A Beginner’s Guide to Metro


A Beginner’s Guide to Metro

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro, Some residents of Los Angeles may be unaware that there is a subway rumbling beneath their feet, or they may simply choose to ignore it. In actuality, owing to the Metro, you can travel through much of Los Angeles without ever getting into a car.

Almost as many people gripe about Los Angeles’ allegedly inadequate public transportation options as they do about traffic, which, you know, maybe explains the traffic. Yes, the Los Angeles Metro isn’t flawless. Many of us are still many miles from the closest subway station, and light rail service can be slow. Most bus lines also sit in the same rush hour traffic as autos. But at its best, Los Angeles‘ transit system ought to be something to be proud of: The B Line has some stations that resemble underground art galleries. So much so that Metro offers year-round tours of the stops (now suspended).

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro, Use our beginner’s guide to the Los Angeles Metro to begin your car-free tour across the city. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or sick of your daily commute.

Riding (and paying for) Metro

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro, A real or digital TAP card is the first item you’ll need before boarding a train or a bus. Despite the fact that we’re big on technology. We’ll actually start with (and strongly advise) the traditional TAP card: These reusable cards can be loaded with pre-set money amounts or day tickets. They are available at all Metro Rail stations and some merchants for a $2 fee. Regardless of the final location, a single journey costs $1.75 and includes unlimited free transfers for up to two hours. Day passes cost $7, which only makes sense if you plan to make four excursions spaced more than two hours apart.

TAP vending machines are uncommon at bus stops. However, you can purchase a new card and a day pass while riding the bus (buses also accept exact change). Keep your card with you because all 26 county transit providers accept it (and it has a 10-year lifespan). On the TAP website, you may also purchase or reload a card.

How does that digital version fare?

How does that digital version fare? TAP L.A. lets you pay for your Metro travel with your smartphone and is available as an app for both iOS and Android. Even though it has a certain element of enchantment. We’ve had enough unreliable experiences that do not necessarily suggest it for novice riders.

Simply place your TAP card against the designated terminals as you enter a bus or train station. Even though certain light rail stations lack turnstiles, you should still tap to avoid a $250 charge.

The majority of lines are open from before 5 a.m. to after midnight. During peak hours, trains run as frequently as every 10 minutes. However, late at night, you may have a 20-minute wait. Use Metro’s Nextrip service to reduce some of the uncertainty surrounding arrival times.

The Metro map

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro
Metro map

Metro Rail

Heavy Rail

Heavy Rail (Subways)

Only two subway lines operate in Los Angeles, and one of them shares the majority of its stops with the other. We must acknowledge that underground heavy train is not one of our strong points; blame politics and fault lines.

Metro has begun to rename each line after a letter rather than the previous practice of naming them after colors (with the exception of the Expo Line).

B Line (Red)

The original Metro subway line departs from Union Station and makes stops at several locations close to famous downtown locations like Grand Park, the Music Center, and Grand Central Market. It continues on toward Hollywood, stopping at the Pantages Theatre, the Walk of Fame, and Ovation Hollywood (where you can board a shuttle to the Hollywood Bowl). Before making stops in North Hollywood near the NoHo Arts District and across from Universal Studios.

D Line (Purple)

This short section of the B Line is shared by this subway line until Wilshire/Vermont, where it splits off and terminates with two stops in Koreatown. Service will extend west over the following ten years, reaching UCLA by 2025, Beverly Hills by 2024, and LACMA by 2024. (2027).

The Regional Connector Project will also more seamlessly connect the two subway lines with the majority of the light rail lines below when it debuts in Downtown Los Angeles in 2023.

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro
Light Rail

Light Rail

These (mainly above-ground) lines frequently share the road with automobiles but occasionally have dedicated rights-of-way or signal precedence. Particularly when passing through residential areas, they are slower than underground subway lines. Nevertheless, they remain a practical and occasionally beautiful alternative to driving.

A Line (Blue)

The first line created travels from Downtown via South Los Angeles, stopping at a location close to Watts Towers, before making a loop through Long Beach. It also has two regrettable distinctions: crime and collisions involving trains (though a series of rolling station closures in 2019 are working toward addressing these issues).

C Line (Green)

Nevertheless, there is a stop on this line that is somewhat close to LAX. You will need to transfer to a shuttle bus in order to reach the airport. This route runs in the middle of the 105 Freeway from Norwalk to the interior South Bay.

L Line (Gold)

This East Los Angeles to DTLA to SGV line is now divided due to construction. Traditionally, one section travels from East Los Angeles to Union Station, stopping at Mariachi Plaza. However, a stop near Little Tokyo and the Arts District remains inaccessible owing to Regional Connector construction until at least 2022, so a bus fills the gap. The L Line continues north from Union Station as usual; the line includes six stations and travels through Pasadena, Chinatown, Highland Park, and South Pasadena. It continues on from there, making stops between Arcadia and Azusa as it travels further into the San Gabriel Valley. For stunning views of the San Gabriel Mountains, choose a seat beside a window.

E Line (Expo)

From Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica, one of Metro’s more recent light rail lines makes notable stops at the Staples Center (where it shares a stop with the Blue Line), USC, Exposition Park, downtown Culver City, and downtown Santa Monica. Where it makes a noteworthy arrival is just a few blocks from the beach. Since it rarely obtains signal priority. The primarily at-grade route is a touch slow leaving DTLA, but it is at least a painless alternative to driving.

