LA is notorious for traffic. When people think of bad traffic, they usually think of LA. So how do you get around in a city that has traffic jams all day?
During our 3-week trip, I’ve taken the liberty of testing many different modes of transportation; uber, e-bikes, regular bikes, electric scooters, walking, underground metro, and trams. Surprisingly enough, I think all of those options are solid, at least at certain times of the day. Let me cover some of them, and give you a word of advice for how, when and where to use them.
Like I said, traffic in LA can get pretty bad at times. For this reason, Uber can sometimes be a waste of time. For example, when we wanted to go home from a game at the Dodgers Stadium, it was quicker to bike to Union Station and to take the metro to Hollywood, than it would’ve been if we took an Uber.
In short, check how long the trip will be before confirming it. You don’t want to be stuck in traffic!
If you don’t have an Uber account yet, use this link for a discount on your first ride.
For shorter distances, my go-to mode of transportation would be Uber Jump. This feature is built into the Uber app you (most likely) already have installed. For just $0.15 a minute and no base fee (unlike bird and lime scooters), you can ride your bike or scooter, and finish your trip basically anywhere. Be mindful of ‘no-parking zones’, as you can get a $25 dollar fine if you leave your bike or scooter in those areas.
The bikes are regular bikes, but with a strong motor built in. Being dutch myself, I’m used to riding a bike in trafficked areas, but if you are inexperienced with riding a bike, I would refrain from using the 3rd gear. This 3rd gear makes you go really fast. Trust me; you’ll be the first to leave a traffic light, beating whatever car is next to you.
The scooters are a more mundane option, but be careful of potholes in LA, I myself flew of my bike while I was there, it’s not a pleasant experience, that I can tell you!
Metro is the most economical option in Los Angeles. Okay, walking is free, but it will not take you to the other side of LA for just a $1.75 flat fare. The system is strikingly similar to the one we saw in New York City. You tap in, and go wherever you want. Just make sure you tap again when transferring lines. The journeys can take a while, but if you are on a low budget, you can go from Long Beach to Santa Monica for less than $2.
One thing to consider is that some metro stations can get unsafe during the late hours. Personally, I’ve seen people that were heavily under the influence of drugs, creating a weird vibe in the trains, but no real unsafe situations. I guess this depends on what you’re comfortable with. It’s not as bad as many people will tell you, metro is a perfectly safe option, especially during the day!
Finally, one last word of advice; use google maps. It can easily show you how long the trip will take on a bike, public transportation, uber, your own car, or even walking. This will save you soo much time you can then spend on doing more fun things!
We hope this helps you in your explorations of Los Angeles. We loved the city, and we’re sure you will too. Enjoy LA!