Tuesday December 16, 2003
Holiday travelers seeking an alternative to the hassles and costs of driving to and parking at L.A. County airports this holiday season will find a host of bus and rail options that can provide convenient, cost-effective transportation to Los Angeles International, Burbank Glendale Pasadena and Long Beach Airports.
Together, MTA, Metrolink and local bus operators provide several transit options to county airports, helping to relieve traffic loads typically found at or near airports during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.
The Automobile Club of Southern California is projecting a 3 percent increase in the number of Southern California residents who will be traveling by car this holiday season. Los Angeles World Airport authorities expect approximately 2.6 million passengers passing through the Los Angeles International Airport between Dec. 19 and Jan 4. Burbank Airport authorities estimate an average of 17,000 to 19,000 people at the airport between Dec. 21 and Dec. 27 alone. The Long Beach Airport expects a total of 290,000 passengers for the month of December.
"Many L.A. travelers are simply unaware that there are alternatives to driving to and from county airports," said Roger Snoble, MTA CEO. "In the case of LAX, by far the county's busiest airport, travelers can take Metro Buses or the Metro Green Line and then board a free connecting shuttle directly to their terminal. It's quite easy and is an attractive choice for many holiday travelers."
The cost savings to airport travelers who want to avoid parking fees is substantial. Parking rates at LAX range from $8 to $30 per day. Burbank Airport parking fees range from $4.55 to $15.45 per day. At Long Beach Airport, daily parking fees range from $6 to $15 per day. Metro Bus and Rail tickets currently cost $1.35 for a one-way trip, and an additional 25 cents for transfers.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2004, the cash fare for a one-way trip will be reduced 10 cents to just $1.25, transfer fares will be discontinued and MTA will instead offer a convenient $3 Day Pass that allows for unlimited local travel on the Metro system within a 24-hour period.
MTA operates nine Metro Bus Lines serving LAX and four lines serving Burbank Airport:
Los Angeles International Airport
Line 42 - service between Patsaouras Transit Center in downtown Los Angeles and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 220 -- service between West Los Angeles and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 111 - service between Whittier and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 117 - service between Downey and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 220 - service between West Hollywood and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 232 - service between Long Beach Transit Mall and LAX City Bus Center.
Line 315 - service between Playa Del Rey, LAX City Bus Center and Norwalk.
Line 439 - service between Patsauras Transit Plaza in Downtown Los Angeles, LAX City Bus Center and Redondo Beach.
Line 625 - service between Westchester, Aviation/ I-105 Metro Green Line Station and LAX City Bus Center.
Burbank Glendale Pasadena Airport
Line 94/394 - service between downtown Los Angeles, Burbank Airport and Sylmar.
Line 163 - service between West Hills, Burbank Airport and Hollywood.
Line 165 - service between Canoga Park and Burbank Airport.
All Metro Buses will adhere to their normal operating schedules during the holidays, but will follow a less frequent holiday schedule on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Long Beach Airport (Service by Long Beach Transit)
LBT Line 111 - Service between Lakewood Mall, Long Beach Airport and Long Beach Convention Center and Transit Mall.
MTA also operates the Norwalk to Redondo Beach Metro Green Line, which connects with free shuttle service to LAX terminals. Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Culver City Bus provide additional local services to LAX. These bus operators will also adhere to a holiday service schedule on Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
Metrolink, operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, provides 14 weekday trains from Los Angeles to the Burbank Airport. Another 13 trains travel from Los Angeles to Burbank Station, where passengers can get a free shuttle to the airport.
There are also 10 Metrolink trains coming south on the Ventura County line that stop at the Burbank Airport. Trains will adhere to their normal operating schedules throughout the holiday season, but will not operate Christmas Day and will not stop at the Burbank Airport on New Year's Day.
The Flyaway Bus Service is also a convenient way to travel between LAX and the San Fernando Valley. Round trip fare is $6. The 24-hour non-stop service from Van Nuys leaves from the Van Nuys Airport Bus Terminal located at 7610 Woodley Ave. Service runs every 15 minutes between 4:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. and every 30 minutes from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m. Parking costs $4 per day.
From LAX the FlyAway Bus leaves Terminal 1 and picks up passengers at airline terminals at the green sign for Bus and Long Distance Vans on the lower level. Service is every 30 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to midnight.
Airports recommend that holiday travelers allow for extra time at airports, have travel arrangements as complete as possible, carry proper identification and understand that post 9/11 security measures will be in force.
Travelers interested in taking public transportation to airports can use an interactive Trip Planner on MTA's web site at WWW.METRO.NET. The site also contains all Metro Bus and Rail timetables. They may also call 1-800-COMMUTE to obtain this information. Metrolink service timetables are available at WWW.METROLINKTRAINS.COM. Commuters may also call 1-800-371-LINK. For additional information on FlyAway Bus service, call 818-994-5554.