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Old 09-11-2014, 11:08 PM
 
2,020 posts, read 2,886,394 times
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So I visited your beautiful city last month and we had a rental car. Well, I'd love to go back but of course it's an expensive trip but I know part of that expense is rental car which comes to over 600 dollars for a week.

I know I can get to Dodgers games via metro because the express bus goes to Dodger Stadium from Union station.

Are any beaches (Venice/Santa Monica) accessible via metro?

LAX? Does it connect with the metro?

I stayed in a condo in West Hollywood which was awesome and it was near a lot so I can find a lot to do there plus it's right near a metro.

So if I can avoid getting a rental car I could save almost the amount that I spend on the condo I stayed at.
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Old 09-11-2014, 11:35 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
24,162 posts, read 13,675,815 times
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Glad you had a nice time in LA .

First though id like to mention that you should be able to get a significantly lower price on a rental car ... I've found rates vary widely by company .

I'm renting a car now due to my car getting rear ended and totaled .

I got 3 weeks for just under $300 total . This is for an intermediate car so not a compact or economy . Did you have something fancy like a convertible or was it a regular car ? Rate seems very high to me . Check out firefly , they are a newish company owned by hertz that have some good deals . One of my family members even said they saw a car for $6 a day if you prepaid!


Check out a site like carrentals.com which is a search engine / comparison tool for car rentals . Hertz also has a good discount via AAA . You can also negotiate with these rental places, I've had them match rates before etc .

Metro is best for getting around hollywood , downtown , Pasadena,

They are working on the subway to the sea , which should of been built years ago .. But eventually the subway will go to Santa Monica and I believe there are plans to connect to LAX too.

The subway also goes to long beach too but it's not the most pleasant ride .. You go through Watts and Compton and some other areas .
I took it once and I'm not sure id want to again .

You could take the metro to culver city and then take the bus to Santa Monica.. But it will be another 30 mins or so by bus ..

I think the best bet would be to find a better deal on a rental car , you could buy daily passes for metro for $5 or a weekly for $20 when you want to explore areas like hollywood or downtown la that are a pain to drive and park in .
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:02 AM
 
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Agree with jm1982 that your rental rate was obscene. Did you sign up for a bunch of extra insurance or something? Or are you including a hefty parking fee at a hotel? Between buses and subway/light rail, you can get most places in LA, but it's rarely the fastest way to get somewhere (Except Subway during rush hour). So yes, you can get by without a rental car, but you are going to spend longer getting there. That said, I usually take the subway to get downtown.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:12 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles (Native)
24,162 posts, read 13,675,815 times
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Oh yeah check with your credit cards regarding rental insurance ... Also your regular car insurance should cover when you drive a rental .

Enterprise seems especially pushy about scaring you Into getting the insurance but it really raises the fee.

It's important to be covered , but don't get ripped off on it .

Yeah I agree , technically you can get anywhere in the city by public transit ... But it's not necessarily going to be quick or pleasant .

It all depends on how you value your time .

Some places like NYC it's crazy to think of having a car there , but LA is definately a car town.
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Old 09-12-2014, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Pasadena, CA
10,087 posts, read 12,563,975 times
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That does sound like a lot for a week locally.

For $1000 I rented a brand new (like 1000 miles) Dodge SUV/Crossover with full insurance and drove it cross country over the course of a month (drop off fee included in that 1000).

Technically speaking, Los Angeles is very saturated with public transit, though 90 percent + of it is bus transit and can be quite slow. Santa Monica and Venice are served by local and rapid buses, as well as the Santa Monica muni bus, the Big Blue Bus (which is quite good).

At this point though I think most major points of interest have rail transit today, and those few that don't will in the next decade. Santa Monica and LAX are the two major points getting rail soon, but Bunker Hill (with all of its cultural institutions) will have a new subway stop and that is a pretty sweet deal.

One thing that is awesome is that LA's metro raised fares, but in reality made taking transit so much less expensive. Fare is now 1.75 a ride (will continue to rise every year I believe - but still among the lowest in the nation) - the kicker is that now there is a 2-hour window of free transfers in one direction. LA's bus system is highly transfer-dependent, and its rail system is also pretty transfer dependent. From Pasadena to DTLA, it basically cuts my costs in half.

Here are some things to see on transit in Los Angeles:

To the north you have the Gold Line to Pasadena, which has great shopping and some of the oldest architecture in the metro around Old Town (plus the Stone tasting room at the Del Mar station). You can also walk to the Rose Bowl from the Memorial Park Station, though it is quite a distance. One of the best things about this ride is heading north through the Arroyo on partially-elevated tracks near Highland Park, easily the most scenic stretch of track in the system. It provides a look into the LA you never really see in movies and TV. Also on the Gold Line is the Chinatown station, one of the coolest train stations in the country. Union Station is really getting cool too, it has make marked improvements in the last few years. Little Tokyo is also on the Gold Line.

