There are still taxis here in Los Angeles but don't expect them to be as many as in New York. While both cities are bustling metropolises, the latter is a lot more congested, hence, the need for more cabs. LA residents, on the other hand, are more likely to travel via their own cars. The various different areas of the city are too far from each other. Taking a taxi from one place to another would be priced than taking a bus or the metro system. If you do happen to be able to hail a cab here, it means you're very lucky!
LA's metro railway system might be far from New York's subway, but for this city, it will do. In fact, in contrast to the latter, this particular railway system often goes beyond the city limits and passes through other neighboring towns such as Long Beach, Santa Ana, and more. There are a total of six lines in this railway system—Expo, Red, Blue, Purple, Gold, and Green. They pass by various areas within the city, such as Downtown LA, Hollywood, and the like. They're more suitable for those traveling to LA from outer areas, while for internal travel, the metro buses will do just fine.
The Metro Bus system of California is arguably the most effective in going from one place to another. It has three distinct types of buses: the Local, the Rapid, and the Metro Express buses. The Local buses, colored orange, are those that travel within Los Angeles. They're perfect for traveling, say, from West Hollywood to Downtown LA and vice versa. The Rapid buses, on the other hand, painted red, are those that have fewer stops. While the blue-colored Metro Express buses are those that go beyond LA and reach the neighboring communities of Long Beach, Santa Monica, and the like.
Run by the LA Department of Transportation, the DASH buses are more like quick shuttle services that take you from one LA spot to another. They're mostly used by visitors as the many stops of their routes often consist of tourist hotspots by locals benefit the most from such fast transportation. The best part is that the only cost 50 cents per ride (25 if you're a senior citizen or disabled). However, unlike the other modes of transportation, they only operate until 6:30 to 7:00 pm. Just make sure you use it for as much as you can during the day!
Finally, there are LA's municipal buses. There are three main buses you should look out for. The Big Blue Bus from Santa Monica is the one to take if you're going to or around Western LA, as well as to and from LAX. Meanwhile, as it name suggests, the Culver City Bus goes to Culver City as well as the Westside and LAX too. While Long Beach's Long Beach Transit goes to its eponymous community and surrounding towns. They're often the last resort for those who can't seem to catch the metro or DASH buses or are too confused to take the metro railway system.
Though it's not exactly a requirement, it's better to have a car when you're in Los Angeles, However, if it can't be helped, the city's public transport still has effective systems you can take. But don't expect them to be like those in New York!
If you're not spending on a car and gasoline while you're in LA, at least spend money on your accommodation! Any luxurious LA apartment will suit you just fine!