intercity transportation system of Los Angeles serves as a regional, national and
international hub for passenger and freight traffic.
system includes the United States' largest port complex, an
extensive freight and passenger rail infrastructure, numerous
airports and an extensive highway system. The city also boasts a
busy intracity commuter system composed of numerous freeways
lines, light rail
lines and commuter rail
In the Los Angeles metropolitan area there are six commercial
airports and many more general-aviation airports.
primary Los Angeles airport is Los Angeles
International Airport . The fifth busiest commercial airport in the
world and the third busiest in the United States, LAX handled 61.9 million passengers, 1.884 million
metric tons of cargo and 680,954 aircraft movements in
major nearby commercial airports include: LA/Ontario
International Airport (serves the Inland Empire); Bob Hope
Airport (formerly known as Burbank Airport; serves
the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys); Long Beach
Airport (serves the Long Beach/Harbor area); John Wayne
Airport (serves the Orange County area); LA/Palmdale
Regional Airport (serves the northern outlying communities of the
Clarita and Antelope Valleys although has little passenger
world's busiest general-aviation airport is also located in Los
Angeles, Van Nuys
Intercity train services
Station is the major regional train station for Amtrak, Metrolink and Metro Rail.
Major freight rail lines in Los
Angeles County, including the Alameda Corridor highlighted in
is Amtrak's fifth busiest station having 1,464,289 Amtrak boardings
and deboardings in 2006. Amtrak operates eleven daily round trips
between San Diego and Los Angeles, five of which continue to
Two of those trips continue to San Luis
Obispo. The Coast
Starlight provides additional service on the route and beyond
to the San Francisco
Bay Area, Sacramento, and on to Seattle.
Amtrak motor coaches connect from Los Angeles to the San Joaquin
Route in Bakersfield with frequent service through the Central
Valley of California. There is also daily service to Chicago on the
Southwest Chief, and three times a week to New Orleans on the
Sunset Limited. Due to the effects from Hurricane Katrina, Sunset Limited service
east of New
Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida has been discontinued, although Amtrak is required
by current Federal Law to develop a plan to reinstate the
Pacific Surfliner trains stop at several locations in Los Angeles
County, including Glendale, Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, Chatsworth, and Van Nuys. Van Nuys Station
in the community of Van
Nuys serves northern portions of Los Angeles.
Because of the large volumes of import freight that flows into the
city's port complex, Los Angeles is a major freight railroad hub.
Freight is hauled by Union
and BNSF Railway
The now-defunct Southern
once served the Los Angeles area before
merging with Union Pacific. The Alameda
, a below-grade rail corridor connects the port to the
city's main rail yards and to points further north and east.
highway routes providing intercity connections are Interstate 5 (north to Sacramento and south to San Diego), Interstate
15 (north to Las Vegas and south to San Diego), U.S. Route 101 (north to Santa
Barbara), and Interstate 10 (east to Phoenix).
Intercity bus services
stations within the city of Los Angeles:
Greyhound Lines operates stations in the following cities and areas
surrounding Los Angeles:
Greyhound Lines also services bus stops at:
Port of Los
Angeles is located in San Pedro Bay in the San Pedro neighborhood,
approximately 20 miles (30 km) south of Downtown.
Also called Los Angeles
and WORLDPORT L.A.
the port complex occupies 7,500 acres (30 km²) of land and water
along 43 miles (69 km) of waterfront. It adjoins the
separate Port of Long
ports of the Port of
Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach together make up the Los Angeles – Long Beach
There are also smaller, non-industrial harbors
along L.A.'s coastline. Most of these like Redondo
Beach and Marina del Rey are used primarily by sailboats and yachts.
Port of Los
Angeles along with the Port of Long Beach comprise the largest seaport complex in the
States and the fifth busiest in the world.
percent of United States international trade (by value) passes
through the Los Angeles region and it the Los Angeles customs
district collects over 37 percent of the nation’s import
duties.The port includes four bridges: the Vincent
Thomas Bridge, Henry Ford Bridge, Gerald Desmond Bridge, and Commodore Schuyler F. Heim Bridge.
ferries serving the offshore island community of Avalon,
California; they are mainly used for day excursions and to
move supplies to Catalina Island.
A traffic jam on the Santa Monica
Freeway, near the Robertson Boulevard exit
The City of Los Angeles is served by a large network of freeways
, streets, and local and regional public transportation
There are a dozen major freeways
crisscross the region. California's first freeway was the 110 Freeway
, also known as the
Pasadena Freeway or the Arroyo Seco Parkway. It opened in January
1, 1940 and links downtown Los Angeles to downtown Pasadena. From
Chavez Ravine north to Pasadena can be quite dangerous because
there is no shoulder
, the lanes are
narrow, the turns are sharp (and not always properly banked), and
the ramps are quite short and offer little room for acceleration to
freeway speed; all of this is because the freeway was designed for
much slower cars of a different era and much less traffic volume
than exists today. Commercial vehicles over 6,000 pounds are
prohibited from using this freeway. More recent freeways are
straighter, wider, and allow for higher speeds.
