Big Blue Bus, Los Angeles
Many times, I have taken the bus to the beach. It's a good way to avoid paying for often pricey beach parking. Here are some convenient (one trip) bus to beach routes. All buses listed are popular routes near key points like Union Station, other rail line stops and/or major cross streets.
MTA (downtown LA based) :
Rte 2/302 to Pacific Palisades (by Malibu)
33/333- to Santa Monica/Venice
720/920- to SM ***720 bus stop pictured
444-to Palos Verdes (limited beach access but lovely ocean view)
Express buses :
534 to Malibu
577 to Long Beach (few blocks to shore, approx 10-20 min walk to main beach)
704- to SM
Blue Line rail - to Long Beach (few blocks to shore, approx 5-15 min walk to main beach)
Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus ( from downtown LA ) :
Rte 10 from Union Station to Santa Monica beach/3rd St Promenade area
If you want to explore the west side of LA or santa monica, take the BBB or the Culver city green bus. If you are planning to take the BBB quite a lot you can get a Little blue card.
Don't forget with some lines in BBB, like 7 and 12, there are Super 7 and Super 12
s. These lines have limited stops.
Check out http://www.bigbluebus.com/placestogo/index.asp to see what places you can go with these buses!
I'll disagree that LAX is that bad. That's probably written by someone who had to drive there from the Valley along the 405. I live near the beach and LAX is very convenient for me. I can take the #3 Santa Monica Big Blue Bus for $0.75 from my flat to LAX in 20 minutes. You can also take a free bus to the subway and then ride to downtown L.A. from LAX for $1.25 but again, that's going to take you 90 minutes. It's the distances that make it so slow. From LAX and the beaches, downtown is twenty miles (32 km) and heavily trafficked.
Line 1 Santa Monica Boulevard
Line 2 Wilshire Blvd. - Venice
Line 3 Lincoln Blvd. - Montana Ave.
Line 4 San Vicente, VA Hospital, Sawtelle Line 5 Olympic Blvd. - Century City
Line 7 & Super 7 Pico Boulevard
Line 8 Ocean Park Boulevard
Line 9 Pacific Palisades
Line 10 Santa Monica Freeway Express
Line 11 14th Street - 20th Street Crosstown
Line 12 Palms - Robertson Boulevard
Line 13 Westside Pavilion - Veterans Hospital
Line 14 Bundy - Centinela
This is a cheap (75¢) way to get around this huge city! The Big Blue Buses travels 13 different routes, serving more than 1,000 stops along the way from beaches, parks and shopping areas to businesses, colleges, even Downtown Los Angeles and L.A. International Airport.
We did take line 3 very often as it provided us a pretty fast and cheap way to get from Hilton LAX to Santa Monica. The route of the bus is: LAX - Marina - Lincoln Blvd. - Montana Av. - UCLA.
Riding the bus in LA can be boring, a pain, etc. but it can also be an inexpensive way to sit back and get around the city and see the things you can't see when you're driving and fighting traffic.
A few tips:
1) There are different bus lines in LA - the "Metro" is the largest system and includes bus and rail lines. Smaller regions also have bus systems like Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus line
2) The Metro system as of this writing is offering a $3.00 US all day pass for bus and rail travel. They also have other discounts you can see on the www.mta.net website
3) Bus routes where there are schools are the most crowded before 9am (commute and schoolkids) and at 3pm when the kids get out of school, not 5pm when people get off work.
4) I don’t like riding buses in the rain because you have to wait at the bus stop in the rain and will get splashed by passing cars, but also because the bus floors can be slippery (I landed in this guy's lap one day when I literally swung around a pole while wearing slippery-soled shoes)
5) Do a Google search for city bus routes and check the timetables CAREFULLY. It's easy to get stuck waiting for a bus because you read the wrong schedule
6) Most buses do not have luggage racks, so keep that in mind if you have a lot of luggage or huge backpacks
7) Not all buses stop at all stops, so read the poles and bus signs carefully. For example, Metro has a "Rapid" bus, which travels major routes but only stops at bus stops with a "Rapid" logo.
8) Sometimes a driver will not stop at a marked bus stop if the bus is full. The driver will sometimes stop a few yards after a marked stop and let people off, but not to let people on. Don't get mad if this happens; be happy the driver did not want to cram you in like a sardine.
9) Do not be afraid to yell "Driver, one more getting off!" if you are in the back of the bus and are trying to get past people to the exit when the bus has stopped. If you don't say anything the driver may think you are preparing to get off at the next stop.