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Transportation in LA

Toronto, Canada
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Transportation in LA

My sister and I are travelling to LA in the fall for a 5 day trip and we are planning on relying on public transit and the hop on hop off tour to get us to the various tourist sites. We are trying to keep our costs down, which is why we are not renting a car (due to rental fees + gas + parking). We will be staying in the Hollywood & Highland area, so we're pretty central to a lot of the tourist spots, however we do plan on going to Burbank for the Warner Brothers tour, and we want to go to Santa Monica and Venice Beach as well.

I have a few questions surrounding public transit in LA:

1) Is it safe for us to rely on public transit? We don't plan on being out late in the evening. We've both been all over Europe on public transit, and my sister recently went to NYC and relied on their public transit during her trip, so we're used to taking public transit while on vacation. Will it be safe for us to take public transit to the beaches listed above and to Burbank?

2) Are we able to get from the airport to Hollywood & Highland on public transit? We're arriving in LA during mid-morning and will be departing LA in the evening. Also, do you know how early we have to be at LAX to fly back to Toronto, Canada? Is it 2 hours?

3) Is it possible to get to Santa Monica and Venice Beach on public transit? We were thinking of taking the Hop On Hop Off bus to the beaches but are worried it might take too long to get there and back that we won't have any time to spend at the beach.

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: Transportation in LA

So the airport to Hollywood part... I'm doing that next Monday and it actually seems quite simple. I've seen two options:

-I read in an article about LAX today that there is a free shuttle from all terminals in LAX to the Green Line light rail station. It said from there, change downtown at 7th St/Metro Center to the Red line and go West to Hollywood/Highland.

-There is a bus called "Flyaway" that leaves the airport terminal and goes to Union Station (I think) (costs $7 and they accept credit cards) and take the Red Line West from there.

I am not 100% positive on this because I've never done this so someone correct me if I'm wrong! But this is our plan and it seems fast, much cheaper than a taxi, and relatively easy!

And I would just guess for an international flight to be there 3 hours in advance.

Check www.mta.net for the trip planner to see if you can get from Hollywood to SM but I think yes because they arent too far apart?

Santa Monica, CA
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2. Re: Transportation in LA

Our public transit is not perfect, but it is doable. You will need to use this website to plan your trips:

metro.net.

Yes, Santa Monica and Venice Beach can be reached by bus. Within a couple of years, light rail, too, and we cannot wait! For now, however, it takes a bit longer than an hour to get here. I suggest Hollywood to Santa Monica (or one of your HOHO bus days could work, too).

From Santa Monica, you can walk along the beach (either sand or paved sidewalk) to Venice Beach or you can rent bikes at the beach so you can cover more ground. It is a very nice bike ride on the bike path that, if you are ambitious, can get you as far as Redondo Beach on the other side of LAX. Another very nice ride is to see Venice by bike, then go back through Santa Monica to Will Rogers State Beach. The scenery is much different between the two places.

tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g33052-d11…

Philadelphia...
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3. Re: Transportation in LA

actually sorry i think with the free shuttle you have to transfer to the Blue to get downtown THEN to the Red line to get to Hollywood

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Transportation in LA

Kay, that's correct. It's green line to blue line to red line. I think the Flyaway bus is a much nicer option. It goes non-stop from LAX to Union Station, then it is a short hop over to Hollywood.

Los Angeles
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5. Re: Transportation in LA

The FlyAway bus to Union station and then the Red Line subway to Hollywood Highland is much easier and faster than the other option (shuttle to Green Line, then Blue Line, then Red Line) though costs a few dollars more.

You should be fine on public transit in LA if you've used it in other cities.

The hop-on/Hop-Off bus goes to the pier in Santa Monica. However, you have to use two of the tour's main bus loops to get from Hollywood to Santa Monica. The loops are two hours round trip each (assuming you never exit the bus) so that's a four hour journey round trip.

