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LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

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LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

I am flying into LAX and considering using the Metro to downtown. There is supposed to be a Green Line Bus (G-Bus) at LAX that runs from the terminals to Aviation Station on the Metro Green Line. However, I found a document from LAX that effective 12/1/13, proof of Metro Rail ridership via a valid TAP card will be required to board the G-Bus. Also, TAP cards must indicate recent use (within two hours) from any Metro Rail Green Line station other than Aviation Station.

I am not from LA so I don't have a TAP card, and as far as I can tell one cannot purchase a TAP card at LAX. Also, even if I had a TAP card, if I've just flown in I obviously haven't used it within 2 hours at a Green Line station.

This requirement makes no sense to me as it would seem to prevent all travelers flying into LAX (especially non-residents) from easily getting to the Green Line from LAX.

Can anyone who has actually used the LAX Green Line shuttle (G-Bus) in the last few months (since this alleged change in December 2013) to get to the Green Line after flying in to LAX confirm if this is actually the way this is run, or has common sense taken hold? Thanks.

Edited: 15 May 2014, 10:44
32 replies to this topic
Los Angeles
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1. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

I found the document online that you are speaking of, and it seems to be poorly worded, confusing, and targeted at airport employees who park at or near the green line station and take the G bus to the airport, but who don't ride the Green Line. It would make sense if they enforced this policy when people board the bus at the Green Line station, but no sense at all if they tried to enforce it on people boarding the bus at the airport terminals, so I doubt that's what's happening.

In any case, I would suggest you do not use the Green Line to get to downtown LA. Its a very round-about way to go. Not only do you have to use the G bus to reach the Green Line station, but after riding the Green Line, you end up having to switch to the Blue Line light rail train to the 7th St Metro Center in downtown, and the journey takes a lot longer than other methods, though it does save a few dollars. The best way to downtown LA from LAX is to use the FlyAway bus, which costs $8 but picks you up directly from the airport terminals and takes you directly to Union Station in downtown LA. From there you can probably use the Red Line or Purple Line subways to get to your final destination.

Rancho Santa...
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2. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

For sure, use the Flyaway Shuttle to get to Union Station.

Corona del Mar, CA
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3. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

Didn't read the document because I'll take MachThree's explanation since they know the system inside and out.

The Flyaway Bus is how Travelers get into Downtown LA, the Green Line is completely worthless, too many transfers to be practical.

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4. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

If you're flying from the Bay Area into L.A. and haven't purchased your airline tickets yet, you might consider flying southwest from OAK (or even SFO, I believe) into BUR (Bob Hope Airport in Burbank). This is a tiny 'domestic traffic only' airport. Next to the airport (within easy walking distance or you can take the free shuttle) is a train station with metrolink and amtrak trains into Union Station in downtown L.A. (about 25 minutes / $3.50 or $5 depending on which train company you use).

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5. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

Thanks to all for the replies and info! It sounds like none of you have tried the G-Bus since the change, so what's actually going on there shall remain a mystery...

I have taken the FlyAway bus before. It's OK, it's just that it can slow down in traffic as it nears downtown and I was hoping to avoid that with the trains. Also, I'm going to the LA Convention Center, and it's frustrating because the FlyAway passes right by the LACC on the way to Union Station, and then I have to backtrack via two Metro rides to get back there.

It seemed like a short bus ride (G-Bus) followed by two long rail trips (Green and Blue lines) with a transfer might be better than a long bus ride (FlyAway) followed by two short rail trips (Red and Blue lines) with a transfer. But based on the uncertain ability to use the G-Bus and the advice here, I guess I'll stick with the latter.

Thanks for the Burbank tip. I was able to find non-stop flights from Oakland (and SFO, but the SFO flights (United) were outrageously expensive). Unfortunately, it seems the last Metrolink train from Union Station to BUR is at 6:40 p.m., and I want to stay longer in LA and leave later than that. So I think I'm sticking with LAX: the FlyAway bus seems to run 24 hours.

Corona del Mar, CA
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6. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

No one in CA flies up and down the state on United. OAK to BUR is $69 on Southwest if you plan your trips well.

And when you get to Union Station you can DASH bus back to the Convention Center or cab it.

The worst part of the Green Line to Downtown is where you transfer..... think Hunter's Point and that is pretty much it.

San Francisco...
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7. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

Thanks, but SWA OAK/BUR won't work for me, for the reasons I stated before. United SFO to LAX is also $69, United has flight times that actually work with my desired schedule, and I can take a train door-to-door to SFO. Unfortunately, despite your absolute statement, I suspect I won't have the aircraft all to myself.

Thanks for the DASH bus tip but, again, service apparently ends by 7 p.m. so that won't work with my schedule. I'd consider a cab, especially in the evening. Anyone know approximate fare from LACC or the South Park area to Union Station?

Fortaleza, CE
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8. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

Wow, impressive that scott075 has surveyed everyone in California and ascertained that no one flies United up and down the state. Sounds great: empty planes. I guess they wanted to plug Southwest (which sometimes is cheapest, sometimes not, but worth checking). But that wasn't your question, transportation was. And scott and others gave the best answer if you're going downtown: Flyaway bus. To take the Green Line, you'd have to take a free shuttle bus to the station, and then get on there (you should be able to buy a fare card there). Note you cannot pay for the Flyaway bus with cash. http://www.lawa.org/welcome_LAX.aspx?id=292

Edited: 16 May 2014, 12:05
Los Angeles
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9. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

Actually, here's another alternative for you then - there is a different FlyAway bus from LAX to the Expo / La Brea Expo Line station for $7. The Expo Line runs from Culver City to the 7th St. Metro Center in downtown LA, but it stops right by the Convention Center before it gets there. The downside of this bus right now is that it only runs every 2 hours (whereas the FlyAway bus to Union Station runs every 30 minutes most of the day) but if its schedule happens to align with yours, it can work.

http://www.lawa.org/welcome_lax.aspx?id=7655

Corona del Mar, CA
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10. Re: LAX Green Line bus from LAX to Aviation Station changes?

I've been flying from the LA area to the Bay Area 2-3 times a month for 25 years now and I usually book my flights 2-3 months out to get the best fare. Looking at United's schedule for some dates, mid week, mid July I am getting a BEST fare of $824 rt. Using Kayak for the same dates, SFO to BUR I am getting best fares of about $722 rt on American and a couple other carriers. Southwest same dates, SFO to BUR is $288 rt, sames dates OAK to BUR is $138 rt.

So maybe the qualifier should have been "no one in CA who flies up and down the state and cares about reasonable cost, flies on United", but that was a lot of extra words. I see a lot of the same business fliers doing the same commute I am and some of them I've known since we were doing the commute on Air California and PSA.

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