But, I was disappointed recently when I found out that you
couldn't transfer from one Metro Rail train to another without paying
another fare of $1.50. To get around this cost, you can buy the $6.00
day pass and transfer back and forth among any of the Metro Rail trains all
this includes free access to the entire fleet of Metro buses, as well.
Current rates and discount fares are explained on the Cash Farespage.
On the buses, you cannot get change for large
bills. In West Hollywood one time I saw a tourist couple from
Portugal trying to get change from the bus driver on the MTA Bus Route #2
for entering a $100 bill in the payment device. They said that the bus
driver told them to enter the large bill. Maybe this was a problem of
communication, however these folks seemed to speak English very well.
They were leaving Los Angeles to return to Portugal the next day. They
were told by the driver that the only way to get their change was by mail.
This couple was hoping to spend a nice day at the beach in Pacific
Palisades, which (by the way) is comfortably accessible by the MTA Bus Route
#2. This is also a great route to access UCLA and many other interesting
locations on Sunset Boulevard. But don't enter any more than $5 for a
day pass, if that's what you want. NO CHANGE!NO
If you get careless on your fares or violate other
Metro rules, you are facing a fine of $250. So, make sure you
know the rules (no drinking, no eating, no smoking, etc.) and the fares and
try to behave in a civil manner (not noisy or weird) to avoid the attention
of the many security personnel on trains and stations. Remember that
they not only check for valid passes on the cars or trains on a random
basis, but they also often check passengers for fares as soon as you exit
the train. I've seen many free-riders get caught as they try to exit
the platform. On the Red Line and Purple Line subways, and in some
other Gold Line and other stations, you can be fined for being in the
platform area without a pass, even if you haven't even stepped on the train. If you're
thinking you can be lucky and not get caught, it's not a good bet!
See the rider getting ticketed on the Gold Line to
The day pass allows you to travel from the west end of the San
Fernando valley using the Orange Line all the way to Long Beach or Pasadena,
for example, and return on the same day for only $5.00. Not only is
this a good deal compared to automobile economics, but it's also better on
your nerves to let the conductor be your chauffeur. The Metro
train is also more reliable and timely than the overused freeway system.
I recently discovered that there's also a free shuttle at
the Long Beach end of the Blue Line to visit the main peers and tourist
stops on the shore. This will also connect you with the boat to
Catalina Island without paying a dime. Of course, the Catalina boat
will cost at least a couple of dimes. Do tourists take the Metro
Rail trains? My observations are that many do and more should!
Prepaid passes and tokens can save you time and money.
Accepted as base fare on bus and rail, they're sold at
Metro Customer Centers and more than 850 other locations including
Ralph's, Community Check Cashing, Cash It Here, Jon's Market, Pavilions, Nix
Check Cashing and Popular Cash Express. To find a location near you by
city or zip code, use the
Metro.net Pass and Token Directory.
You can also purchase monthly passes online through
Metro Online Purchase page. If you want to pay by check
through the mail, you have to make sure you send in your check no later than
the 15th of the month for the following month pass using this mail order
form. Be sure you follow the instructions on the second page
of the form.
For specific bus routes, you can find the most current
schedule on the
Metro Trip Planning page. Although most schedules have buses
that run several times an hour, there are a few routes that only run once an
hour. If you miss this bus, forget it! I made this painful
discovery recently when waiting for the Metro Bus 183 in Glendale.
After waiting an hour, I started walking to my destination and was lucky to
catch this bus at the next stop, about an hour and 15 minutes after I
started waiting and walking. I personally question whether any bus
route with a schedule less than every 30 minutes is worth the effort for the
Metro and for the riders? What's your opinion? Do you have
an hour to kill waiting for a bus? See all the bus and rail routes on
a System Map in PDF format.
The Metro Trip Planner
is a great resource to quickly find the best Metro routes from one place to
another. You may have to work a little bit on the spelling of street
names, but once you get the streets properly spelled, the outcome is a list
of one or more routes including estimated times for each bus or train
on the route. Keep in mind, however, that the estimated times on this
list does not include the possibility of buses with lengthy time-spans,
such as the 183 bus in Glendale. Therefore, it's best to check the
schedules of each bus after printing the route from the Trip Planning
Several new rail lines, expansions and improvements of
current lines are underway. See the Metro Projects underway
including the Expo Corridor, Crenshaw-LAX, Metro Orange Line Extension,
Westside Subway Extension, Gold Line Foothill Extension, South Bay Green
Line Extension, and more. L A is on the move!