East on the Gold Line is Boyle Heights and East LA, which are cool if you wanna delve into the more Mexican based history of the city or like urban exploration, but the typical tourist won't go here.

I would recommend Langers at the Westlake Station on Red/Purple. Koreatown is on the Purple Line from Vermont / Wilshire to the west. From the Vermont / Normandie stop you can take the 720 bus down Wilshire to the Miracle Mile / Museum Row with LACMA.

East Hollywood is our Thai Town and is on the Red Line. Also Los Feliz is near the Sunset / Vermont stop on the Red Line - Los Feliz has some of that prototypical "LA Lifestyle" culture but perhaps a bit toned down from the gaudiness associated with "Hollywood", I guess a little more alternative. Might be fun for a tourist to sit at an outdoor cafe on Vermont, seems like a prime place to spot a B-list comedian.

Central Hollywood has 2 subway stops. Hollywood has a lot of tourist-trap garbage, but incredibly also has a ton of depth if you just scratch the surface a little bit. Some good restaurants, cool architecture and unique cultural experiences (Upright Citizen's Brigade [basically a guaranteed celebrity sighting], El Capitan Theater, Museum of Death... But overall, Hollywood is not an all-day destination, more of a dinner and movie or a 2-hour architecture / history tour kind of place. You are using metro, don't get on the buses.

Universal Citywalk is connected to the Red Line with a shuttle from the Studio City Station. It's highly tourist-driven and not really that interesting in my opinion. Kind of like a mall in hyperdrive. Might be worth it for a tourist, my family took some out of town relatives there and they loved it. If you like more commercial stuff, it's a good place. The Universal Studios Tour is the best.

To the south on the Blue Line is the Watts Towers. I've never been, but I have heard they are amazing.

USC and Expo Park, Science Center are on the Expo Line. Definitely a must-see for tourists. We got a shuttle!

The biggest places missing convenient transit are The Getty and the studios in Burbank and Glendale. The Fairfax District is one of those "uniquely LA" neighborhoods, and it is fairly hard to get to with transit.
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Old 09-12-2014, 04:37 AM
 
367 posts, read 502,847 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by munchitup View Post
One thing that is awesome is that LA's metro raised fares, but in reality made taking transit so much less expensive. Fare is now 1.75 a ride (will continue to rise every year I believe - but still among the lowest in the nation) - the kicker is that now there is a 2-hour window of free transfers in one direction. LA's bus system is highly transfer-dependent, and its rail system is also pretty transfer dependent. From Pasadena to DTLA, it basically cuts my costs in half.
Nice post

It pissed me off so much when they started charging for transfers. Such backwards logic. Glad to see it gone, though I don't know why everything MTA does is on such an meandering timeframe. It was announced back in May; it shouldn't have taken 4 months to implement a basic change like that.
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Old 09-12-2014, 05:50 AM
 
Location: SoCal
1,009 posts, read 1,335,926 times
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From Downtown Los Angeles, you can get almost everywhere in LA County (not Palmdale/Lancaster) in under 1.5 hours via public transit (trains and buses). You can get to Malibu Pier in 1.5 hours. Redondo Beach/Hermosa/Manhattan in 1.5 hours. Long Beach in 1 hour. Venice/Santa Monica in 1 hour, San Pedro 1.5 hours. Ive done them on using Metro. You can get to South Orange county beaches using Metrolink/Amtrak trains. Or take the Amtrak trains to Santa Barbara beaches or Central coastal cities. Riding public transit in such a huge congested city/county like Los Angeles does test your patience level. I think im a lot more tolerant since they have the apps that tell when the next bus is coming (though not accurate all the time). I do a lot of reading, music listening, game playing, weird people watching on bus/trains. It does take time and a good map to know what buses go where. They change often routes and times. For most tourists, they only really need to know the area between the hills and around 1-2 miles down from the 10 fwy and the ocean to around Downtown. Most of it is covered heavily by Metro. Other areas in the county are covered by other municipal transit companies like Foothill, Montebello, Gardena, Torrance, Long Beach and a few other bus companies.
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Old 09-12-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
2,436 posts, read 1,973,752 times
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You can get to many places in Los Angeles via Metro.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:37 AM
 
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The Expo light rail extension to Santa Monica (light rail to the sea) should be complete in 2015. This will open up all kinds of destinations for car free LA vacations.
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Old 09-12-2014, 12:31 PM
 
2,020 posts, read 2,886,394 times
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Appreciate the feedback. I'll look into more rental places. I would be okay with 300-400. Just seems like over 600 is a stretch.

Anybody did a deal for a flight + rental car. Seems like that can get the price down as well.
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