Los Angeles means different things to different people. It is the center of movie production, but also known for shopping meccas in such places as Beverly Hills and the San Fernando Valley. Meanwhile surfers and beach lovers flock to experience the Pacific Ocean.
What all visitors to the city have in common is the need to get around. In such a large city, there can be no one method for moving people from place to place. Instead, the city has a variety of transportation options that leave room for individuals and their preferences.
Los Angeles is served by five airports, with Los Angeles Airport or LAX being the largest. While it is one of the world’s busiest international airports, it currently lacks a direct rail link. This is in the works, however in the meantime airport passengers can avail themselves of other modes of transportation. To learn more, visit Lawa.org/welcomeLAX.aspx.
One of the most convenient methods to travel to/from LAX is with Flyaway Buses. These buses leave every LAX terminal on schedule seven days a week, to seven different locations in Los Angeles County. Tickets are under $10 and sold on board. Passengers then transfer to private vehicles or taxi cabs closer to their destination. For more information, visit Lawa.org/FlyAway/default.aspx.
Taxis, Shared Vans and Private Car Services
There are a limited number of vehicle services that are allowed to leave and pick up passengers at LAX. Friends or family members driving to the airport are no longer allowed to stop at the terminals. Vehicles must be parked at short term parking lots and drivers are asked to wait in specified areas.
Commercial vehicles like buses, taxis and car services are all given their own lanes at terminal level. Recently, private car services like Uber and Lyft were given official permission to operate at LAX. Ride-sharing companies like SuperShuttle and Prime Time Shuttle additionally travel all over Los Angeles and Orange County. Passengers at the Arrival Level should look up to see the color coded signs for each lane and waiting area.
Drivers can rent vehicles both at LAX and off-site. Renting a car gives one the ability to go where they want to go and travel on an individualized schedule. Newcomers to the city need to realize that both freeways and city streets are heavily congested on a daily basis. Gasoline and the cost of car insurance and parking are also more expensive than in other comparable cities.
The transit system in Los Angeles is known as LA Metro. It encompasses buses, trains and commuter express vehicles. For a city known for automobile traffic, its public transit system is now highly-efficient and used by residents from a diverse range of regions. To see schedules and plan routes go to Metro.net or download the Metro Nexttrip app.
Travel is paid for by use of a “TAP” card, available online at Taptogo.net, subway stations, buses and many supermarkets. Fares can be purchased for an unlimited month, week or day. Riders may also load money for individual trips. $1.75 is all it takes for travel in a continuous route for up to two hours.
Walking and Biking
The song “Nobody Walks in LA” couldn’t be more false. The streets of LA are filled with pedestrians and bicycles share roadways with automobiles. Visitors should just be aware that city streets are typically long, with distances sometimes quite far away. Always map out your route before leaving on an outing.
How you do get around LA when you’re in town? Let us know so we can share it and try it out for ourselves.