Tips for Riding Transit

With a little planning and creative thinking we can use public transportation to get to the places we need to go while increasing our ease of travel and reducing our trip times. Don’t believe us? Try these tips.

1) Use the Commuter Express

Unfortunately, the Commuter Express seems to be a well-kept secret in Los Angeles. The appearance of this cushy charter bus line has fooled many Angelenos into thinking it couldn’t possibly be an option for their commute. The truth is this bus line can make a significant impact on transit times. And it goes the distance at a reasonable price too. For example you can get from Pacific Palisades to Downtown in less than an hour for $2.20! Go ahead, throw your rush-hour cares away!

2) Use the DASH

When you don’t have to go too far, use the DASH. These localized transit buses makes traveling easy and cheap - only 25 cents. As of January 2008, Metro passes can no longer ride most DASH lines for free.

3) Use Rapid Buses

Using the Metro Rapid or Big Blue Bus Rapid 3 will help you avoid a lot of transit headaches. Rapid buses run frequently and take you long distances without stopping every two blocks. As Metro diligently adds more Rapid Bus lines, they are fast becoming the backbone of the system.

4) Take the Culver City Bus or Big Blue Bus to LAX

Tired of taking a shuttle to LAX? Try taking the Culver City 6 or Big Blue Bus Rapid 3. It will likely get you there with more ease and in a comparable amount of time. It will always cost you less . . . a whopping $0.75.

5) Plan ahead

A sure-fire way to be disappointed with your transit trip is to have a lot of surprises. To prevent this, be sure to map out your route and identify all the required connections and fares. Use the Metro Trip Planner.

6) Don’t let the Metro Trip Planner do all your thinking

The Metro Trip Planner is getting better. But it still seems to forget about the rail lines and thinks you are afraid of walking. Be creative in testing out the routes you think might be faster and don’t be afraid to walk!

7) Use light rail for local travel

Although light rail is intended for long commutes, in some cases it may be the best option for local travel. For example, if you’re downtown you can take the Metrolink to Burbank Airport from Union Station for $4.75 and 20 minutes of your time. Don’t forget to check out such possibilities when you plan your trip.

8) Bike & Bus!

Most Metro buses have bike racks on the front and bikes are allowed on the rail lines during most hours of the day. Combining the two can either shorten a trip or get you through a part of town that is dangerous for cycling. Bikes are great for getting from where transit goes to where you want to be.

8) Mix and Match

Los Angeles County has over 20 different transit systems and there are many ways to combine their services to minimize your transit times. Be sure to take advantage of where different lines overlap and connect. The Metro Trip Planner will do this for you.