Traffic alert: avoid driving to downtown Los Angeles this weekend (especially Sunday) and Go Metro to Tour of California, Kings, Lakers and Clippers playoff games!

Click above to see a larger Metro Rail map.

It should be quite a Sunday morning this week in downtown Los Angeles. First, downtown is hosting the eighth and final stage of the Amgen Tour of California bike race, which begins in Beverly Hills, travels through Hollywood and is scheduled to finish near L.A. Live between 11:45 a.m. and noon. Earlier in the morning, the public can ride the five-mile downtown circuit from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (Register for that event here).

Then, at noon, the L.A. Kings and Phoenix Coyotes play Game 4 of the NHL’s Western Conference Finals at Staples Center. The Kings won Game 1 last night, meaning that Game 4 could — emphasis on could — be the series clincher that would send the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals.

The confluence of the two events is a happy coincidence and one that basically screams for avoiding the drive into downtown Los Angeles on Sunday. The best transit option is Metro Rail, with routes feeding into downtown from every direction. Please note that bikes are absolutely allowed at all times on Metro Rail and seats have been removed on many rail vehicles to add space for cyclists.

In addition, traffic promises not to be real treat Friday or Saturday in the downtown area. The Lakers host Oklahoma at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Staples and a gospel event at the Convention Center is expected to draw 15,000 people or more that day. A very large fan turnout is expected for the touring Roger Waters: The Wall concert at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday night. The Clippers host San Antonio at 12:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

About Metro Rail:

•The new Expo Line runs from the La Cienega/Jefferson station to 7th/Metro Center at the intersection of Figueroa and 7th streets, with a stop at Pico — two short blocks from L.A. Live and Staples Center. There is free parking available at the Metro garage at La Cienega/Jefferson, as well as many paid parking options at Exposition Park. Timetable and parking info

A lot more line-by-line info is after the jump…

•The Red Line subway runs from North Hollywood to Union Station. There is free parking at the North Hollywood station, Universal City station and numerous paid parking lots around stations in Hollywood — although beware of the Tour of California, which is routed through Hollywood. There is also paid parking at Union Station — it’s $6 for the day. Timetable and parking info

•The Orange Line busway runs between Warner Center and the North Hollywood Red Line station and has free parking in several lots. Timetable and parking info

•The Blue Line runs between downtown Long Beach and 7th/Metro Center at 7th and Figueroa, with a stop at Pico, two short blocks from L.A. and Staples Center. There are free parking lots along the route, as well as paid parking in downtown Long Beach. Timetable and parking info

•The Green Line runs between Redondo Beach and Norwalk and offers transfers to the Blue Line. There is also free parking at several lots at stations. Timetable and parking info

•The Gold Line runs to Union Station from both Pasadena and East Los Angeles. There are several free parking lots or garages along the route, as well as street parking and paid parking in downtown Pasadena. Timetable and parking info

•Metrolink and Amtrak trains serve Union Station, with connections to the Red/Purple Line subway to reach downtown L.A. destinations. Metrolink has service on the Antelope Valley, San Bernardino and Orange County lines on Sundays. Metrolink schedules and

A single ride on Metro Rail is $1.50; tickets are available at ticket vending machines at all rail stations. If you need to transfer, the best choice is a day pass for $5, also available at all ticket vending machines. Fares can also be stored on electronic TAP cards, which cost $2 and are available at all ticket machines.

On the go and need rail and bus arrival/departure times from your current location? Try Metro’s new app for smartphones. Android version and iPhone version

13 thoughts on “Traffic alert: avoid driving to downtown Los Angeles this weekend (especially Sunday) and Go Metro to Tour of California, Kings, Lakers and Clippers playoff games!

  1. Hi Amy;

    If you board the Blue Line at the Long Beach Transit Mall and take the train to the Pico Station near Staples Center, it’s about a 56 minute ride. It’s shorter, of course, if you are starting closer to L.A. Please see the timetable on the post for train departure and arrival times.

    Thanks and Go Kings!

    Steve Hymon
    Editor, The Source

  2. You could take the Metrolink or the Santa Clarita 757 bus which operates from Valencia Town Center to the North Hollywood Metro Red Line station.

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