LA Public Transportation: How to Use It & 6 Cool Places to Go

LA public transportation
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019

LA public transport is affordable, accessible, and easy to use. There are lots of options to take you all over the city as well as on day trip adventures.

Many people don’t know that Los Angelos has lots of public transport services including subways, light rail, buses and shuttles. Instead of driving through traffic or constantly calling Ubers, we recommend utilizing the public transport system for several reasons. Public transport is much cheaper and easier to use compared to driving and using car services. It’s also way better for the environment. Cut down on your CO2 footprint by catching a bus or a subway next time you want to make a day trip! 

The LA Metro subway and light-rail system span from Culver City to East LA, San Fernando Valley and Pasadena. One trip costs only $1.75 and you can also get day and week passes for cheaper. The busses are also great as they make more frequent stops throughout the city. Metro busses cost only $1.75 per trip and they are great for avoiding traffic as they have their own lanes on surface streets as well as the freeway. The Big Blue Bus is even cheaper at only $1 per ride. DASH Downtown bus covers downtown LA and many neighboring communities of the greater Los Angeles area. DASH costs only $0.50 per ride, and it’s half that for seniors and disabled folks. You can pay cash for busses, or get a ticket online. 

If you plan on taking public transport often, we suggest getting a reusable TAP card from a vending machine located on the Metro Rail or Metro Orange Line station. This way, you can add money and different passes to your card without having to get a single ticket for every trip. You can also download the LA Transit Mobile app and buy tickets there. Using the app and the TAP card both offer much cheaper options as well. For example with a TAP card or mobile ticket, the Big Blue Bus costs only $0.40!

For farther out trips, we also recommend Amtrak, Flixbus and Greyhound. 

1. Venice Beach

Venice Beach is a perfect quick getaway from the rest of LA.
Venice Beach is a perfect quick getaway from the rest of LA.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pixource)

Venice Beach is easy to get to from central LA by public transportation. Pack your swimsuit and hop on the Metro E Line and get off at Downtown Santa Monica Station. From there, you can take the line 1 bus to Venice Beach. Get off at Main Sb & Venice Way Ns and enjoy the huge beach and array of shops. The trip takes just over an hour without the hassle of traffic or the stress of driving yourself.

2. Santa Barbara

Escape LA to quiet Santa Barbara by public transport.
Escape LA to quiet Santa Barbara by public transport.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / lgkevents)

Only two hours away, Santa Barbara is a beautiful beach town with lots to offer. Beautiful views, a relaxing atmosphere, wineries, restaurants and chill bars can all be enjoyed in Santa Barbara. Head north on a Flixbus or Greyhound Bus, or beat the traffic and travel with Amtrak.  

3. Malibu

Beautiful Malibu is only a couple hours away by LA public transport.
Beautiful Malibu is only a couple hours away by LA public transport.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019)

Malibu is super accessible using Los Angeles public transport. Hop on the 33 bus toward Santa Monica and get off at Broadway/Ocean. From there, take the 534 bus toward Malibu and get off at your desired destination. You can walk from bus stops to Zuma Beach, Paradise Cove, Malibu Beach, Nobu and Nicolas Eatery. 

4. Newport Beach

Newport beach is a popular destination for surfing, swimming, fishing and picnicking.
Newport beach is a popular destination for surfing, swimming, fishing and picnicking.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / MetropolisMai)

Visit the sea and the cute shops in Newport Beach by taking the Orange County Line to San Clemente Metrolink Station. From here, you can take the line 1 bus to Newport Transportation Center Dock. Not only will you get dropped off right at the beach, but the bus drive offers beautiful views along the coast. Soak it in as you ride up without needing to focus on driving yourself. You can even make a stop at Crystal Cove State Park on the way. 

5. Santa Monica

Take the metro to Santa Monica and get your tan on.
Take the metro to Santa Monica and get your tan on.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / BKD)

Santa Monica is less than an hour away from central LA by metro. Take the Metro E Line subway toward Downtown Santa Monica and hop off at the last stop. From there, you are only a few minutes away walking to the Santa Monica Pier, State Beach and local bars and restaurants. 

6. San Diego

San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife.
San Diego is known for its beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / 12019)

San Diego is a beautiful place to visit. It takes a bit longer from LA, about three hours, but it’s well worth it. You can make a weekend trip of it by taking Flixbus, Greyhound Bus or Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner. You can get your online. Prices vary between $7 to $35.

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