How easy it to get around Los Angeles with public transportation (buses, trains, subways, etc)?

Asked by Halley S., New York, NY Mon Apr 23, 2007

Is it possible to live in this city without a car?

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SERGEY FEDNOV…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Apr 11, 2012
You better have a car in LA
7 votes
Willy Olsen, , Claremont, CA
Mon Apr 16, 2012
While there is public transportation in LA, but it is something yet to be desired. Better to have a car to get around and deal with the traffic as it happens.
1 vote
Kaye Thomas, Agent, Manhattan Beach, CA
Sat May 12, 2007
Truth is that without a car in LA you will have problems getting around. There are some places where it is not bad.. the South Bay has a lot of transportation choices including local and metro buses. If you are older there is the Wave in the South bay which is a dial a ride and will take you to appointments etc. Some cities also give seniors discount soupons to use with taxis
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1 vote
Sacha Radford, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Mon Apr 23, 2007
It is not really advisable to get around without a car--there are no safe bike lanes, the buses are crowded and slow, and there are no trains, subways or trams. Walking around a direct neighborhood is ok, but for the most part, everything is very spread out.
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Tue Feb 19, 2008
Great question! While we do have public transportation (busses,metro rail etc.) we still are no where as convenient as other large cities (New York, Chicago) and you wil need a car. One of the reasons is that Los Angeles is a city made up of numerous Suburbs that are far from eachother. Some places are just not possible to get to without a private day soon..this will improve. We sure need it.
0 votes
Kelley and T…, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Fri Jan 25, 2008
While it will sound crazy to anyone living here, you can get by in LA without a car.

It depends where you live and what you do. While Los Angeles is a car-centric city, my wife lived here for two years before she finally got a car. She lived in Hollywood and she would walk or take the bus to work and take Taxis at night. Los Angeles does have a decent bus system, but the city is sooo huge that it can be difficult to get where you want. In addition, there is a metro rail system. Unfortunately, it does not extend to the Westside of LA. They are currently building the Expo line which will ultimately span from downtown to the Santa Monica pier, but that should take another ten years.

While we Angelino's could never live without our cars, a New Yorker like yourself could likely manage without one, with a few stipulations:
1- You have to live close to work or next to a bus line that takes you directly to work.
2- You have to be OK spending a good portion of your income on taxis if you like the nightlife.
3- You have to have friends living in LA that you can rely on for those time when you need a car.

Your bigger concern should be the withdrawl you will go through from not being able to get good pizza!
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0 votes
Trulia Roger, Home Buyer, Alameda, CA
Fri May 4, 2007
It really depends where you are. If you live and work or study in West LA or Santa Monica (e.g. UCLA), you can make do without a car, but don't expect to do anything fun like clubbing or shopping, because Hollywood and Melrose are just not really well served by buses. And forget about going anywhere else like the South Bay or the Valley unless you have a car or are willing to spent a huge amount of time riding buses and trains.
0 votes
Heather Fern…, Home Owner, San Francisco, CA
Fri May 4, 2007
It's absolutely horrible. I know that some people have to do it, but if you have the choice, you should get some wheels of your own. There is no efficient way to get around the maze of LA--not to mention the suburbs--without a car. Check out craigslist for good deals...
0 votes
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