cars, applications, subway and buses

Why did Los Angeles become a car city?

Many will hear one instruction before your first trip to Los Angeles: rent a car, because without it you won’t be able to. The idea has a stern, but it is not the whole truth.

Los Angeles is a car city where anyone who can afford one can drive a car. There is little talk of public transport – it is even claimed that it does not even exist. The sidewalks are empty as there is no walking distance.

The emergence of the car phenomenon has been influenced by the spread of Los Angeles over a wide area. Because the city is typically built of low-rise buildings, the city has spread recklessly. The inadequate metro system made people resort to cars.

Many find Los Angeles public transportation even scary. Metro and buses sometimes show the dark sides of the city such as homelessness and mental health problems. However, at least during the day, public transport does not have to be avoided for fear.

There are a lot of locals in Los Angeles who have never used public transportation. The next time someone says it’s not possible to vacation in Los Angeles without a car, it’s worth asking if the person has ever tried it themselves.

The pros and cons of driving in Los Angeles

A rental car is the easiest way to get around Los Angeles – especially when you’re looking to see destinations over a wide area. Long journeys on public transport take too long, especially for short visits.

The easiest way to rent a car in advance is to have it ready at the airport. Make a reservation well in advance, especially during the American holidays.

Motorists should keep in mind that Los Angeles rush hours are around 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the morning and about 3 to 7 p.m. in the afternoon. This will waste your time making long transitions.

ShutterstockGetting around by car in Los Angeles
You don’t need a car to cover the trip between Santa Monica and Venice Beach.

You should be aware that driving is not always very open. In addition to traffic jams in Los Angeles, it also involves finding parking spaces. The easiest way to get a car is usually to leave it in a paid parking garage. You can get a decent amount of money to go for parking fees on a couple of weeks off.

There are also situations where it is not specifically worth renting a car. For an inexperienced or nervous driver, Los Angeles traffic can be too much. If you have very little time, choose accommodation in a central location and explore the surrounding area.

Taxis and ride applications

Traditional taxis are rarely used in Los Angeles and are not easy to find on the flight. Taxis are most likely to be found mainly at the airport, and they are hardly ordered from hotels anymore. Almost everyone has switched to using the ride services that work through the app.

The ride applications Uber and Lyft are easy helpers for tourists as well. Rides are usually always available in just a few minutes. Payment is conveniently handled through the app and you always know the final price before you leave. The driver’s route is always shown on the map of the application.

There may be big throws in ride prices. During quiet hours, prices remain low, but start to rise as soon as commuter traffic starts in the morning and evening. If the price seems to have doubled on the same route, you may want to wait a moment to lower it. Sometimes waiting as long as ten minutes can lower the price significantly.

If you wish, you can also buy a seat on a shared ride. This means that you share the same car with other people traveling in the same direction at a cheaper price. The service is called Uber Pool and Lyft Shared.

Please note that if you have not previously used the ride-on applications, you will receive your first trip for free with a promo code.

Los Angeles subway

The subway in Los Angeles cannot be compared to a comprehensive underground system in big cities like New York. The subway is not everywhere in Los Angeles – in fact, only a few well-known attractions or places of interest are within easy reach of the subway.

There are six lines in the Los Angeles subway named after the colors, except for one. The city is served by Blue Line, Red Line, Green Line, Purple Line, Gold Line and Expo Line. The subway also provides access to Pasadena, the San Fernando Valley and Long Beach.

When the destination is easily accessible by subway, it is a convenient and fast way to move from place to place. For example, try the route between Downtown and Santa Monica and Downtown and Hollywood. In Los Angeles, the subway runs on many routes across the country.

ShutterstockPublic transportation in Los Angeles
There are good subway and bus connections to Hollywood from the rest of Los Angeles. It is also a good base for those traveling without a car.

Remember the subway if you’re on your way to the Staples Center to watch basketball, hockey or a concert. The site is easily accessible by metro, so you don’t have to worry about parking fees, hanging out or sharing driver shifts.

To use the subway, you need a card called TAP Card, which you can buy from the vending machine for a dollar. You can top up the card with either individual trips or a certain amount of money. One subway ride costs $ 1.75, or about $ 1.50. Changing the line is free.

The metro network is being expanded all the time. An expansion of the Purple Line is currently underway, which will open up subway connections to Beverly Hills and the Miracle Mile area, including the LACMA Art Museum and the popular The Grove Mall.

Buses in Los Angeles

The bus will take you anywhere in Los Angeles. However, be prepared for the fact that the jungle of lines that cross the city may seem exhausting to the first-timer. LA Metro Trip Planner acts as a route guide on your phone.

There are many different types of buses in Los Angeles. Red Rapid buses have fewer stops, which means a shorter journey. The orange Local buses stop at almost every corner of the street and make the journey quietly. Blue Express buses run longer distances on highways.

The Los Angeles area is also served by a number of regional buses. Such are, for example, DASH buses, which cost only 50 cents. The Big Blue Bus serves the Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Westwood areas.

For those traveling without a car, tips and itineraries can be found at the city’s official tourist office Discover Los Angeles pages.

Cycling in Los Angeles

On the coast, you can also choose to ride a bicycle. Los Angeles ’most popular beach route runs between Santa Monica, Venice Beach and Marina del Rey. Bike rentals are easily found on the beach. Bicycles cost about $ 15-25 a day, or about $ 13-22.

A great place to rent a bike is also Manhattan Beach south of Los Angeles. The area called Beach Cities also includes the beach towns of Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach, and these three places are easy to see during the day by bike.

Also read: Where to stay in Los Angeles This will help you find the right area for you

Text: Maria Hietala
Photos: Shutterstock


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