For a very simple, stress-free way to get to Universal Studios, take the Red Line to the Universal Station.
Universal Station is just one stop away (north) from Hollywood/Highland, two from Hollywood/ Vine and three from Hollywood/Western.
After exiting the rail, head up by stairs to the parking lot area off Lankershim Blvd. Catch shuttle cars that run uphill to Universal Studios/CityWalk, which run about 10-15. Otherwise, the walk is not extremely hard if in decent shape and not tired or strapped for time. The shuttles run 2 hours after park closing times. (Check out Universal Studios link for operation times and other info at: http://www.universalstudioshollywood.com )
I'll say it until I'm blue in the face: you don't need a car here if you are a typical tourist of the Hollywood area.
There are plenty of ways to get around: by the Red Line (subway rail), MTA bus, Dash bus, Starline bus and charter coaches and by taxi which cross often.
Main Hollywood Red Line (MTA 802) stops include: Hollywood/Highland (esp good for meeting Starline and similar commercial celeb-site seeing buses; Hollywood and Highland Center/old Kodak Theater and modern mall shopping; the heart of the Hollywood Walk of Fame where the biggest celebrities cemented their handprints); Hollywood/Vine (steps to Pantages theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame due east) and Hollywood/Western (lots of local shopping)
MTA buses: Catch the 180, 181, 156, 207, 210, 217, 780 and others
We used the bus service with a one day travel card. As long as you are careful this was by far the cheapest way to get about. From our hotel we managed to get to The Grove, Hollywood walk of fame, Le Brea tar pits and to the beach
The Red Line Metro stop at Hollywood & Vine is a whimisical, retro one that I frequent. Love the cartoonish red and green tiles.
This is the stop that you want for arriving close to destinations, such as Pantages Theater, Amoeba Records, Capital Records and dozens of trendy and various mom 'n pop retail businesses.
The stop, above ground, is under constant construction. Towards 2010 and beyond, expect this area around to become grand and ritzy, in attempt to recapture old Hollywood glory.
The folks of MTA has done a good thing creating a shuttle system for the car and parking traffic hell of Hollywood Bowl. Boarding the shuttle is free for Metro pass riders/holders (any bus or rail pass). If not, there is a minimal fee to ride (which may vary).
The shuttle departs from the Hollywood & Highland center adacent to the station entrance every 15 minutes, starting 2 hours or so before performances start until the actual show time.
Catch the shuttle at the Orange Court, just west of Hollywood & Highland located on Orange Drive, between Hollywood Blvd and Franklin Ave. There will be a drop off near the Bowl box office.
For returning, board at the Bowl bus loading area. Shuttles depart to return to the Orange Court for 25 minutes after the conclusion of the show. My experience was rather trouble-free. The shuttle pick-up/drop area is clearing seen before Bowl entrance
If you are adventurous and want to discover Hollywood on your own, hop on a DASH bus in town. The fare is just 25 cents for routes. This fare beats $1.25 anyday for the MTA buses that service the same destinations as DASH. There are three main Hollywood tours :
(1) "Hollywood" - generally of less tourist interest but one can arrive in Los Feliz area where there are some good restaurants and shops
(2) "Hollywood/West Hollywood"- more of a tourist interest; arrive at Beverly Center mall, Beverly Connection mall and Cedars-Sinai(celeb hospital) from Hollywood/Highland Metro stop
(3) "Hollywood/Wilshire" (or Larchmont Shuttle) -of some tourist interest; reach Wilshire Center (Wil/Western Red Line stop), Hollywood Forever, Paramont Studios, Hollywood Palladium from Pantages Theater (near Hollywood/Vine )
* Hold on and brace yourself in the DASH. Drivers often drive fast and push hard on the brake. See schedule for details on website.
I would walk from my hotel to Hollywood Blvd and I would take the bus to go get around.
A day pass costs 3 dollars and I could use it the whole day through. I would buy the ticket in the bus and pay with exact change.
I had no problems at all riding the Metro Busses... it was very convenient, safe and clean. I would make sure to be home before the night would set in.
The MTA's website is EXCELLENT!!! It is so informative and explains very clearly how the system works. It also has pdf file maps so that you can see where the lines go... go check out their website, you will not regret it.
Locals and tourists should take advantage of the Metro. I especially like the Metro Red Line Hollywood/Highland stop. One can come out right where all of the foot traffic is- along Hollywood Blvd by the new Hollywood/Highland complex and Mann's Chinese Theater.
VERY VERY VERY expensive to take a taxi and i believe that there's no subway services. And even if you are willing to pay for a cab, it's more likely that you won't be able to hail one just off the street.
And to think for the price you pay, you expect a cab to be in proper condition. Unfortunately, cabs there are a disgrace.
I don't believe i saw a single bus stop. Arghz!
So do remember to take the number of a cab company with you, just in case. :)
METRO. After much travail, the subway system is finally underway. The red line is useful to tourists as there is transport along Hollywood Blvd and to Universal Studios. Everything is brand new and squeaky clean. For fares/schedules go to www.mta.net and click on Metro Rail, then choose the red line. You can also get info on the bus lines.
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