Tuesday August 28, 2001
Traffic snarls, typical near the fair and, especially at freeway off- ramps, and long hikes from the fair’s expansive parking lot to the front gate, can be avoided, along with parking lot charges of up to $10. Just hop on the train.
The high speed pursuit of fair pleasures, and escape from the doldrums, can begin by taking the 59.4-mile Metro Rail system - which includes the Metro Red Line subway and light rail Metro Blue and Green lines - to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles.
From Union Station, patrons then transfer to Metrolink for a quick 47-minute trip to Pomona. Weekend trains stop at the Fairplex where a special platform close to the fair’s main entrance has been installed. Otherwise, during the week passengers are let out at the Metrolink Pomona station where Foothill Transit Line 479 offers service to just outside of the fairgrounds, a two-mile trip, every five to 10 minutes.
MTA’s Metro Rail system operates seven days a week until approximately midnight. Metrolink trains, operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, begin leaving from Union Station for Pomona as early as 6:17 a.m. during weekdays, and 9 a.m. on weekends, however, the fair does not open until 11 a.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday- Sunday. The fair closes at 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday- Saturday and 10 p.m. Sunday.
Return trips from the fair to Union Station depart as late as 7:55 p.m. weekdays, 7:22 p.m. Saturdays and 4:52 p.m. Sundays.
Fair-goers who take Metro Rail to Union Station and then transfer to Metrolink are only required to purchase a one-way Metro Rail ticket. The return trip is free, a savings of at least $1.35. Return transfers to Metro Rapid buses are also free. Metro Rapid buses link up with Metro Red Line stations on Wilshire Boulevard at Western, Normandie, Vermont and Westlake/McArthur Park. In the San Fernando Valley, Metro Rapid buses on Ventura Boulevard connect with the Universal City Metro Red Line station.
The MTA also offers basic fare discounts to senior citizens and the disabled.
The cost of a roundtrip ticket on Metrolink to the fair from Union Station is only $8.25 during weekday off-peak hours, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and all day on weekends.
Metrolink ticket holders can receive a $1 discount on each ticket (except opening day and not in conjunction with senior discounts) by showing their “Metro Funner Clubs Cards” which can be obtained on Metrolink trains.
For more information on Metro Rail schedules and ticket prices, call the MTA at 1-800-COMMUTE or visit www.mta.net; Metrolink at 1-800-371-LINK or visit metrolinktrains.com. For more information on the L.A. County Fair, call 1-909-865-4050 or visit lacountyfair.com.
MTA strongly suggests taking a Metro bus and all other alternative means of transportation to the Universal City and North Hollywood Metro Red Line stations, Mondays through Fridays, because of limited parking space availability.