Major freeways of Los Angeles include:
Major highways of Los Angeles include:
are noted for referring to
freeways with the definite article ("The 101"), in contrast to most
other areas of the United States, who omit the article. Referring
to freeways by name, for example "The San Diego Freeway", is
essentially a holdover from the time when the freeways were built,
and is diminishing. Nevertheless, freeways continue to be
officially named, and the 118 was recently christened The Ronald
occurs on weekdays between 6
a.m. and 11 a.m., and in the evening between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m..
Traffic can occur at almost any time, particularly before major
holidays (including Thanksgiving
, and three-day weekends) and
even on regular weekends when one otherwise would not expect it.
Experienced Angelenos know that they need to factor traffic into
their commute. A major selling point for the two news radio
stations in Los Angeles is their frequent traffic reports.
The Texas Transportation
which publishes an annual Urban Mobility Report
ranked Los Angeles road traffic as the most congested in the United
States in 2005 as measured by annual delay per traveler. The
average traveler in Los Angeles experienced 72 hours of traffic
delay per year according to the study. Los Angeles was
followed by San
Francisco/Oakland, Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, (each with 60 hours of delay).
study by the same organization in 1999 ranks
the Los Angeles metropolitan area 31st among the 39 largest
American metropolitan areas in freeway lane-miles per capita at
.419 lane-miles per 1,000 people, 66% fewer than the U.S.
metropolitan area most well endowed with freeway lane-miles per
capita (Kansas City) and even fewer than many East Coast metropolitan
areas with a reputation for traffic congestion such as Boston, Washington and Baltimore.
the congestion in the city, the mean travel time for commuters in
Los Angeles is shorter than other major cities, including New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago. Los Angeles' mean travel time for work
commutes in 2006 was 29.2 minutes, similar to those of San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Streets, street layout, the boulevards, and street
The city has an extensive street grid. Arterial streets
(referred to as surface
by locals) connect freeways with smaller neighborhood
streets, and are often used to bypass gridlocked freeway
The block designations are divided by Main Street (east and west)
south of Downtown Los Angeles and 1st Street. North of downtown,
east and west street designations vary from street to street due to
its mountain terrain.
downtown Los Angeles to Long Beach, in a straight-down vertical
pattern, east-west streets are numbered (starting with 1st Street
in downtown, to 266th Street in Harbor
City), and north-south streets are named.
St. is one block south of Temple.) There are many exceptions to the
numbered streets, but the above pattern is generally used. This
same numbered pattern is not mirrored north of Temple. Addresses
are then numbered East or West stemming from Main St (a major north
south artery). So the address of 1765 E. 107th St. is approximately
107 streets south of first street, and on the 17th street east of
Main St. (This happens to be the address of the Watts Towers).
Although the numbered streets are sequential, they do not
necessarily equal the number of blocks south of first street, as
there are streets such as 118th St. and then 118th Place.
Many of the numbered streets also continue into neighboring cities;
but some cities, such as Manhattan Beach, have made their own
numbered street grid. Also, some districts of Los Angeles, such as
Wilmington, San Pedro, and Venice, have their own numbered street
Many arterials have been labeled as boulevards
, and many of those mentioned below have
been immortalized in movies, music, and literature.
east-west routes include: Victory, Ventura, Hollywood, Sunset, Santa Monica, Beverly, Wilshire, Olympic, Pico, Venice,
Adams, Jefferson, Exposition and Martin Luther King.
north-south routes include: Topanga Canyon, Broadway, Reseda, Lincoln, Hawthorne, Sepulveda, Van Nuys, Westwood, Beverly Glen, San Vicente, Robertson, La
Canyon, Crenshaw, and
There are many other famous L.A. streets which carry significant
traffic but are not labeled as boulevards. Examples include:
, Barrington Avenue
, Centinela Avenue
, Mulholland Drive
, Pacific Coast Highway
, Slauson Avenue
, Century Park East
, Avenue of the Stars
, Highland Avenue
, Melrose Avenue
, Florence Avenue
, Normandie Avenue
, Vermont Avenue
, Fairfax Avenue
, Grand Avenue
, Huntington Drive
, Central Avenue
. West Los Angeles has
many streets named after states that run east and west. Somewhat
confusingly, adjacent Santa Monica uses a few of the same state
names for different streets of its own.
Pedestrians walking on the Third
Street Promenade in Santa Monica
Despite the assertion of the popular song that "nobody walks in
L.A.", 3.4% of Los Angeles residents commute to work by walking and
Los Angeles residents walk for exercise at rates similar to those
of other major U.S. cities.
