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L.A. Metro Buses and Trains

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Metro Rapid Bus in Santa Monica. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Metro Rapid Bus in Santa Monica

Metro Routes and Schedules

You can use the Trip Planner on Metro's website to find routes and schedules. You can also use the Trip Planner in conjunction with your search for accommodations, to find out if a hotel has convenient access to a Metro bus or train that goes directly to the attractions you want to visit. Easy access to a Red Line train station is especially important for tourists, since the train will take you to/from Hollywood, Universal Studios and downtown Los Angeles. The Metro Trip Planner includes Metro buses and trains as well as DASH, Metrolink, Santa Monica Blue Bus, Culver City and other local municipal bus lines.

How to Use L.A. Metro's Trip Planner

Metro's Trip Planner is a valuable tool that lets you plan your public transportation routes in advance, before you arrive in Los Angeles.

Metro Trip Planner. [Photo Credit: Metro.net Website Screenshot] Metro Trip Planner
  • Visit the Metro website home page (metro.net) and find the Trip Planner on the right side.
  • Enter your starting and ending points, for example:
    • FROM: LAX
    • TO: Hollywood and Highland
    • -or-
    • FROM: 6801 Hollywood Blvd
    • TO: Universal Studios
  • Set the "Leave At" time and then click "Plan My Trip"
  • The Trip Planner will confirm that it understands your entries. If it's correct, click the "Continue" button.
  • The Trip Planner will then show you various possible routes to your destination. Click on a radio button to select the route and view the schedule.

Metro Trip Planner Tips

  • You can find the Metro Trip Planner at Metro.net
  • If there are no results, you might need to click the "BACK" link and set a longer maximum walking distance.
  • You can use street addresses or words to describe your origin and/or destination. For example, "6801 Hollywood Blvd" or "Hollywood and Highland"
  • Metro offers free guided tours on Red, Purple and Expo Line Trains! Click the link for details or visit metro.net/tours
  • Free Guided Tours on Metro Red, Purple and Expo Line Trains - Daily tours are available. This service is offered by Metro and tours are free, although riders must provide their own TAP card and fare. Spaces are limited. Visit the link for details, or to reserve a spot on a tour.

L.A. Metro Rapid Line 460 - Disneyland Express. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Metro Rapid Line 460 - Disneyland Express

Metro Trip Planner Destinations

  • For the Convention Center in downtown L.A., use "LA Convention Center" in the Metro Trip Planner.
  • Santa Monica Beach: NEW! Take the Metro Rail Expo Line train from downtown L.A. to destinations in Santa Monica. (Example Trip Planner destinations are: "Santa Monica Beach," "Santa Monica Pier," and "Santa Monica Promenade"). The Expo Line has a terminus at 7th Street Metro Station in downtown L.A. - this station is easy to reach from Hollywood using the Red Line train).
  • Hollywood Boulevard: Take the Red line train to Hollywood and Highland station (use "Hollywood/Highland" in the Metro Trip Planner), or Hollywood and Vine station ("Hollywood/Vine St").
  • Universal Studios: At the Red Line Universal Station, go up to the street level and cross Lankershim Blvd to the free shuttle that takes you up the hill to CityWalk and Universal Studios. (Use "Universal Studios" or "Universal Station" in the Trip Planner)
  • Disneyland: The Disneyland Express - Metro Express Line 460 - travels from downtown L.A. to Disneyland and back. For routes and schedule, type "Disneyland" the To field of the Trip Planner.
Metro Local Bus at Chinese Theater in Hollywood. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Metro Local Bus at Chinese Theater in Hollywood

Metro Vehicles and Other Agencies

Metro operates buses and trains throughout various areas of Los Angeles:

  •  Trains and Light Rail Cars  - Metro operates underground subway trains, as well as light rail cars that run at the street level. Metro trains mostly service the L.A. metropolitan basin.
  •  Red Buses  - Metro Rapid buses take less time to reach the destination, but they service less bus stops, meaning you might have to walk farther to reach your intended destination.
  •  Orange Buses  - Metro Local buses take longer to reach the destination, but they service more bus stops, allowing you to get closer to your intended destination.
  •  Silver Buses  - Metro Silver Line buses service a route that connects El Monte in East L.A. to Gardena in the South Bay. This bus line is more of a commuter route that passes through tourist destinations in Downtown L.A. and Exposition Park. However most other bus lines cost less and are more flexible for tourists.
  •  More Silver Buses  - Metro Orange Line buses service routes that connects points in the San Fernando Valley to the Metro Red Line station in North Hollywood. This bus line is a commuter route and tourists might never see it.
Other Agencies (not Metro) - the L.A. Bus Services page has links to these, and more bus agencies:
  •  Green Buses  - Culver City bus lines service destinations to and from Culver City.
  •  Blue Buses  - Santa Monica bus lines service destinations to and from Santa Monica.
  •  White/Blue Buses  - DASH bus lines (by L.A. DOT) connect popular destinations within Los Angeles. Rather than travel on a single street like most bus lines, these buses make circuits of a local area.
  •  Light Blue Buses  - FlyAway bus lines connect popular destinations with LAX airport. For one or two travelers, this is an economical solution (compared to taxi) to get from LAX to Hollywood Boulevard, Santa Monica or downtown L.A.

Ticket Vending Machine at a Metro Train Station. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Ticket Vending Machine at a Metro Train Station

How to Pay Bus or Train Fare

  • Buses - you can pay cash, or scan a TAP card at the fare box. Try to have the exact fare handy, because bus drivers do not give change if you overpay.
  • Trains - scan a TAP card at the gate. You can buy a single use pass at vending machines outside of the gate and scan it in place of a TAP card. *NOTE* Some of the light rail train platforms do not have vending machines.
  • Click here for more info about Metro Fares at Metro's website.

How to Buy a TAP Card

  • Visit taptogo.net to locate a Metro Customer Center that sells TAP cards, or buy one online and the card will be sent to you in the mail.
  • Trains - At vending machines outside of gates at Metro Rail stations. *NOTE* Some of the light rail train platforms do not have vending machines.
  • Buses - You can buy a TAP card that includes a Metro Day Pass.
  • Click here for more info about Metro TAP Cards at Metro's website.

Bicycle Lockers at  Metro Civic Center Train Station. [Photo Credit: LAtourist.com] Bicycle Lockers at Metro Civic Center Train Station

Bicycles on Metro Buses and Trains

  • Taking a Bicycle - There is room to store your bicycle, or stand with it, on Metro buses and trains. The procedure varies, but only two-wheeled pedal-powered bicycles are allowed. See the Bike Metro website for rules and tips for taking bicycles on the bus or train.
  • Locking a Bicycle - Many bus and train station offer bike racks for locking and leaving your bicycle at the station while you ride.
  • Storing a Bicycle - Metro offers a limited number of bicycle storage lockers on a first-come-first-served basis. Lockers are rented six months at a time, and the locker needs to be reserved by mailing in a form.
  • Bike Metro - rules, tips and more information about taking bicycles on Metro buses and trains.

Metro Bike Share - rent a bicycle at one of dozens of stations in downtown L.A. This is a new program offered by Metro. See the website for details, rates and locations.

Metro Accessibility

  • Most train stations are accessible via elevator or ramp. The trains can be boarded without a ramp. .
  • Metro buses have ramps and can lean. Some buses offer enhanced anchors and more room to navigate.
  • Metro Riders with Disabilities - More information about Metro accessibility.

 



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