If You Want Transit-Friendliness, Try the Downtown

(Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of local residents talking up their neighborhood in an effort to discover Los Angeles’ best community for car-free living based on transit accessibility as well as bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.   Yesterday the Southern California Transit Advocate’s Dana Gabbard took up for the Wilshire Corridor.  Today Steven Frein speaks up for Downtown Los Angeles)

Living in Downtown Los Angeles give me a distinct advantage
in being able to use public transit to get to anywhere in the greater Los Angeles area. 
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) benefits from the “all
roads lead to Rome”
syndrome as most bus and subway lines begin or terminate in the downtown
area.   DTLA has a variety of local and regional lines that make it
impossible not to use public transportation to get anywhere relatively easy.

I often take the bus from DTLA to Glendale for work.  There are several
routs to choose from and I have tried them all.  I enjoy crating new opportunities
of seeing the city using the vast infrastructure that is afforded to downtown
residents.  The question of best community for transit is a good one but
living in DTLA takes the cake with availability of service.  I know some communities
are underserved and I hope we can improve transit options in those areas, but
for me, DTLA is the clear winner in this question of best.

  • There is no doubt the Downtown LA offers the most options given that the Metro rail lines all terminates there (except for the Green line obviously), and a good chunk of the Rapid bus and Commuter Express lines either serves or terminates in Downtown LA. But I think the advantages is only true if you commute to and from Downtown LA… if you need to rely on transit for shorter distance, I think Santa Monica/West LA is a little bit better than Downtown LA. The Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus are cheaper than Metro, and they are way more reliable than DASH.

    Of course my opinion will change once the Downtown Connector is open and makes going from Union Station or Bunker Hill to USC a breeze.

    ps… let me plug my “LA Transit Guide for Newbies” one more time…


  • I agree. Bring on the Downtown Regional Connector!!! If we can only get funding for that somehow.

  • Is there a link to the Broadway Streetcar project?

  • Dan, here is what I found in re the stretecar


  • Agreed on Downtown being the easiest for transit. I’ve found DASH to be a great resource. I use it frequently and you can’t beat 25-cent fares.

    Can’t wait for the new Gold Line extension!

  • If this Broadway Streetcar/Tram works out,

    I’ve also wondered about streetcars on Ventura Blvd. connecting Universal City and Warner Center

    – A Sunset Blvd. Streetcar connecting downtown, Silver Lake, Hollywood, and the Strip,

    – a Santa Monica Blvd. streetcar utilizing the unused ROW in Beverly Hills and West Hollywood on the way to points east and north,

    – A streetcar connecting the upcoming rail terminals in Santa Monica or West L.A. and Venice Beach might be popular.

    There are probably lots of places they might work for short distances that will never see grade separated HRT or LRT.

  • DJB

    There’s no question that downtown LA has an amazing amount of transit going through it.

    I have a bit of an unorthodox opinion here. I think that the proliferation of transit in downtown LA (overlapping lines), combined with all the one-way streets, makes downtown LA a confusing place to ride transit, except for the rail system.

    There’s a steep learning curve. Once you learn, it must be great, but when I see signs like the ones in the picture, I have trouble figuring out what the hell’s going on, and I ride transit all the time.

    It’s not where I’d take someone to teach them how to ride a bus (although I would take someone there to teach them how to ride rail).


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