OCTA Bus Route 50 Long Beach-Orange (mainly via Katella Ave)
Travels from the city of Orange, at The Village, to Long Beach, by Cal State Fullerton/ VA Hospital (major Long Beach/ Los Angeles Co travel) hub to Orange county.
From the city of Orange, one can go all the way to Long Beach via bus. The ride throughout is up to 2 hours, but costs just $2. Between these two cities, the 50 route is very convenient especially for sports fans who like to go to major sporting venues like Angel Stadium, Honda Center (Anaheim Ducks' home) and the Los Alamitos race track.
For those wanting to have fun at Downtown Disney (which leads eventually to Disneyland), the 50 stops nearby, though the walk is considerable to get to all of the main drag (8 min walk). If you are in town for business at the Anaheim Convention, the 50 is perfect for you to get around to make short trips to nearby stores.
The 50 is one of the treasured buses which have early morning and late night times (from about 4 AM 'til about 2 AM). So, if you happen to be along this route while being stiffed from another ride, the 50 just may save ya!! Avoid traveling during peak times in morning and evenings anyday for seating comfort. The bus can get at capacity easily!
Route 1 OCTA bus -- Long Beach to San Clemente
goes along Pacific Coast Hwy/Coast Highway (PCH) , a very scenic route
So, for $ 5, one can go from Long Beach to San Clemente , catching perhaps the most lovely part of the PCH stretch- in Orange county. Along the way, go through the sleepy beach communities of Seal Beach and Sunset Beach, watch gorgeous rare birds thrive and surfers soak in Huntington Beach, see envy in very rich Newport Beach (including the areas of Crystal Cove and Corona del Mar) as well as in Laguna Beach and Dana Point, and then finally end up in San Clemente, the more humble ,very beachy community.
If you don't mind to spend a little extra money (as compared to riding on a bus), ride the Metrolink light rail cars to see major O.C. destinations. Though the Metrolink caters especially to local commuters getting to and from work on Mon-Fri, but anyone can go aboard and enjoy the convenience. Metrolink has limited weekend service for the Orange County Line but can be doable for daytrip itinerary with careful planning.
Fares for riding the rail varies by distance to travel, but starts around $8.00 one way (compared to $11+ for Amtrak one way). TAKE ADVANTAGE of the $10 Weekend Pass while the system still offers it! This ticket is golden. Not only would the ride be good for rail lines in O.C. but ALSO in L.A and in the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernadino Counties)- all for just $10 for the two days total! On Sat and Sun, enjoy the light rail, as it is less crowded.
See website for current timetables:
Metrolink OC Line has a stop in the city of Orange, in Old Towne, as well as others in Fullerton, Anaheim, Santa Ana, Irvine, San Clemente, Tustin, Mission Viejo/Laguna Hills, San Juan Capistrano and Oceanside (North San Diego County).
DON'T mix up Metrolink with the Amtrak trains. Metrolink is a light rail (technically not a train, though I mix up the terms all the time), and are usually white with blue writing, as seen in the picture. Amtrak trains are drker in appearance, grayish primarily. At the ticket vending machines, the options are distinguished for either Metrolink and Amtrak, However, many travelers get confused and end up getting the wrong ticket, paying more for Amtrak! Beware!
Overall, the trip on Metrolink is comfortable. Sometimes, the ride is not as smooth as one would like. The course was a bit bumpy minutes after I left the Fullerton Station to Union Station in downtown LA. I got a bit rattled, but nothing serious.
Much worthy ado has been made about Old Towne Orange, which is the very best "Main Street America" of Orange county and of greater Los Angeles. A nice way to experience this peaceful throwback community without gassing up the car is to find your way here from the Orange Station, where the Metrolink arrives. Head east from the station along Chapman Ave to get to main Old Towne sights, including a great deal of restaurants and shops.
Problems that arise with this travel option is that the Metrolink is much catered to Mon-Fri with some but limited weekend run times and excludes major holiday travel (Memorial Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, New Year's Day). In light of all this, these limitations are not so bad especially if coming here for antique shopping (most boutiques open at 10 AM and close at 5-6 PM) and when considering that this quaint area is best for a daytrip, esp on a tranquil weekday when there are more convenient rail trips. Plan trip accordingly.
Orange Station is a hub for both the OC Line and Inland Empire Metrolink.
Bathrooms at this station are regularly maintained and overall area at the station is well kept.
Ruby's restaurant is steps away from the tracks. There is a special "train stop" theme and menu to this particular location.
Chapman College is within a 5-10 min walking distance.
Overall, OCTA buses run smoothly and timely and most drivers are friendly and helpful. There are exceptions of course! Compared to L.A.'s Metro buses, the OC ones tend to be more comfortable, clean, and efficient.
To help with navigation, riders take advantage of the Bus Book. The guide, which details schedules of each OCTA bus, selected schedules of nearby bus systems (Metro, Foothill), Amtrak/Metrolink OC schedules is available on the bus and costs just $1. Sometimes drivers will let you look through them quickly without requiring you to pay. However, the book is well worth the buck in the end. Also, figuring out the way around is simplified with the easy to use "plan your trip" option on OCTA.net.
Check out the website for times and many other details!
**2013 fares update: $2.00 one-way, $5.00 for an all-day pass, $9.00 for a "5 Rides" pass, $69 for a month pass.* (* As of Feb 10, 2013. Fares may go up more subject in the future, hopefully not). A slightly higher fare is only for the much too limted Express buses that go to L.A. No pennies are accepted for fare. No love for the copper Lincolns.
