Metro Rail Travel

Metro Rail covers a limited area of L.A.'s vast expanse, but what there is, is helpful and frequent. The underground Red Line runs from Union Station downtown through Mid-Wilshire, Hollywood, and Universal City on its way to North Hollywood, stopping at the most popular tourist destinations along the way.

The light commuter rail Green Line stretches from Redondo Beach to Norwalk, while the partially underground Blue Line goes from downtown to the South Bay (Long Beach/San Pedro). The Green and Blue lines are not often used by visitors, though the Green is gaining popularity as an alternative, albeit time-consuming, way to reach LAX. The monorail-like Gold Line stretches from Pasadena and Sierra Madre to Union Station; in 2009, it extended east to Atlantic Boulevard in Monterey Park, serving Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights and east L.A. The Orange Line, a 14-mi bus corridor connecting the North Hollywood subway station with the western San Fernando Valley, opened in 2005.

There's service from about 4:30 am to 12:30 am, every 5–15 minutes, depending on time of day and location. Buy a ticket from any station's vending machines (use bus tokens, coins, or $1 or $5 bills). It costs $1.50 plus 35¢ per transfer, or $6 for an all-day pass. The machines print your tickets and make change. (If you have a valid Metro Pass for buses, you don't need a ticket.) Metro Rail operates on the honor system; officers make periodic checks for valid tickets or passes on board. Bicycles are not allowed during rush hours and other times only with permits, but you can store them on a rack (free) or in a locker (fee). The Web site is the best way to get info on Metro Rail.

Metro Rail Information

Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transit Authority (323/466–3876.