There are a number of commercial areas that have been redeveloped
in the past two decades specifically to accommodate pedestrian
traffic. Old Town Pasadena
was redeveloped in the
late 1980s by moving parking off Colorado Boulevard
so as to make the
street pedestrian-focused. Likewise, the Third Street
Promenade in Santa Monica was closed off to vehicular traffic altogether
in 1965 and revitalized with improved pedestrian amenities in
1988. Downtown Los Angeles has numerous public escalators and skyways, such
as the Bunker Hill steps to facilitate
pedestrian traffic in the traffic-laden and hilly
Downtown Los Angeles is one of two neighborhoods in Los Angeles
ranked as a "walker's paradise" (with walk scores 90 or above) by
. The other is Mid-City
West, which encompasses the area of the city immediately south of
Hollywood and east
Nevertheless, much of Los Angeles remains pedestrian unfriendly. A
large percentage of sidewalks
in the City
of Los Angeles (43% or of the 10,600 total miles) are in ill repair
stemming from the City
passing an ordinance in 1973 that relieved property
owners of responsibility for repair of sidewalks damaged by
, while failing to concurrently allocate
funds for city repairs of such sidewalks. The city began dedicating
funds for sidewalk repairs in 2000, but the backlog created by the
twenty-six year repair hiatus is severe.
The primary regional public
agency is the Los
Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority
commonly referred to as Metro or MTA. The agency, which operates
bus, light rail and subway services, averages 1.6 million transit
trips per weekday, making it the third largest transit agency in
the United States. Other municipal transportation agencies in
Los Angeles County (LADOT, Long Beach Transit, Montebello Bus Lines, Norwalk Transit, Redondo Beach,
Monica's Big Blue Bus,
Santa Clarita Transit,
Torrance Transit and Foothill Transit) have an additional
405,000 average weekday boardings.
In February 2008, LACMTA introduced a new universal fare system
called 'TAP' which stands for Transit Access Pass
. The TAP smart card
allows bus and rail passengers to tap their cards on the farebox
for faster boarding. TAP readers have already been installed on
buses and rail stations next to ticket vending machines. Because
barrier free system, fare inspectors will be checking to make sure
TAP users have validated their card use a wireless handheld unit.
This automated fare system will eventually be implemented on eleven
other Los Angeles County transit operators and intends to replace
the EZ Pass which allows travel between these transit agencies for
one monthly price. Commuters from surrounding cities and
communities will be able to travel across the county switching from
one transit operator's system to another using one smart card to
pay for fares.
The extensive bus system operated by LACMTA includes the Metro Local
, and Metro Express
The buses have an estimated 1.3 million boardings on the weekdays.
Including other municipal bus operators, Los Angeles County
averages 1.7 million bus boardings per weekday, accounting for
approximately 5.9% of the 29 million daily trips originating in Los
has bus rapid transit system
called the Orange Line, that runs
from Warner Center/Woodland Hills to the North Hollywood Red Line station,
began operations on October 29, 2005.
For 13 of its stretch
(21 km of its 22.5 km stretch), the articulated buses, built by
North American Bus
and dubbed Metro Liners
, operate on
bus-only lanes that follow an old railroad right-of-way
. Portions of the route
parallel Chandler and Victory Boulevards, and Oxnard Street.
Transit also operates a bus rapid transit system called the
Silver Streak, which runs from
Montclair to Downtown Los Angeles along the El Monte
Busway on Interstate 10.
Map of Westside Metro rail system
including lines under construction (Exposition line Phase I in
Aqua) and under consideration showing alternatives as of May 2008
(Purple line including Santa Monica Boulevard option in pink)
Between its light rail
and heavy rail
systems, Los Angeles Metro Rail
has miles of
rail, averaging 308,653 trips per weekday, and accounting for
approximately 1.1% of the 29 million daily trips originating in Los
Angeles County. The network includes three above-ground light rail
lines (Gold Line
, and Green Line
) and one
with two branches
and Purple Line
). Ranked by daily ridership,
the Los Angeles subway ranked as the ninth-busiest
rapid transit system in the United States. Ranked by passengers per
route mile, however, the system ranks sixth
transporting 8,846 passengers per route mile, more than San
Francisco's Bay Area Rapid
or the Chicago 'L'
Angeles Metro Rail system connects disperse areas of the county
Beach, Pasadena, Norwalk, El Segundo, North
Hollywood and Downtown Los
Angeles. As of June 2008, two additional light rail
lines were under construction: the Expo
Line's first phase from Downtown Los Angeles to Culver City and an extension of the Gold Line from Union
Station to East Los
There are additional rail expansion projects
currently under study. The timing of their construction will depend
on the availability of funding. These projects include:
- New light rail line through the Crenshaw Corridor
- Further extension of the Gold Line from Pasadena to Azusa
- Second phase of the Expo line to Santa Monica
- Westward extension of the Purple Line subway
Also serving Los Angeles and several surrounding counties is
regional commuter rail
Metrolink averages 42,600 trips per weekday.
