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 replies

  1. 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.

  2. I’ll be going to the Kings game on Sunday and was planning on driving (luckily I’m coming from the south), but if I WERE to take the metro, about how long does the trip take (coming from Long Beach)?

    • 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

  3. Re: Bobby and Steve . . . The light rail line goes underground just south of 11th Street, so the bike and train routes DO NOT cross.


    According to this course map, the bicycle course route is west on 11th Street, south on Flower Street, west on Pico Boulevard, north on Figueroa Street, finishing south of Chick Hearn Court/11th Street in front of Staples Center. There should be no disruption of Blue/Expo Line trains as the portal is south of 11th Street.

    Just an FYI, if anyone has ever wondered if light rail trains were disrupted by a major event, it has happened in Baltimore, Maryland with the inaugural running of the Baltimore Grand Prix in September 2011; the race course crossed the at-grade path of the MTA Maryland LRT ROW twice at Pratt and Conway Streets, forcing MTA Maryland to close service in the affected areas.

    I’m glad Metro Los Angeles works with event coordinators to limit disruption with at-grade LRT service. I have yet to hear of any disruption of Metro Rail service here from planned events.

  5. Hi-

    Will there be any special delays with the Expo Line? Was planning to take it to watch the bike race but it looks like the course cuts right through the path of the train.


    • Hi Bobby;

      I’m trying to find out — I know the course turns right onto Flower from Pico. I’m guessing they can hold trains there until the bikers pass — they ride clumped together. But I’ll try to find out for sure.

      Steve Hymon
      Editor, The Source

  6. The article reads “avoid driving to downtown Los Angeles” and not “avoid downtown Los Angeles.” There’s a big difference.

  7. Why say something like “avoid downtown Los Angeles”? Shouldn’t Metro be promoting the use of it’s transit system first and then also promote downtown LA? Take advantage of Los Angeles and attend all the cultural activities via Metro? That’s the beauty of LA, so much going on in this City! Take advantage and Go Metro! Not “avoid downtown Los Angeles”…wasn’t downtown LA pretty much avoided for the last 30 years?

  8. I see the note “A lot more line-by-line info is after the jump…”. What does that mean? Where is this jump and how do I jump over it?