Here are your transit options to get to and from the airports

Holiday travel season is upon us, and the Los Angeles area is served by multiple airports big and small. Three of the most used ones include LAX, Hollywood Burbank Airport and Long Beach Airport.

Contrary to popular belief, you don’t always have to drive to any of them. Here are a few transit connections that can get you to each of these airports.

LAX

LAX recently implemented LAXit, moving taxi and ride share app pick-ups to a parking lot near Terminal 1 that is accessible via a new shuttle bus or by foot.

There has, as you likely know, been considerable social media commentary on wait times for Ubers and Lyfts. LAX has been working to decrease wait times for the shuttle, Ubers and Lyfts and is increasing the size of the new pickup area by 50 percent beginning Wednesday.

Overlooked in this is some of the improvements made for buses. A new bus lane in the terminal horseshoe is now available for LAWA operated buses and shuttles. The lane has sped up travel time to/from the terminals. LAX has also said that traffic in the horseshoe has decreased with Ubers, Lyfts and taxis now using the new pickup lot.

One other reason for the change: LAX is in the midst of building a new airport people mover that will connect with the Crenshaw/LAX Line and Green Line. The construction has traffic impacts, thus the above changes. But when the work is done, there will be Metro Rail service to the airport via the people mover.

In the meantime, here are your options:

FlyAway: FlyAway offers bus service to and from LAX from the locations listed below. Fares vary depending on starting location (from $8 to $9.75) but are often cheap compared to Uber and Lyft. You can also use Stored Value or an EZ Pass on your TAP card to pay FlyAway fare.

  • Hollywood (on Vine Street, half a block south of Hollywood Blvd., near Metro Red Line Hollywood/Vine Station)
  • Long Beach (corner of 1st St. and Long Beach Blvd. at Shelter A, offers connections to Metro A Line)
  • Union Station (Downtown Los Angeles served by Metro Bus, Rail and municipal buses)
  • Van Nuys (San Fernando Valley)

Metro Green Line: the Green Line connects to LAX at Aviation/LAX Station. From there, catch the G shuttle bus to the terminals. The shuttle is free with valid proof of transit. Aviation/LAX Station is also served by numerous other bus lines, including Culver CityBus, Beach Cities Transit (Redondo Beach), and Big Blue Bus (Santa Monica). Regular Metro fare is $1.75 for travel in one-direction and includes 2 hours of free transfers.

City Bus Center: the City Bus Center is served by numerous bus lines, including Metro Bus 40, 102111, Culver CityBus, Torrance Transit (South Bay), and Big Blue Bus. Transfer to the free Lot C shuttle from the City Bus Center to reach the terminals.

Hollywood Burbank Airport

Photo by Eric Fredericks, via Flickr creative commons.

Burbank Bus: offers all-day service Monday through Friday between Hollywood Burbank Airport and North Hollywood Station, where you can connect with the Red Line subway or Orange Line bus. Airport buses depart North Hollywood every 15 minutes during AM and PM commute periods, every 20 minutes during mid-day, and every 45 minutes in the late evening. Fare is $1 or free with an EZ Transit Pass. A regular Metro-to-Muni transfer is $.50 and Burbank Bus accepts TAP. Free weekend service from North Hollywood Station is provided by Hollywood Burbank Airport Shuttle; call 818.558.3179 for more info.

Ride with Via: Via offers on-demand rides between North Hollywood Station and Hollywood Burbank Airport from Monday to Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Rides can be requested by using Via’s mobile app or by calling over the phone. This service is currently free.

Metrolink: the Ventura County Line serves Burbank Airport–South station . The train station is a short quarter-mile walk from the terminal area, and free shuttle service with luggage racks connects the terminals and train station at 818.565.1308. Amtrak’s Coast Starlight and Pacific Surfliner also stop at this station. Metrolink’s Antelope Valley Line stops at the Burbank Airport–North station, located about one mile north of the terminal near the intersection of San Fernando Boulevard and Hollywood Way. There is complimentary, on-demand shuttle service from the station to airport from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. which can be requested at 818.729.2245. Metrolink fares vary depending on distance traveled.

Long Beach Airport

Long Beach Transit: Long Beach Transit Bus Route 102 and Long Beach Transit Bus Route 104 provide service to the airport and connect with the Metro A Line (Blue) at Willow Station. Long Beach Transit Bus 111 connects with the Metro Blue Line at First Street and Downtown Long Beach Station. Regular Long Beach Transit fare is $1.25. A regular Metro-to-Muni transfer is $.50 and Long Beach Transit accepts TAP.

7 replies

  1. I do love the convenience of the FlyAway service, I just wish they were subsidized better. The busses used on the Hollywood route are beaten up and infrequent. There’s a lovely parking garage with an empty store-front directly in front of the Hollywood pick-up that would make for a lovely mini terminal and waiting area.

  2. “A new bus lane in the terminal horseshoe is now available for LAWA operated buses and shuttles.” But not for MTA/Local Agency buses? Regular buses used to have access to the horseshoe many (many) years ago. Why not give four or five lines direct access to the airport and bypassing the depressing slab of concrete in the landing path that we call the City Bus Center? It may not attract many travelers at first but LAX employees would certainly appreciate it right off the bat.

    Sadly, I already know the answer to this and for once Metro is not to blame. LAWA treats LAX like their personal fiefdom and answers to nobody. Who else could destroy thousands of units of affordable housing, refuse bus or rail access to an airport, and create a traffic nightmare that made international news without any repercussions?

  3. Here in LA we have the worst options! In case Asian cities are too much for you, check out Barcelona, Madrid, London, Paris, Vienna…etc, they all have metro or regional rail access to their airports! It’s easy, simple, costly BUT it’s common sense! Guaranteed ridership!
    Look at how LAX has completely messed up on their Uber/Lyft/Shuttle setup!

    In the US, Chicago, Miami, Salt Lake City, Denver, Atlanta all can manage! Why can’t our two biggest cities? Incompetent idiots running everything?

  4. You didnt mention, that during the Thanksgiving Travel. You need reservations for all Amtrak Train and Thruway buses. Also the Van Nuys Flyaway does not have weekend service to it. And I do not think many people will like to walk a good distance. If they have luggage with them.

  5. The Flyaway website says that there’s service to and from Van Nuys from “Monday-Sunday.” So that would seem to include the weekends.

    I regularly use Flyaway from Union Station and (with one exception several years ago) have found the service to be excellent. I have read some criticisms of Flyaway that I’ve found a bit ridiculous.

    One, locals don’t use use it; only tourists. My experience at the Union Station line is that it’s a mixture of both but with a big hunk of locals. The Van Nuys line seems to have to the most frequent service. And I really doubt if those buses are filled with tourists going to Van Nuys.

    Second, that the Flyawy is “downscale.” Fine, if you think that sitting in traffic in the horseshoe for an hour or so is “upscale,” you’re welcome to it.

  6. The irony is that those closest to the airport have the worst public transit options to LAX. Since the flyaway buses to Santa Monica and Westwood were discontinued, most west side residents only real option are private vehicles or Uber.

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