Public transport in LA?

Not looking for details, but do those of you who are familiar with LA think it would be doable to get around on public transport for a couple of days? I want to cover Grand Central Market, Universal Studios, the farmers’ market, MOCA, and The Strand. (Wonder how much they bought that last one for – London Bridge was over two million, and The Strand is a fair bit bigger.)

Thanks for any tips.

My quick answer is :roflmao:

My friend Frank worked for the LA Public Transit authority for years, answering the phones of the traveler assistance line. I’ve emailed him to ask your question; I’ll let you know what he says.

[quote=“Joesox”]Not looking for details, but do those of you who are familiar with LA think it would be doable to get around on public transport for a couple of days? I want to cover Grand Central Market, Universal Studios, the farmers’ market, MOCA, and The Strand. (Wonder how much they bought that last one for – London Bridge was over two million, and The Strand is a fair bit bigger.)

Thanks for any tips.[/quote]

You might consider some kid of organized bus tour of the most famous places. I’m sure there must be lots of them and probaby not too expensive either.

Thanks, DiaFun!

BigJohn, I’d considered a bus tour but I guess that only Universal Studios and perhaps MOCA would be on those kinds of tours.

We’re going to be renting a car anyway for other parts of the California trip, but wondering if we can get away without one in LA.

[quote=“Joesox”]Not looking for details, but do those of you who are familiar with LA think it would be doable to get around on public transport for a couple of days? I want to cover Grand Central Market, Universal Studios, the farmers’ market, MOCA, and The Strand. (Wonder how much they bought that last one for – London Bridge was over two million, and The Strand is a fair bit bigger.)

Thanks for any tips.[/quote]

Most of the places you listed are on the Red/Purple subway line. Grand Central Market is between the Pershing Square and Civic Center stations on the Red/Purple line and is pretty much equal walking distance (2 blocks) from both. The MOCA is also a few blocks from the Civic Center Station. The Red line also goes to Universal, which saves you from having to take the 101 freeway.

As far as the Original Farmers Market (3rd and Fairfax), there isn’t a dedicated subway stop near there. If you don’t want to drive, you’ll need to take the subway and then a bus. A few blocks from the Farmers Market is the Peterson Automotive Museum and the LA County Museum of Art as well.

Getting to the Strand without a car might be a problem. The beach cities (Santa Monica, Marina del Ray, Manhattan, Hermosa, Redondo) don’t have much in the way of public transportation. Depending on where you’re coming from that could be an hour or more bus ride. The LA Metro website has a trip planner that can give you a better idea of how to get around plus time tables and what not.

[quote=“Joesox”]Not looking for details, but do those of you who are familiar with LA think it would be doable to get around on public transport for a couple of days? I want to cover Grand Central Market, Universal Studios, the farmers’ market, MOCA, and The Strand. (Wonder how much they bought that last one for – London Bridge was over two million, and The Strand is a fair bit bigger.)

Thanks for any tips.[/quote]

Your reality of Los Angeles will be seriously twisted if you use public transportation. In other words, you might be scared shitless. Rent a car, join the throngs behind the wheel, and go.

Thanks for the detailed info, lbksig.

MJB, scared about what?

[quote=“Joesox”]Thanks for the detailed info, lbksig.

MJB, scared about what?[/quote]

He means they are slow, mobile insane asylums filled with dangerous out-patients, perverts, un-washed illegal immigrants, and anyone else too insane or poor to own a car.

car rentals at LAX are crazy cheap. Save yourself the hassle and go onto any internet rental site and get a car.

Rent a car… LA public transport is horrible. 3 hours from northridge to Irvine… Where a car drive would be like 50 minutes…

Thanks for the responses.

It’s not as if we need to go to that many places. Just the ones I mentioned, really. But I’ve been doing some reading and even the metro system doesn’t sound that great. Car it is, I guess.

[quote=“Joesox”]Thanks for the responses.

It’s not as if we need to go to that many places. Just the ones I mentioned, really. But I’ve been doing some reading and even the metro system doesn’t sound that great. Car it is, I guess.[/quote]
Get the car, but go to one place on the train. And then come back and feel both grateful and smug about the MRT. :bravo:

[quote=“DiaFun”][quote=“Joesox”]Thanks for the responses.

It’s not as if we need to go to that many places. Just the ones I mentioned, really. But I’ve been doing some reading and even the metro system doesn’t sound that great. Car it is, I guess.[/quote]
Get the car, but go to one place on the train. And then come back and feel both grateful and smug about the MRT. :bravo:[/quote]The REAL trains – the ones along the coast for example – sound great. But I don’t feel I need to see the LA metro if it’s as bad as the reviews on Yelp.com would suggest. I experienced my fair share of inner city grittiness in the UK and I don’t miss it.

Los Angeles Union Station is worth going to – not so much for the trains as for the building, which is often seen in movies and TV shows and which is interesting in itself.

[quote=“Joesox”]
The REAL trains – the ones along the coast for example – sound great. But I don’t feel I need to see the LA metro if it’s as bad as the reviews on Yelp.com would suggest. I experienced my fair share of inner city grittiness in the UK and I don’t miss it.[/quote]

The Amtrak line is nice (and clean) and you can see some wonderful coastal scenery. Unfortunately though for the LA Metro, the Yelp reviews are true. The Blue line is probably the worst of the lines but you’re unlikely to use it unless you’re heading down to Long Beach. It takes you through scenic Watts, Florence, Compton, etc. Not areas you want to travel through after dark.

The main problem with the lines is that the Sheriff’s Transit Service only goes through once a month and everyone can figure out when that’s going to be. They check for tickets and issue citations, but the rest of the month they aren’t anywhere to be found. Homeless people use the cars to sleep in, panhandlers aggressively approach you, people are selling flowers/candy/bic pens or the ever popular guitar player who only knows La Bamba.

When you rent a car, get a built in GPS if you don’t have one yourself. It will help with navigating LA. Someone’s brilliant idea was to be inconsistent in what streets they change to 1 way in downtown. You’ll probably be doing a fair amount of freeway driving as well, since going across town by street is a nightmare. The GPS will help with the freeway interchanges.

[quote=“Joesox”]Not looking for details, but do those of you who are familiar with LA think it would be doable to get around on public transport for a couple of days? I want to cover Grand Central Market, Universal Studios, the farmers’ market, MOCA, and The Strand. (Wonder how much they bought that last one for – London Bridge was over two million, and The Strand is a fair bit bigger.)

Thanks for any tips.[/quote]
Here’s the word (finally) from my friend who’s worked for LA Metro for 23 years.

It sounds like you’ve decided to rent a car, but if you decide to do some of it on the train instead of having a car the whole time, it’s definitely doable.

Well, we rented a car for the first week, left it in San Francisco, then flew back down to LA. It was going to be pricey to rent another car for a couple of days in LA so we did end up using public transport – the DASH bus and the Metro (red line to Hollywood). We also walked around the downtown area a bit. We weren’t scared witless or anything like that. Bus drivers were friendly. The panhandlers (?) weren’t aggressive at all. Regarding safety in general it felt somewhat safer than a northern English city.

Having a car would be more convenient, for sure, though traffic’s really bad in some areas and parking also not great. But public transport’s definitely an option, and you do get to see the city in a different way.

If you are going for the rented car then it will be beneficial for you as you will not be bounded by any bus tours for how long you need to visit a place. You can try renting from usacarsrental.com/ as it offers good services at cheaper rates. I have used them in past and was satisfied with the services they provide.