Transportation Resource Guide
for the greater Los Angeles area

by staff

It’s no secret that it’s tough to figure out public transportation in the Los Angeles area. Likewise, the roads can be confusing. This is a large area to navigate. We’ve created this page to you get you to resourses that can help. It’s not complete so forgive us. We just wanted to get it up here in case it can help you already.

Roads ~ Trains & Busses ~ Airports & Airlines ~ Car Rentals ~ Car Ownership

Roads

Note: This map is a screen shot of Google Maps and is here temporily to guide us in covering the roads for you.

Note: This map is a screen shot of Google Maps and is here temporily to guide us in covering the roads for you.

 

General Road info

Caltrans home page — http://www.dot.ca.gov

http://www.CommuteSmart.info — “CommuteSmart.info—a free service that makes it easy for Southern Californians to share the ride.”

Caltrans Road Closings — http://www.dot.ca.gov/cgi-bin/roads.cgi

They call it “Current Highway Conditions.” You enter the route number and they give you a short road closings report on this same page. This covers all of California.

Another URL you might try is http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo/plannedwork.htm. Again, it’s for all of CA.

Rest Areas — http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/Statewide.htm

 

Traffic Reports

 

Info by Roadway

U.S. Route 101

Also called: the 101 Freeway, the 101, the Hollywood Freeway, or the Ventura Freeway

Part of Caltrans

Names can be confusing. The 101 is the overall freeway. The Ventura Freeway is a part of this freeway from from Ventura to Pasadena, but except for that section, the names 101 and Ventura Freeway are not interchangable.

Ventura Freeway or California 134

Part of Caltrans

Interstate 5

Also called: the 5, I-5, Golden State Freeway or Golden State, or the Santa Ana Freeway

Part of Caltrans

The 5 is a main road to Disneyland. Driving south from Los Angeles, you first pass Knotts Berry Farm and then come into the Disneyland traffic, so this can be quite a trafficky drive. Be sure to allow for that.

While the 5 officially has Rest Areas, there really aren’t any in the Los Angeles area. There are a couple in the Grapevine area, at Buttonwillow and Tejon Pass, and there is one just north of the San Diego area, at Aliso Creek. You can see the list at http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/maint/ra/.

Interstate 405

Also called: the San Diego Freeway

Part of Caltrans

Interstate 10

Also called: The Christopher Columbus Continental Highway (per a sign that was on the 10 around Santa Monica in the 90s and early ’10s) renamed the Rosa Parks Freeway in 2002.

Part of Caltrans

The 10 begins in Santa Monica, not far from the famous pier and runs clear across the state, into Arizona, and clear across the country to Jacksonville, Florida. It’s not a straight line though, taking many a dip and turn.

Interstate 605 or I-605

Really called: the 605

Also called: San Gabriel River Freeway

Part of Caltrans

710 — Pasadena Freeway or Arroyo Seco Parkway

Also called: the 710

Part of Caltrans

Interstate 110 and State Route 110

Really called: the 110

California State Route 91

Really called: The 91 Freeway or just the 91

Part of Caltrans

* Postmile: The mile at which the exit lies, counted starting anew as the road crosses into each county. Wikipedia’s description.

 


metrotickets

Trains & Busses

Within Los Angeles we have the Metro. To travel to or from other parts of the state or U.S. we have Amtrak (1-800-USA-RAIL) and Amtrak California as well as Greyhound Lines, Inc. (1-800-229-9424)

The Metro system in Los Angeles is very frustrating to those of us used to an efficient system. In NYC, you arrive at a bus stop and have a clearly marked strip map that shows the route and where you can grab another bus/train. The maps also tell you the frequency of the busses. In LA, I arrive at bus stops and can’t even find a clue as to whether the bus is running at the time I am there, let alone where it goes and where it stops. The Metro trip planner and the pocket maps are fairly critical to have until you know your route.

Happily, when I have taken the bus, I have found the drivers friendly and helpful. Passengers too, unless it’s rush hour and too crowded.

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority — Metro.net/around. For now, at least, this is the main page for all info on getting around LA by their public transportaion.

Unfortunately, this site moves things around so often that links are rarely reliable. You may need to start anew with Metro.net each time you want to look something up.

For now, at least, you can start to plan your trip here: http://socaltransport.org/tm_pub_start.php

Within LA, one of the best services is DASH. If you’re lucky enough to live or be staying near a DASH stop, we recommend it.

(This section is still being developed.)

 

Airports & Airlines

LAX-plane-landing

Airports in the LA area

There are several LA area airports, each with a website or site section to help you:

Getting to and from LAX Airport

Of course, any guide to LA will tell you about the shuttles and cabs you can take to or from LAX (our airport). But what about public transport? Well that’s a good one. Forget asking Traveller’s Aid at the airport; they have no clue. (I’ve tried several times over the years. Last time I tried was October 2003.) And there’s little info and zero links at the LAX website.

The train line to LAX actually stops before the airport. It’s Metro Rail Green Line and the stop is Aviation Station. From there you take the free shuttle service to and from LAX. The Green Line LAX Extension is still pending.

Busses

For some years now, there have been FlyAway Buses to LAX, which actually take you right to the airport, dropping you off on the Upper/Departures Level of each LAX terminal or pick you up for your trip home from the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal. There are clearly marked green signs that say: FlyAway, Buses and Long Distance Vans.

There are busses from:

  • Irvine (which is Orange County)
  • Downtown LA’s Union Station
  • Van Nuys (in the San Fernando Valley)
  • Westwood (West Los Angeles, the UCLA area)

Please visit the official FlyAway pages at the LAX Los Angeles World Airports website.

[Note: this info is in possible need of updating and will be fact-checked shortly.] The LAX website has info about public transport under their Ground Transportation link and parking info under the Parking link. (The site is done in frames and does not properly put you in the frameset so you need to go to the main page, then click the buttons.) Basically, you wait under the LAX Shuttle & Airline Connections sign on the Arrival (lower) Level “islands” that are in front of each terminal and take either the board the G or C shuttle busses. G goes to the Metro Rail Green Line’s Aviation Station. C goes to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority Bus Center.

 

Car Rentals

Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car, luxury and exotic vehicles for the unique driving experience in LA.

Of course, Los Angeles has the usual national car rental brands, but if you’re looking for the “Beverly Hills” or “LA” driving experience — that fancy car that makes heads turn — that Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Royce, or such — and keeps an ear-to-ear grin on your face as you (hopefully) fly over an open stretch of road, it’s Beverly Hills Rent-A-Car that you seek. Of course, they have cars such as the Honda Accord, Lexus, and Mercedes as well. We haven’t actually driven their rentals, but we’ve met the principals and have been impressed.

 

Car Ownership

DriverSide.com

This free site seems handy. When you regisiter your car, the site creates a tab for you called YourName’s Garage. Based on your milage and how many miles you drive annually, it lists your Service Reminders. It’s nice to know my new car won’t need tires or brakes for years. A tab called Service & Repair tells me when my next service should take place, and what Actions — Inspect/Adjust/Change, I’ll need. (For my new Nissan it says: “Replace engine oil and filter” and “Rotate Tires.”) There’s a tab with sales advice, but my car is too new. The Parts & Accessories tab helps you find product for your car. I typed in “organizer” to find one for my hatch; I wish Nissan provided hooks. It found a Seat Back Table Tray that’s great if you have kids in the back seats, but didn’t find a hatch organizer. Oh well. I like the Diagnose Your Car’s Problem feature: looks like, sounds like…

What is most promising about this site are the reviews of others that report it alerted them to recalls.