K Line (Crenshaw)

The newest light rail line in the system will have a station just outside LAX, but not yet. Currently, the K-Line travels from the Expo/Crenshaw stop on the E Line, which is close to West Adams and Leimert Park, through Inglewood to the Westchester/Veterans stop. A bus will run on the southern end up until it connects with the C Line at Aviation/LAX. The LAX/Metro Transit Center Station, where the line will connect with the Automated People Mover at LAX, is scheduled to open in 2024.

Buses and more

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro
Metro Bus

Metro Bus

Two Metro Liner lines are available. On the motorways and main streets, there are designated lanes for these extra-long buses. Imagine them as smaller, less frequent versions of train cars.

G Line (Orange)

From the North Hollywood B Line station to Chatsworth, this route serves the Valley.

J Line (Silver)

These buses travel along the toll lanes of the 10 and 110 freeways, sharing them between El Monte and Downtown Los Angeles, Union Station, and Harbor Gateway. They then head south along the 110 highway and stop at USC and South L.A. before coming to a finish in the commercial Harbor Gateway.

Additionally, Metro has a vast bus network that is divided into two primary categories: Local and Rapid. The majority of Los Angeles and its surrounding cities are served by the orange local buses. There are fewer stops and more frequent service on the red Rapid lines.

The Dodger Stadium Express is noteworthy. On game days, this free service to Dodger Stadium departs from Union Station and zips past the Sunset Boulevard traffic jam; the return trip isn’t quite as traffic-free.

A Beginner’s Guide to Metro
Metro Micro

Metro Micro

What if you could pay just one dollar to call a shared Uber to almost anywhere in your neighborhood? The fundamental idea behind Metro Micro is kind of miraculous (though sometimes you need to plan a little in advance).

Here’s how it works: As long as you’re in one of its service zones, you may request a shared trip in a 10-person van by using the Metro Micro app or calling 323-GO-METRO. Regardless of how far you travel inside that zone, the trip only costs $1 (although it will rise to a still-reasonable $2.50 next year, which covers a bus or rail transfer).

Watts and Compton, Inglewood and close to LAX, North Hollywood and Burbank, El Monte, Altadena, Pasadena, and the Sierra Madre, the Northwest San Fernando Valley, Westwood (including UCLA), and Highland Park, Eagle Rock, Glendale, and Silver Lake are all places where Metro Micro currently operates (a serious gamechanger for getting around Northeast L.A.).

Service is available from as early as 5 am until as late as 11 pm, depending on the area. It’s not exactly point-to-point, but the app will probably link your pickup and drop-off locations with the nearest bus stations if you schedule a ride.

Despite the fact that Metro Micro is far from flawless, we have had numerous opportunities to test it out and have always had a very favorable experience. You could find the service is too crowded to secure a van during rush hour, so consider scheduling a trip if you can. We’ve had rides come almost immediately and just across the street from our starting location, but other times we’ve waited 15 minutes or more and had to walk a block and a half.

Other transit systems

In addition to Metro, there are numerous more city-specific bus routes that operate, such as the Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, the Dash network administered by LADOT, and the Foothill Transit in the San Gabriel Valley. the positive news Along with dozens of other systems, your TAP card will function on those ones as well.

There is also the Metrolink commuter rail system for further distances. The majority of lines start at Union Station and travel to places like San Bernardino, Lancaster, Orange County, East Ventura, and Oceanside, among others. Though they do offer TAP-enabled and digital tickets for Metro transfers, Metrolink does not take TAP cards (in fact, you can transfer to the Metro for free with your activated Metrolink ticket). Avoid wasting time looking for a ticket outlet before your train departs by purchasing a digital ticket through the Metrolink app. Metrolink service can be extremely infrequent.


I have some questions…

Why does our public transit system suck?

Well, that’s just your viewpoint, man, is what I’m saying. Between Hollywood and Downtown, taking the B Line is almost always more convenient than taking the 101. Additionally, it is more affordable than transit systems in any other large metropolis.

Metro doesn’t go anywhere, though.

Metro service connects the majority of Los Angeles’ major urban areas, including Downtown, Hollywood, Koreatown, Culver City, Long Beach, Pasadena, and Santa Monica. We will concede, however, that there is a slight issue with the rail lines’ last mile; frequently, this results in commuters having to walk a considerable distance, transfer to a bus, or use a ride-hailing app. The launch of the bike and scooter rental applications as well as Metro Micro in some locations have both contributed to the problem’s resolution.

But nobody rides it!

According to ridership, it is the third-largest public transit system in the nation. By total ridership, the light rail lines are the biggest in the nation. By ridership and fleet size, the buses are ranked second in the nation. Riders use it.

I saw Collateral (decade-old spoilers)—there’s no way those trains are safe.

Keep your wits about you, just like you would on any major city’s public transportation, and don’t wave your phone around if you’re sitting or standing by the doors.

Didn’t L.A. used to have an amazing transit system and then the evil automobile companies screwed it over?

According to the plot of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Pacific Electric Red Car system formerly covered all of Southern California before being destroyed by the bad car corporations. That is not how reality is at all. Although the streetcar lines were finally bought out and dismantled, they were already in decline as Los Angeles descended into an auto-driven sprawl. The L.A. Times and 99% Invisible both have excellent primers on the entire conspiracy.

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