Almost 50 million tourists descend on Los Angeles every year. They arrive in the world-class city with dreams of bumping into movie stars, ambitions of relaxing by the beach and hopes of making wonderful memories at renowned amusement parks.
What they don’t visit Los Angeles for is the traffic.
Los Angeles’s horrendous traffic is a point of infamy amongst people that have never been to the city. As it stands, the city is ranked as the 5th worst place to drive in America.
If fear of aggressive drivers and traffic jams is keeping you from making your way to the city of angels, we’ve got you covered. As it turns out, when you visit LA, there are a number of ways to traverse the city that don’t require you to get behind the wheel.
Here are 9 great options:
1. Call a Rideshare
If you want to get somewhere and don’t have the ambition to drive, getting a ride is as easy as downloading the Uber or Lyft app and calling a car.
Los Angeles has thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers that work around the clock. Rates for their services are very low given the competition and LA even has “ride-pool” options which enable you to share your car with other people to further lower your transportation costs.
In an effort to reduce transportation congestion, Los Angels has made massive investments in its bus system. That investment is apparent in the fact that on just about every street corner, you can see Metro markers boasting a variety of bus numbers that pick up/drop off in that location.
When you visit Los Angeles, if you can figure out how to navigate buses (Google Maps can help with this) you’ll be made. Just be aware that bus service may be slower than what you’re used to at home and prepare yourself for the occasional outburst from less than desirable co-riders.
Buses not your style? No problem! Los Angeles’s train lines can get you to where you need to go just as fast if not faster.
Los Angeles’s trains are broken into what are called “lines”. Its line colors include the green, purple, silver, blue, red and gold. Each line services different areas.
For long commutes, you’ll likely need to transfer between lines to arrive at your final destination.
4. Phone/Make a Friend
Here’s a transportation option that you probably already thought of… If you have a friend in Los Angeles and that friend has a car, give them a ring!
If you throw them some gas money, they might be willing to scoop you up from their airport and chauffeur you around town.
Don’t have a friend in Los Angles? You could always try making one!
Websites like Craigslist and Couchsurfing.com facilitate meetups between travelers and locals. You might be able to meet somebody new through either of those mediums that could be willing to be your ride and perhaps even host you during your trip.
Make sure that you exercise caution when participating in random encounters.
5. Hire a Driver
Thousands of hot shots hire drivers in Los Angeles every day. Given that demand, there are a virtually infinite amount of car services that operate within the city.
If you’re not a fan of Uber or Lyft and would prefer to book a consistent driver through a company, you can look up what your options are online and have a car ready to pick you up from the airport.
6. Hire a Limousine
We get it. You’re visiting Los Angeles. You want to tour the city of stars in style.
To that end, there’s no better way to own your LA experience than by going to this page and booking a limousine that can scoop you up and take you around all of Southern California.
Limousines are going to cost you more than your run-of-the-mill hired car. Those Instagram photos that you’ll enjoy are 100% worth the extra expense though.
7. Ride a Bike
If you visit Los Angeles, you’ll quickly come to find that the streets are built for cars, not bikes. With that said, many of LA’s more progressive cities (Westwood, Pasadena, Burbank, etc.) are adding bike lanes onto its major roads to reduce traffic congestion.
If you feel comfortable riding your bicycle on the street and don’t mind the occasional confrontation with drivers that almost hit you, bikes might be a viable transportation solution.
8. Take a Shuttle
Depending on the hotel that you’re staying at, you may have access to hotel shuttles. These shuttles move on a schedule and drop off/pick up in many of Los Angeles’s most popular destination.
Call a prospective hotel before booking to confirm that it has shuttle service and to find out how much it costs (if anything).
9. Throw on Some Walking Shoes
People don’t like to walk in LA but hey, you could be a trendsetter! After all, setting trends is what Los Angeles was built on.
Throw on some walking shoes and traverse the city on foot! Not only will you avoid traffic but you’ll also get fit while on vacation.
Wrapping Up How to Visit Los Angeles Without a Car
If you want to visit Los Angeles without having to deal with its bad traffic, you’ve got options.
We hope that our list has given you some ideas on how you might choose to traverse the city and we invite you to check out more of the travel-focused content on our blog if you’re craving additional inspiration.