Hollywood, sunny beaches and the Dodgers are just a few of the things Los Angeles is known for. What isn’t it known for? Stellar public transportation. For years, the city’s public transportation system has had a bad reputation, causing most Angelenos to rely on their cars without a second thought.
However, at just $1.75 per ride, the Los Angeles Metro offers a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to driving. The Metro light rail system is comprised of six lines primarily spreading across the metropolitan section of Los Angeles.
Additionally, the Metro is currently working to combat its limited access through several large extension projects. These include expanding the Gold Line to the Inland Empire, the Expo Line to Santa Monica, the Purple Line to Westwood and the Green Line to LAX.
So before you open your Uber app, check and see if where you’re going is Metro accessible. Here is a guide to where each line can take you.
As the only line with stations directly next to USC, the Expo Line is crucial in Trojans’ public transportation use. Two stops, Expo Park/USC and Jefferson/USC, are easily accessible from campus. Take the Expo Line up to the 7th St./Metro Center station to peruse the FIGat7th shopping center, or to transfer to the Red or Purple lines to go further downtown. In the other direction, the Expo Line heads toward Culver City. And, starting in 2016, the line will give students a quick trip to the beach by extending all the way to downtown Santa Monica.
In order to access the Red Line from campus, students must take the Expo Line to the 7th St./Metro Center station and transfer. The Red Line provides access to Pershing Square, where students can grab food at Grand Central Market. It also goes north toward Hollywood, bringing riders to popular tourist and entertainment destinations including the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Universal City. On Saturdays and Sundays, passengers can take a shuttle directly from the Red Line’s Vermont/Sunset station to the Griffith Observatory.
The Purple Line runs parallel to the Red Line until the Wilshire/Vermont station. While the Red Line continues north along Vermont Avenue, the Purple Line heads west along Wilshire Boulevard, eventually stopping at Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue. Both the Purple and Red Lines connect to Union Station, Los Angeles’ major transit hub, which is within walking distance to Olvera Street and Chinatown. They also stop at Civic Center, home to many cultural and political destinations, such as City Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
The Gold Line, starting at Union Station, contains a diverse array of offerings. The line’s southern leg stops in Little Tokyo, Chinatown and the Arts District. The Little Tokyo/Arts District stop brings visitors to the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, beautiful murals in the historic Arts District and the Geffen Contemporary Museum, which is connected to MOCA. Heading north, the line goes through Pasadena, where Metro users can find more art in the Norton Simon Museum or window-shop along Colorado Boulevard.
The Blue Line shares two stops with the Expo Line: 7th St./Metro Center and Pico. The Pico station’s primary draw is L.A. Live, which includes the Staples Center, the Grammy Museum and many dining options. The Los Angeles Convention Center is also nearby. The Blue Line runs south through Compton, where riders can exit at 103rd Street and admire the historic Watts Towers before continuing into Long Beach, which boasts the Aquarium of the Pacific.
The Green Line seems most removed from the heart of Los Angeles — it doesn’t directly connect to Downtown or Hollywood, instead running east to west in South Los Angeles. In order to reach the Green Line from USC, riders must take the Expo Line up to the Pico Station then take the Blue Line right back down until it meets the Green Line at Imperial/Wilmington. However, the money saved on an expensive airport shuttle may be worth the triple-train trip.