Los Angeles: Local Travel Info
City Of Angels
Internal Flights and Major International Airports for Los Angeles
There are 6 major airports in the Los Angeles area: Los Angeles International Airport, Ontario International Airport, Burbank Airport, Long Beach Airport, John Wayne Airport/Orange, and Palmdale Air Terminal. There are also several commuter airports in Los Angeles for non-commercial flights: Hawthorne, Santa Monica Municipal Airport, Torrance Municipal Airport, and Van Nuys Municipal Airport. Airport websites contain loads of helpful information as well as current flying regulations and flight schedules – use them to become familiar with your airport. Airline travel is the most popular form of transportation to and from Los Angeles. Popular airlines with great deals on flights are Southwest, US Airways/America West, and Virgin America.
Getting To and From Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the fifth busiest airport in world located just southwest of the city. About 15 miles from downtown Los Angeles, getting there can take 30 to 45 minutes depending on the city’s infamous traffic. Depending on where you will be staying and how many people are travelling with you, transportation choices can include train, taxi, rental car, private shuttle or shared shuttle. Many airport area hotels offer free shuttle service to and from the airport. There are also shuttles operated by both rental car companies and the airport that will take you at no cost to the rental car facilities at the airport.
The Los Angeles Metro rail system is quite inexpensive however is limited in its destinations so check their website to verify if your lodgings are near a station. Taxis are convenient, efficient, and, with fixed fare of $46.50 from LAX to downtown, surprisingly economical as well. Rental cars are also very convenient and practical but keep in mind parking costs and the city’s notorious rush hour traffic times. Shuttles, whether shared or private, can be time consuming depending on the number of pick-ups or drop-offs and costly if there are too little travellers sharing the ride or too many travellers on a private ride.
Travel Costs in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Metro system is the city’s public transportation rail and bus line and offers fares from $1.25 to $5 day passes to $17 week passes. Taxi costs in Los Angeles are calculated by both distance and time – visit www.taxicabsla.org for a breakdown. In addition, it is customary to add a 15% tip. Shuttle costs vary greatly depending on the shuttle services. Taking a private shuttle can cost as much as $100 depending on your destination and $10 extra per person in your party. Shared shuttles split the cost over the number of passengers and can be as low as $15 to $30. The most competitive rates for rental cars will be found by booking online or part of a package travel deal. Average cost for an economy car is about $60 per day.
Rental Cars in Los Angeles
Unless you’re part of a tour group or are planning a long stay in the city where you can take time to use public transportation, a rental car is probably your best option for transportation in Los Angeles. The city covers quite a bit of ground and popular sites are spread across the valley. Booking your rental car is best done online or as part of your travel package. Non-Americans will most likely be required to purchase insurance that will increase your cost. In addition, there is not much free parking in Los Angeles including at your hotel. Look for parking fees to be anywhere from $5-$20 at certain attractions to a daily $30 fee at your hotel.
For Cheap Car Hire in Los Angeles, view our links in the main tab above. These are updated hourly to provide you with the latest deals and special offers on car rental in Los Angeles.
Drivers License Requirements in Los Angeles
Check with your rental car company or your consulate that your driver’s license is valid in the United States - most likely you’ll only be required to provide your driver’s license and passport when picking up the rental car. It is highly recommended that you purchase the additional car rental insurance for vehicle damage or personal injury if it is not already required.
Driving Rules in Los Angeles
The United States drives on the right side of the road and seatbelts are required at all times. Highway speeds are posted in miles per hour and can range from 55 to 70 mph. Average road speeds range from 15 mph in school zones to the more common 45 mph. There are many tow away zones in Los Angeles so be sure to park in designated areas. Pay attention to traffic signs and parking restrictions as they are posted everywhere to guide you. Should you be ticketed, instructions will be posted on the ticket and additional fines will be assessed when you turn in your rental car. Make note that pedestrians always have the right of way in the United States.
Buses in Los Angeles
The Los Angeles Metro public transportation system is comprised of over 200 bus lines and 5 rail lines. The west side of Los Angeles, Venice, and Santa Monica are accessible only by bus line. Travel can be fairly quick or quite slow depending on the route and current traffic conditions. Fares are $1.25, $5 for a day pass, or $17 for a week pass. You may purchase fares online, with any bus driver, or at any Metro station. For routes, additional fare information, and the useful Trip Planner, visit the Metro website at www.metro.net.
Taxis in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles, it is rare that you will find a taxi to flag down directly at the curb unless you are at the airport. It is most common that either you, your hotel concierge, or your restaurant host call one for service. There is a standard fixed price of $46.50 for transport from LAX to downtown. All other fares are calculated by distance and time so be wary at rush hour when traffic is at its heaviest. Review taxi guidelines at www.taxicabsla.org. Here you will also find a Bill of Rights for passengers and drivers outlining Los Angeles’ taxicab service requirements. Make note it is customary to add a 15% tip to your final fare.
Hitchhiking in Los Angeles
In Los Angeles and most metropolitan areas of the United States, the laws for where it is permissible to hitchhike are up to interpretation by law enforcement. Pedestrians are definitely restricted from highways and other high-speed roadways. Although you can try asking for a ride from a friendly passerby, most Americans do not pick up unknown hitchhikers or hitchhike themselves due to safety concerns.