Toll roads in the greater Los Angeles area are found in Orange County, heading towards the South County area. These routes are the 73, 133, 241 and the 261. These are good alternative roads for locals who have to commute to work in the area and for any tourist who enjoys scenic views of hillsides (like me).
Fares for 2 axles, most cars, trucks and motocycles:
Fares vary, but at the most, cost $2.00 cash during peak hours.
Besides cutting through traffic and taking in beautiful hillside scenery, what's best about taking the toll roads is that exact fare is not necessary when there is a person taking the fare (usually during the day, each day of the week but especially Mon-Fri.) Locals take good advantage of the Fast-Trak device (which is place near the from window shield) to pay monthly for toll roads.
Hillside scenery from the 241 fwy is as seen below!
A taxi service I have used and can rely on especially in O.C. is 1800-4-MYTAXI. It is a reputable taxi company that serves all major parts of the county. You can simply dial out the taxi namesake 1800-4-MYTAXI (1-800-469-8294) on the cell or available pay phone locally, and you'll be connect to a dispacther that will help get where you go. They request that you give a street address of where you are so have it ready. Se habla espanol.
Wait time for a ride depends but generally, one can get to you in timely fashion. In my experience, it's always been about 20 min or fewer. In busy cities like Santa Ana and Anaheim, the quick time is shorter, naturally because the metropolitan area serve as hubs.
Travelers can find these cabs easily at designated transportation stops, including the major train stations at Santa Ana(several there as if the cabbies owns the place), Irvine, Fullerton and Anaheim. There is virtually no wait time to get one. In the Disneyland area, you will likely find a few cabbies around the main entrance.
I have encountered drivers as professional and mostly friendly. A few will engage you in conversation, most will likely give you a friendly hello and be silent for the duration of the ride. They tend to request that you have cash only to pay at the end of ride, however, the service does allow to pay by credit/debit card. Don;t let them give you a hard time if you have just a card. They will like you better if you give them a cash tip at least. A suggestion for tip is 10%-15%. For a $10 ride, $ 1 tip is fine, for $20, $2 tip and so on.
Rides cost $2.95 for the first 1/4 mile plus $0.65 for each other 1/4 mile. Costs may be subject to change. Check website.
Who said that John Wayne was dead? He's alive and thriving- well, not really. An airport named after the legendary cowboy actor is right next to Irvine. Officially, the airport is in Santa Ana but many think of it in Irvine and also in neighboring Costa Mesa. So, O.C. has a bit of old Hollywood mystique, even if it is just in a name.
Here's a tip-- If you are coming from within the U.S. and wanting to get directly to OC, skip the extremely busy, Los Angeles Int'l Airport (LAX) and find a flight to John Wayne (SNA)! Note that the flights are limited here. Flights actually stop in the mid-evening because of nearby OC communities desire to limit airplane noise. Also, at John Wayne, the take off flight patterns make a kind of loop over the ocean and this delays the straight path to the final destination point.
Although not the best way to get around Orange County, our bus service has improved through the years. If you take the train or Greyhound bus into Orange County, you will need to either take the bus to your destination(s) or rent a car. Everything is spread out here and too far to walk to.
Bus fare is $1.25US one-way. If you pay $3.00US, you will receive a 1-day pass which is unlimited throughout the day. OCTA (the bus company) now offers various bus passes for folks who plan on using their service for one week, two weeks, or a full month. These can save you a few dollars. See their website for more details.
AmTrak offers service all week long between Los Angeles and Orange County but the train does not stop in the city of Orange. You will have to either stop in Anaheim or in Santa Ana then take a bus or rent a car.
Adult roundtrip fares are about $16.00US between LA and Anaheim or $19.00US between LA and Santa Ana.
The Anaheim station is located at Edison Field (stadium of the Anaheim Angels baseball team) but does not have any amenities.
The Santa Ana station is a little further south but is a nice old building with plenty of indoor or outdoor seating, a newstand with convenience items, and a coffee shop to pick up something to eat.
Santa Ana station also is a Greyhound stop.
If you are planning a trip to Los Angeles and would like to swing down to Orange, the least traumatic mode of transportation is the train. About 10 years ago, a commuter rail was introduced to us in Orange County so now we have the regular AmTrak Train service as well as the Metrolink Commuter Rail service. Metrolink is the frequent rail service during weekdays and the AmTrak service runs all 7 days.
Metrolink roundtrip fares between Los Angeles and Orange are from $8.75US (off peak hours) to $11.50US (peak hours) per adult.
The local train service that makes stops in Orange is called Metrolink. From Orange, the route extends as far south as Oceanside, as far east as San Bernadino, and as far north as Union Station in Los Angeles.
One Way Fare: Varies from $4.75-$10.75 depending on time of day and number of zones crossed in transit. Reduced fares are available for seniors and children. Discounts are offered periodically. Please check the Metrolink web site for more details.
There are no less than 15 different bus routes that criss-cross in/around the Orange city limits. The hours of operation for the bus routes vary, but in general, you should be able to board a bus between 5am to 10pm on weekdays from 7am to 8pm on weekends.
$1.00 one way fare, $0.25 for seniors (65 and over) and disabled persons.
NOTE: When boarding buses, please note that no change is given for bus fare. It is advised to have exact change ready.
BUS PASSES (available online or at OCTA offices)
$2.50 1-day pass, $0.50 for seniors (65 and over) and disabled persons.
Information on other longer period passes and expressway fares can be found on the web site.