By public transit, from Hollywood / Highland, take Metro Bus 217 or 780 west towards Washington / Fairfax - exit at Fairfax Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd. and from there take Metro bus 704 west on Santa Monica Blvd. towards Santa Monica. Exit at 4th St. and Broadway Ave. and walk to the pier / beach from there.

Once you are on the beach in Santa Monica, you can walk (or rent bikes and use the bike path along the beach) and head south to Venice - a 30-45 minute walk and shorter on bike.

To Warner Bros,. from Hollywood / Highland, you can take Metro Bus 222 north and exit at Riverside Drive and Hollywood Way.

Generally its suggested to arrive at LAX 3 hours before an international flight.

West Hollywood...
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6. Re: Transportation in LA

If you're using a computer (rather than a 'smart phone' or tablet) to access tripadvisor, you'll see a TOP QUESTIONS box at the right side of this page. There, you'll see a number of essential topic areas:

a. For airport transfers, click on "Transferring between plane, train, hotel or ship"

b. For step-by-step instructions on how to look up public transit routes (by simply entering your starting and ending points, and the time of day and day of the week traveled), click on "Public transit Info"

If you don't have a computer, here's a shortcut to the same content (link and SCROLL DOWN):

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g32655-i61-k506308…

The HoHo is a great way to immerse yourself in the sites of L.A.; however, as Mach alluded to, it's not a substitute for public transit (and it's a lot more expensive than public transit). So, if you plan to use the HoHo because you want to listen to the commentary as you ride around the routes, that's great. However, if your primary goal is to use it to 'get around town', I'd skip the tour and rent a car Here's why:

a. Many popular attractions are within walking distance or a short public transit ride from Hollywood, so the only piece missing would be transfer to the 'far away' places like Santa Monica / Venice. Driving will take 40 to 60 minutes (depending on when you drive); the HoHo will take 2 hours (give or take). The HoHo will cost $44 a piece (so $88, if there are 2 of you). A 1-day car rental will cost you less (if you include fuel and parking, it comes out about the same) and you'll have the flexibility to come and go as you please. Remember the HoHo stops running around 6 pm in the Fall. After that, you'd need to take public transit to return to the hotel. With a car, you could stay out as late as you pleased.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 20:01
california
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7. Re: Transportation in LA

Better to do the Flyaway bus or use a Shared Van Shuttle at the moment.

Probably you aren't aware of what has been happening over the last few nights with youths attacking some locations in Hollywood (including the W hotel). Might be good to keep an eye on the LA Times and avoid the Blue Line in particular.

Edited: 17 July 2013, 21:19
Philadelphia...
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8. Re: Transportation in LA

WAIT, WHAT?? I'm staying at the W on Monday!! Crap!

california
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9. Re: Transportation in LA

Hopefully security has been increased so that no more problems. It is related to Trayvon Martin and some knuckleheads taking advantage.

latimes.com/local/…1026889.story

latimes.com/local/…2758418.story

Edited: 17 July 2013, 23:17
Toronto, Canada
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10. Re: Transportation in LA

Thank you for all your replies! They're a great help! It's good to hear that public transit will take us where we want to go in LA. The Flyaway Bus sounds like the best option for travel to and from the airport, even though it's a bit more $. The Metro website is great resource - thanks for tip!

It sounds like it's best to take public transit to Santa Monica, and stick to the Hop On Hop Off for Hollywood and Beverly Hills (we want to hear the commentary for those areas). ddffpp - I've heard that Venice Beach isn't all that safe in the evenings, is that the same for Santa Monica? Do you recommend that we leave the beach in the late afternoon to get back to Hollywood - or will we be okay to stay and take public transit back to Hollywood in the early evening?

We're just starting to plan the details of the trip, so I really appreciate all your suggestions! And I will definitely look around Trip Advisor for more advice and ideas.

And yes, I heard about the youth attacks in Hollywood. I'm guessing they've increased the amount of security there to avoid similar incidents. But we'll definitely exercise caution just in case. Kay Y, I'm sure you'll be okay. Have a great trip! And please feel free to offer any tips you may have when you get back!