Here’s how to take Metro to the 2017 Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game on Jan. 2

If you’re thinking about driving to the Rose Parade, please keep in mind that street and paid parking is pretty limited near the parade route and traffic is usually extremely congested after the parade — just when people start arriving for the game. Take it from a Pasadena resident: if you drive, expect it to take up to an hour or more to escape Pasadena.

But you can bypass all of that by taking the Metro Gold Line.

Getting to the Rose Parade

The Gold Line will open early at approximately 3 a.m. from Downtown L.A. to Pasadena on Jan. 2 for those going to the Rose Parade. Trains will operate every 15 minutes until 5 a.m. and then every 9 minutes with full-platform, 3-car trains until 9 p.m. The stations with the best access to the Rose Parade route are:

  • Del Mar Station (walk 2 blocks north to the Parade route)
  • Memorial Park Station (walk 2 blocks south of the Parade route)
  • Lake Station (walk 4 blocks south to Parade route)
  • Allen Station (walk 4 blocks south to Parade route)

The rest of Metro Rail will also run enhanced service on Jan. 2 from open to 9 p.m. Due to the large crowds expected to come out for the Rose Parade, large items such as umbrellas, chairs and coolers will NOT be permitted on the trains that day.

There is parking available at many Metro Rail stations, including Gold Line stations. Parking at most stations is free; it’s eight dollars a day to park at Los Angeles Union Station. There are also many paid parking in lots in downtown Los Angeles that are near the Red/Purple Line subway that can be used to connect with the Gold Line at Union Station.

Those coming from the San Fernando Valley may consider taking Line 501, which runs directly between North Hollywood, the Burbank Media District, downtown Glendale and Old Pasadena. Buses will run approximately every 30 minutes on Jan. 2 from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. One-way fare for Line 501 is $2.50.

Important note on the 501: due to the parade, the bus will terminate at Raymond and Holly in Old Pasadena. That’s a very short walk to the parade route and the free shuttles to the Rose Bowl from the Parsons parking lot.

Getting to the Rose Bowl

Take the Metro Gold Line to Memorial Park Station in Pasadena; then it’s just a short walk to Parsons Parking Lot B for the free shuttle that drops you off next to the stadium. Rose Bowl shuttle service begins at 10 a.m. on Jan. 2 and runs until 90 minutes after the game. If you are riding a Metro bus after the game, please check the individual timetables for last bus times leaving Pasadena. Game day parking at the Rose Bowl or the Parson’s lot costs $40.

Getting to the Post Parade Area for Float Viewing via Metro

After the parade, floats are displayed near Victory Park in Pasadena. To view the floats, take the Gold Line to the Sierra Madre Villa Station. Go the first level of the adjacent Gold Line parking garage to board a shuttle to the Post Parade area. On Jan. 2, shuttle service to the Post Parade area runs from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. Return service to Sierra Madre Villa Station will continue until 5:30 p.m. On Jan. 3, shuttle service from the station to Post Parade Park will begin at 7 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Service from the Post Parade venue back to Sierra Madre Villa Station will continue until 5:30 p.m.

Purchasing Metro Fare

Fares on Metro Rail are loaded on reusable TAP cards which can be purchased at all Metro Rail stations for $1; the machines at Metro Rail stations accept cash and credit cards. The regular one-way fare is $1.75 and includes two hours of free transfers. Some tips to speed your journey:

  • Load your TAP card with $3.50 round-trip fare in stored value when starting your trip and avoid long lines at TAP vending machines after the event.
  • A Day Pass is $7.
  • TAP cards cannot be shared; each person must have their own TAP card.

More fare information can be found here.

Other Transit Options

Below is the Metro and Metrolink map for our area. Metro runs the area light rail, subway and bus system that criss-crosses Los Angeles County. Metrolink runs commuter rail that serves the five-county area in addition to one station in northern San Diego County (Oceanside). The best way to take Metrolink to Pasadena is to take the Antelope Valley Line or San Bernardino Line to Union Station, then transfer to the Gold Line. Click here for more Metrolink service information.

Click on map for larger size

Metro held a media event Friday at the Gold Line’s Monrovia Station to promote riding the train and bus to the Tournament of Roses. Here is the official news release and below are some video highlights and some photos (and more pics are here — feel free to use!):

15 replies

  1. Hmm. For many years, my New Year’s Day (or Monday, January 2nd, as the case may be) ritual has been to stay in bed as long as possible, and to stay away from any operating television set until I can be reasonably certain that the last Rose Parade rebroadcast is over.

    • Haven’t had cable TV for years so I no longer have this problem. 🙂

      (Staying in bed is always a good plan though.)

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source

  2. For years I’ve used my car to go to the Rose Parade but for the last three I’ve used Metrolink and this year my family and I will use the Gold line from Azusa. What a great opportunity to then visit downtown L A or on to Santa Monica and not use a gallon of gas.

    • From the post:

      Those coming from the San Fernando Valley may consider taking Line 501, which runs directly between North Hollywood, the Burbank Media District, downtown Glendale and Old Pasadena. Buses will run approximately every 30 to 40 minutes on Jan. 2 from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. One-way fare for Line 501 is $2.50.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  3. On last Monday 12/26, did anyone notice the Go Metro app showed wrong arrival times for bus and rail lines, even showing bus lines there were not in service that day? That happened to me in that morning. But when I used Apple Map’s transit, the correct times were shown. I think the Go Metro app may incorrectly process 12/26/16 as a regular weekday. Just saying, the same may happen on 1/2/17, hopefully not.

    • Hi Philip,

      Shuttles are free if you take Metro to connect, otherwise it is regular $1.75 fare.

      Thank you,

      Anna Chen
      Writer, The Source