What is public transportation like in Los Angeles?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Christina Xenos

Once a non-viable option to efficiently traverse the city, public transportation is vastly improving in Los Angeles. This is mainly due to L.A.'s subway/lightrail, which now hits some of the city's best attractions from Universal City to Hollywood, to downtown, and Culver City. But, even with extensive improvements in recent years, L.A.'s metro isn't as comprehensive as you would find in cities like New York, San Francisco or Paris. Metro is working on expanding the subway/lightrail into Beverly Hills and to the sea in Santa Monica, but that won't happen for another two years at least.

When locals and visitors want to get around the city without renting a car, some use the bus, which has a vast network of routes connecting the city. You can plan your trip with Metro's handy trip planner. However, when most people want to get around, they rely on private forms of transportation: either by city cabs or rideshare serves like Uber and Lyft which are exploding in popularity.

Dana Damato

Public transportation is not as commonly used by locals in Los Angeles as it is in other large cities such as New York and Washington DC. The most commonly used source for transportation is the Metro that usually goes all around the city. The Metro consists of a subway, light-rail, buses and shuttles.  The Metro system is a safe form of public transportation in Los Angeles that is used by mostly locals. Most times, visitors will use a taxicab more often than locals.

The most commonly used out of those options is the Metro Bus. The Metro Bus makes several stops along most major roads throughout Los Angeles. Visitors shouldn’t be intimidated by the metro system - there are plenty of help centers and maps to make sure you get to where you’re going.  Feel free to ask a local if you’re a visitor – most people will be happy to guide you in the right direction.

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