I LOVE riding the bus!
Every time I hear someone say “you have to have a car in LA” or “the bus system here sucks”, I want to smack ’em. But I’m not a smack ’em kinda woman, so I just hold a resentment. A lot of these people are ones who maybe took a bus or train once, because their gas-guzzling, planet-polluting car was in the shop, and they had to get out side of their vehicular bubble and commute with fellow Angelenos, and they hated every moment of it, because of the money they were spending on car repairs, and the bus was a great thing to blame.
A lot of us use ground travel for many reasons: accessibility, not a driver, gets carsick, traffic, budget, proximity, fear of flying, or fear of flying during a pandemic (we’re with ya!), or simply wanting to relax during your commute. With ground transpo, the doors open at each stop, letting fresh air in to circulate, and you can hop off where you wish – especially if a fellow passenger becomes a bit unruly, like we’re seeing on airplanes these days. You’re trapped in the air with those humans.
Using your local bus and rail systems are more affordable and you get to see all the things you wouldn’t see from a plane or while driving a car. For example, if you live in Southern California, like Big Role headquarters, the local Metro system might not be as massive as other cities, but it works. A heads up, if it’s your main mode of transpo, we recommend you strategize where you live in LA. In some areas the buses don’t run as often. Like in the Valley, the heat plus the longer wait times can make you a sweaty mess by the time you get to your destination. If at all possible, move close to a transit hub – where a lot of buses connect.
The Los Angeles Metro Rail System goes to Long Beach, Redondo Beach, and Santa Monica beaches, Out to East LA, Koreatown, North Hollywood, San Gabriel Valley, and the main hub, Union Station, connects you with Amtrak, Metrolink, and all the buses that take you to Palm Springs, Vegas, USC shuttles, and much more. It’s also a must see. There’s dining, art work, concerts, and all sorts of events, like National Train Day celebrations. If you have a little more time to spare, the buses will get to places off the beaten path that the rail doesn’t reach, but again, off the beaten path means less frequent pick up times.
The Metrolink rail is a different company. From Union Station as well as many other stations, it’ll take you as far South as Oceanside, inside the OC like to Disneyland and LegoLand, SouthEast to Perris and Moreno Valley, East to San Bernadino, Northeast to Palmdale and Lancaster, and Northwest to Oxnard and Ventura, with many stops between all these end points. Metrolink is a much fancier rail with an Amtrak vibe, yet less passengers and less expensive. Speaking of…there are Amtrak hubs around Southern California, as well. Amtrak goes all over the country, has dining, sleeping, attendants, and many other amenities, so expect a higher fee for a ticket. See our Train Travels video!
If you live in or are visiting Southern California, try out the bus and rail systems, but be sure to look at the map of stops and stations before deciding where to live or stay.