Let's set the record straight: LA public transport
isn't the best in the world. When you compare it to those in cities like New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, and more, it's almost pitiful. This is probably because in Los Angeles, having a car is practically a must! With the long roads, open avenues, and the like, driving your own car is the best way to go. So when you have to depend on public transport, it becomes even more challenging to stay here. How do you deal with this, then? Here are a few tips worth remembering!
The TAP Card is your own ticket to navigating LA's public transport with ease. It's a city pass that you can use all over Los Angeles, its many districts
, and practically the entire county. Since you can use it on many transit agencies throughout the city, you won't have any trouble getting to where you need to be. It's reloadable too, which means you don't have to buy a whole new TAP card when your drain away its funds. Simply go to any bus or metro station and pay there. You can also do it online for quicker transactions.
Read The Map
When you're riding LA's light rail or subway systems, always read the map. There's one on every station or you could find it online. Both systems are more complicated than you expect, arguably even more so than the ones in New York
, Washington D.C., and other big cities in the US. More often than not, you'll only know if you're on the right side of the tracks if you look at the last stop of the route. Only then will you find which transit line you have to board in order to get to your destination within Los Angeles.
Remember LA's Rush Hours
Unlike in other cities where they only have two rush hours—one in the morning and one in the early evening, right after work—LA actually has three. The first one is in the morning, from 7:00 am to 10:30 am. The second one is around lunchtime, approximately from 12:30 noon to 2:00 (14:00) pm. And the third one is in the early evening, mostly from 4:00 (16:00) pm to 7:00 (19:00) pm. If you're not heading off to work
and simply exploring the city, you'd do well to commute in-between these rush hours to avoid heavy congestion and traffic.
Get The Right Discount
Even when you're already using a TAP Card, there are some instances that your fare can be discounted. And though the differences may not seem that much, in a city like LA where the living costs are pretty high, they can matter a whole lot. You'd be surprised at how much you can save thanks to the small discounts for commuting. So make sure to see if you qualify for the many discounts Los Angeles public transport offers. There are discounts for low-income riders, students, senior citizens, passengers with disabilities, and more.
Adjust Your Time
It bears noting that the LA Metro's timetable changes throughout the day. You may think that your train will reach your station at a certain time, but in fact, it will actually take five to ten minutes longer. And if you're in a rush, you'll find it even more stressful to get to your destination on time. This is why you should always be prepared in adjusting your time. For example, if you need to be in a certain place by 7:00 (19:00) pm and your work finished at 5:00 (17:00) pm, you'd do well to board the next train instead of waiting thinking you have a two-hour waiting time.
Go to The Restroom Beforehand
LA is a huge city wherein the distance from one stop to the next can be as far as a few miles. At times, especially during a rush hour, the trip to the nearest station can take up to half an hour. What if you suddenly need to go to the restroom? They can't stop the entire trip just for you alone, right? So even before you board public transport, make sure to answer nature's call already. Even if you think you don't have to right now, you'd still do well to go to the restroom before going on your trip.
When all else fails, trust your transportation apps. And not just the ride-hailing apps that will serve as great alternatives too. Though those are also great, you ought to download the in-house apps of many transit agencies and systems that operate in LA. They'll keep you up to date with timetable changes, emergencies, and the like that may affect your commute. Downloading journey-planning apps is also a good idea since they offer important info on how to get to your destination. You can weigh your options carefully and pick one that's the fastest, easiest, and even the most affordable.
Are you commuting in LA? Not to worry! Although this city's public transport leaves a lot to be desired, here are a few trips to ensure that you can still travel safely and efficiently as you reach your destination on time!