destination faster. Going out of Los Angeles City to nearby cities (Santa Monica, Burbank, Orange Country) can be done by other city buses such as Big Blue Bus, Culver City Bus, OCTA (Orange County Transit Authority) and many others.

FREE Taxis

FREE TAXI RIDES! This is probably the best thing ever.
There are a few good deals from time to time.
Travel with Taxi/Private car have never been so affordable before. (Applicable to other cities in USA)

Here are the links to the best deals out there, Click on the links, and sign up to claim the free rides!

          Uber : Sign up here to claim a FREE ride up to $15.


Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my personal experience. 
 Feel free to share your experience with us by commenting below!

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