If you want to transfer to the Metrolink from the
Metro Rail and Metro Bus system, however, your MTA passes, tickets and tokens
won't get you in the door. The Metrolink service is a different
organization that does not integrate fares with local transit systems.
With a name like "MetroLINK", you would expect that the convenience of
linking or transferring between systems would be an essential part of
On the other hand, there is a transfer agreement from Metrolink to MTA
Metro Bus/Rail which applies only to those who already have purchased
their fare or pass to the Metrolink system. The agreement between Metro and Metrolink
regarding fare media is as follows:
Valid Metrolink monthly passes and tickets are
valid for the base fare on all Metro Bus/Rail service.
Metrolink one-way and round-trip tickets are only
good for Metro services on the day printed on the ticket. Metrolink
10-trip tickets must be date-stamped on the date of use prior to boarding
The problem with the Metrolink one-way and round-trip
tickets is that you can't buy these tickets at MTA Metro Rail stations or
anywhere other than Metrolink stations. Therefore, if your trip starts
from Metro Rail or Bus, you have to pay your Metro fare in advance to get to
the Union Depot or to other Metrolink train stations where you buy your
Metrolink tickets. After you buy your Metrolink ticket, you can use
the ticket for Metro Rail fare at the other end of your train ride.
The same limitation occurs with the 10-trip tickets, since you can't get the
date-stamp until you arrive at the Metrolink station. This, in effect,
makes it a half-way transfer arrangement unless you have a valid Metrolink
monthly pass or you only need the Metro Bus/Rail after you ride the
Recently, I commuted to Chatsworth from Highland Park
several times a week taking the Gold Line to Union Depot and the Metrolink
to Chatsworth. I bought a Monthly Pass on the Metrolink one month,
but I lost money on the deal because I didn't travel enough days to realize
a savings for the month. I did better with the 10-Trip-Ticket, but the
expiration date of 90 days also caused me to lose money when my job in
Chatsworth ended. With the Metrolink system, you have to buy tickets
for a particular line, direction and distance (number of zones). The
One-Way tickets also expire after 3 hours from time of purchase.
Metrolink also has a number of discounts for youth,
seniors, disabled persons, students and large groups. The seniors
discount for Metrolink is based on age 65, whereas the qualifying age for
the MTA is 62. Verification of age is required by both organizations
to purchase these discount fares.
Recent accidents on the Metrolink with numerous
fatalities have caused an uproar over safety issues. From the
L A Times: After the Chatsworth disaster of year 2008 in which 25
people died and 135 were hurt, The Times' Steve Hymon reported that
"Metrolink has amassed the most fatalities among commuter railroads of
similar size in the United States over the last decade." Over the last nine
years, 74 people have been killed in incidents involving Metrolink.
Positive train control systems are available that can directly prevent a
similar accident from happening. We expect that this type of positive
train control system will be deployed on the Metrolink in the very near
future and no train-to-train accident will ever occur again.
Cross-Town Token Concept? TAP Pass for MTA and
Wouldn't it be nice if you could buy Cross-Town Tokens
or a TAP pass that would be honored by both MTA Metro Rail-Bus and Metrolink? These
Cross-Town Tokens or TAP Passes could be purchased directly by commuters or by employers to
award to ride-share drivers as
an additional incentive for those who may be more successful in recruiting
larger groups of passengers. This could include some passengers that
don't own a vehicle or can't drive.
Cross-Town Tokens or TAP Passes would be used to buy special
transfer tickets to go between MTA and Metrolink lines. For example,
for 3 tokens you could buy a ticket to go one way from any Metro Rail or Bus
to any Metrolink line. For each Metrolink zone, you would add an
additional token to the price of the ticket. Two Tokens would be
sufficient to purchase an all-day pass on the MTA system. To include
the Metrolink trains for round trip passage, you would pay six tokens plus
double the number of zones.
Purchasing Cross-Town Tokens or TAP Passes would be made more
convenient by vending machines in many of the current retail outlets for MTA
passes as well as United States Postal Service stores. You would be
able to purchase these tokens in several quantities, including 10, 20 or 50.