Bicycling accounts for less than one percent (0.6%) of all work
commutes There are extended stretches of "bicycle paths" such as
the Los Angeles River
, which runs from Burbank to Long Beach, with only
a brief hiatus through downtown.
Commuting statistics for major U.S.
cities in 2006
In 2006, of the 4,423,725 workers aged 16 or older in Los Angeles
County, 72.0% commuted to work driving
alone, 11.9% commuted by driving in a carpool
and 7.0% commuted on public transportation
. 64.9% of public
transportation commuters were non-white, 70.2% were Hispanic
and 67.6% were
foreign born. 75.5% of public transportation commuters earned less
than $25,000. However, only 32.7% of public transportation
commuters had no vehicle
them for their commute.
In the same year, for the City of Los Angeles, of the 1,721,778
workers aged 16 or older, 63.3% commuted to work driving alone,
11.5% commuted by driving in a carpool and 11.0% commuted by public
transportation. The percentage of population using public
transport in Los Angeles is lower than other large U.S. cities such
as Chicago and New
York, but similar to or higher than other western U.S.
cities such as Portland and Houston.
63.8% of public transportation commuters in
the City of Los Angeles in 2006 were non-white, 75.1% were Hispanic
and 73.9% were foreign born. 79.4% of public transportation
commuters earned less than $25,000 and 37.6% had no vehicle
available to them for their commute.
This city has few inter/intra-city hubs and continues to rely on
the outdated perception that everyone wants to go to/from Downtown.
contrast, Metropolitan Tokyo which is
about the same size and seismic zone as LA County, has multiple
inter/intra-city hubs like Shinjuku and
Ueno which allows ease of commuting to various
regions throughout its metropolitan area.
The only major hub
for Los Angeles is downtown and Union Station, while leaving the
entire Westside, LAX, South Bay and the San Fernando Valley without
any hubs of their own.
Despite LAX being one of the largest aiports in the world by
passenger volume, LAX itself lacks any reliable transportation
method and lacks vision for the future. It currently does not have
a direct rail link to the airport. It has no plans for a direct
air-to-rail transfer station for the California High Speed Rail
alleviate any of the commuter jet problems linking LAX to outlying
areas such as San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Fresno.
Instead, the city council and the Metro system continues to rely on
the singular Downtown LA method.
- Los Angeles
- Amtrak National Facts. Accessed July 2,
- " Greybegale Station," Greybegal
- " Los Angeles Greyhound Station,"
- " Los Angeles Wall, CA," Greyhound
- " North Hollywood Greyhound Station,"
- " Anaheim Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " Compton Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " El Monte Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " El Monte AAU," Greyhound
- " Glendale Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " Lancaster Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " Long Beach Greyhound Station,"
- " Los Angeles Olympic, California,"
- " Pasadena Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " Santa Ana Greyhound Station," Greyhound
- " Santa Ana Main Street, CA," Greyhound
- " Locations: California," Greyhound
- Texas Transportation Institute Urban Mobility
Report 2007, Table 1
- "You won't see a cop walkin' on the beat / You only see 'em
drivin' cars out on the street / You won't see a kid walkin' home
from school / Their mothers pick 'em up in a car pool / Nobody's
walkin' walkin' walkin' walkin—nobody walks in LA"Missing Persons,
"Walking in LA"
- CDC Walking for Exercise Prevalence Statistics
- History of Third Street Promenade
- Maguire Properties description of U.S. Bank Tower
- Walkscore.com Los Angeles's Most Walkable
- Zahniser, David, "City to pass the bucks on sidewalks?", Los
Angeles Times, Feb. 21,2008
The Los Angeles
(open to men and women) have been riding together
- BikeBoom presents a public calendar of bicycle events
in Los Angeles. Add your own events and check out what's
Inciting Change through Live Exchange (CICLE) s a non-profit
organization, based in Los Angeles that actively seeks to promote
the bicycle as a viable, healthy, and sustainable transportation
choice. Its site features bicycle related news and events. It also
presents bicycle related propaganda.
- The Concerned
Off Road Bikers Association (CORBA) lobbies for access to
single-track in the Greater Los Angeles area, provides education to
mountain-bikers and constructs trails.
- The Los
Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC) is a non-profit
501(c)3 volunteer organization which advocates for
infrastructure and regulatory improvements in the county on behalf
of its members. Among recent success have been the gaining of
access to MTA subway/light-rail during off-peak hours for bicycles
and the partial construction of the L.A. River
- The Bicycle Kitchen is a grassroots volunteer organization which provides
access to equipment and expertise in bicycle repair and