Prices would be discounted more for larger quantities: 10 for $11, 20 for
$20, 50 for $45. The vending machines would accept cash, credit cards
or ATM cards. The tokens would have no cash value.
If you think this is a good idea,
please pass it on to local officials and your elected representatives.
We can bring down the price of gas by taking available mass transit
alternatives. More convenience will attract many frustrated commuters.
Instead of spending all our transportation money on infrastructure, we
should invest a few dollars on making the entire system more accessible and
convenient to users.
You can present your comments directly to Metro MTA
offices through the addresses, phones and e-mail links on this
page. Use these links to contact your local Los Angeles City or County
representatives. The MTA Metro Rail / Bus system is a go!
You can make it go better by letting your voice be heard!
New East Los Angeles Extension to the Gold Line - A few days after the
inauguration on November 15, 2009. Take a ride to the first two stops
to explore ELA by light rail!
Take a trip with us from Heritage Square to
Union Station downtown Los
Angeles by watching this 5 - minute video clip!
By looking at these videos, it's obvious that the Los Angeles Metro Rail is
much faster through town than your high performance rubber-wheeled car!
If you cannot operate the video player, you may need to download the
latest Shockwave Flash Add-on for your browser from
Adobe Systems inc. Make sure this add-on is enabled in the
tools options for your browser under managing add-ons. More
viewing options are also available from
train video clips
Take a ride on the MTA Rapid Bus 704 to the
Union Station and the Gold Line Metro Rail to China Town. Buses, trains, light rail and
people from all parts of busy Southern California, all merge at the
Station in the heart of the City of Los Angeles.
If you have an hour to kill waiting for your next
Metrolink train at
Union Station, the smart thing to do is walk across the street and treat
yourself to colorful scenes, tasty foods and ethnic sounds at Olvera Street.
The historic site of El Pueblo De Los Angeles is a very popular tourist attraction.
Los Angeles MTA Travel Guide
Metro Facts at a Glance
LA Metro Safety
My recent experience in May 2021, on the Gold Line and Red Line was comforted by the fact that I had already been vaccinated for COVID-19 months previously and could see a lot of space on the cars half-filled seating. Everyone was wearing face masks except for one guy sleeping across several seats. I was headed to the Kaiser Permanente Ophthalmology offices for an eye exam. Very convenient since the train stops on Sunset and Vermont and has an elevator that goes directly to the same building for my appointment.
Negatives: I looked around for hand sanitizers in dispensers but didn’t see any. Not in the train cars, not in the train stations. Nowhere to be seen. They say they are installing sanitizing dispensers at major transit stops and stations to allow riders to wash their hands on their Web page on COVID safety , but none were visible on my trip which included the main Union Depot Station and several others. There were also several people sleeping on seats and occupying a lot of space. No enforcement of their rules was present.
I need a safe way to get to my Ophthalmology appointments because sometimes the treatment includes iris dilation and other temporary vision distortion. As we get older, eye care can be a problem, as well as mobility in general. Let the LA Metro Public Safety Advisory Committee know about your concerns by attending a meeting or sending an email message.
TAP Your Way to Paperless Passes
All Metro passes and stored value are now sold on TAP, a durable plastic card you can use again and again. It’s eco-friendly, because using TAP eliminates tons of disposable paper passes and stamps. Before you can load a pass on TAP, you need to have the appropriate TAP card. A reusable TAP card for regular fare riders can be obtained several ways including online at taptogo.net..
When you purchase a new card or add a new pass to your card, be sure to TAP your card at each change of lines or transfer. Otherwise you may be subject to a heavy fine of over $200!
Commuters, travelers and tourists, may need a little guidance in navigating through the public transportation systems of the Los Angeles area in sunny Southern California. If you're new to public transportation in Los Angeles, several photos and videos on this page may give you a better feeling for what's it like to ride our trains and buses? . More videos here .
In the 1960's, I can remember using tokens to ride the MTA buses and streetcars in Los Angeles. You could buy a number of MTA tokens for less than the normal fare. This was a good discount and my mother and many students like myself took advantage of the tokens to go downtown This was at a time when you could take the trolley or buy a cup of coffee for 10 cents. More than 50 years hence, you may wonder: But tokens for the MTA No Longer Exist!