While there are many perks to living in La La Land, let’s face it. Los Angeles traffic is a nightmare. Unless you have hours to spare, the best way for residents of Long Beach, California to get around Los Angeles County is through the commuter system. Let’s take a look at how to get around Long Beach, California and its neighboring cities.
You hear a lot about how much of a horrible experience Los Angeles traffic can be. Long Beach is not as negative. When driving around Long Beach itself, a car will suffice. This port city is one of the few SoCal destinations that has free parking in most neighborhoods (with the exception of downtown).
If you are looking to just get around Long Beach without driving then the best bet is to hop on the Passport. This free bus is owned and operated by Long Beach Transit. Using this mode of transportation gets you to some of the top Long Beach attractions without worrying about parking.
Long Beach hotspots frequented by the Passport include:
- Aquarium of the Pacific
- City Place Mall
- Convention Center
- The Pike at Rainbow Harbor
- Pine Avenue
- Queen Mary
- Shoreline Village
You can also take the Passport as a shuttle to Long Beach Transit water transportation services, AquaBus and AquaLink.
In order to get on the Passport, you need to access the service at stops in designated neighborhoods. The first stop of the day for the Passport is Queen Mary London Town W. Running a total trip time of 29 minutes, the Passport picks up and drops off passengers at 19 different stops, ending at 3rd & Pine NE.
Here are all the stops:
- Queen Mary London Town W.
- Catalina Expr & Parking Lot – N Queens Highway
- Queensway & Harbor Plaza Dr. NE
- Maya Hotel (NB Direction)
- Residence Inn (NB Direction) – 661 Queens Way D.
- Golden & Ocean – SW Golden Shore St.
- Shoreline & Queensway – SE Bicycle Route 17
- Aquarium Of The Pacific NE Aquarium Way, Long Beach
- Shoreline & Pine – SE Shoreline Dr.
- Shoreline & Village W
- Pine & Convention Ctr – SE South Pine Ave.
- Pine & Seaside – NE 100 E Ocean Blvd.
- Ocean & Pine – SE E Ocean Blvd.
- Ocean & Lb Blvd – S301 E Seaside Way
- Elm & 1st – NE 401 E 1st St.
- Elm & 3rd (Midblock) – N 400 E 3rd St.
- Fourth & Elm – 340 E 4th St.
- Long Beach & 4th – SW 369 Long Beach Blvd.
- 3rd & Pine – NE 302 Pine Ave.
If you are using public transportation outside of Long Beach, you will need other means of transportation. Let’s take a look.
Long Beach Transit Bus
Looking to go to areas throughout Long Beach off the Passport route? Perhaps you want to get to other Los Angeles County cities such as Lakewood and Signal Hill. There are 34 bus routes with 2,000 bus stops all provided by Long Beach Transit. Therefore, every neighborhood from Alamitas Heights to West Long Beach to Bixby Knolls are serviced. As a reference, most trips to downtown from all neighborhoods range from 15 minutes to 30 minutes on the LBT. Additionally, you can take this bus to get on a connection with the Metro Light Rail heading toward LA for just $0.50.
A single trip on the LBT is $1.25. Those who are 62 and over or disabled may ride for $0.60. Meanwhile, children under 4, legally blind citizens, and those in wheelchairs have free admission. If you plan on making multiple stops, you can opt for a day pass at $4.00. The aforementioned people applicable for a discount can get a day pass for $2.50.
You can also take the Greyhound for longer routes in California. All you need to do is pick up a bus in the California Heights neighborhood. Greyhound has a bus stop located at 1948 Long Beach Blvd. Travel routes include:
- Long Beach
- Santa Ana
- San Diego
- Long Beach
- San Bernardino
- Santa Ana
- I-10 or 710
- Downtown LA
Taking a bus isn’t the only way to get around Long Beach. Here’s some other ways to get from point A to point B in the LB.
This is a Metro-based service. It is an above-ground line. While it does have the right-of-way and priority when it comes to signalling in comparison to other vehicles on the road, you have to keep in mind you are in traffic. Therefore, ride times aren’t as fast as a subway, but you take precedence over the LBT.
No matter the destination, a single ride is $1.75. If you are purchasing a TAP card for your ride, that will also come with a $1 surcharge. Not many bus stops have TAP vending machines. However, you are able to buy them onboard. For day trips and tourists, you can get a day pass for $7. However, the ticket is only good for up to two hours. So, that’s a lot of getting on and off in a short amount of time. Most of the lines are in service between the hours of 5 am and midnight through the week, and until 2 am on weekends.
The Light Rail service in Long Beach is the Metro Blue Line. This was actually the first light rail created by Metro. There are many opportunities to pick up a Blue Line in Long Beach. They include:
- Willow Blue Line Station – 2750 W American Ave.
- Anaheim Street Station – 1290 N Long Beach Blvd.
- Wardlow Station – 3420 N Pacific Pl. – 3420 N Pacific Pl.
- Downtown Long Beach Station – 128 W 1st St.
- Metro Blue Line Yard – 4382 E 208th St.
- 5th Street Station – 598 N Long Beach Blvd.
- Del Amo Blue Line Station – 20220 S Santa Fe Ave.
- Pacific Coast Highway Station – 1798 N Long Beach Blvd.
- 1st Street Station – 108 N Long Beach Blvd.
- Metro Willow Park & Ride – 200 E 27th St.
Taking the Blue Line is the most efficient way to get to Los Angeles. Thanks to the Blue Line getting the right-of-way, this is a small way to get a leg up against all others in the same LA traffic.
Once in Los Angeles, there are many other light rails you can take, such as:
This service runs in the middle of the 105 freeway. It spans from Norwalk all the way to the inland South Bay. This might be the closest rail to take to get to LAX. However, you will still need a transfer to a shuttle bus at $0.50.
This line departs at East Los Angeles, ending at Union Station. You will see many tourist attractions that you can stop at along the way such as:
- Mariachi Plaza
- Little Tokyo
- Arts District
- Highland Park
- South Pasadena
- San Gabriel Valley
This is the newest light rail and operates from Downtown Los Angeles all the way to Santa Monica. You can stop at many hotspots in LA such as:
- Staples Center (Blue Line from Long Beach comes here too)
- Exposition Park
- Culver City
This smaller system just runs the Valley. It starts at the North Hollywood Red Line Station and goes straight to either Warner Center or Chatsworth.
The Silver Line operates on the 10 freeway. Taking off in El Monte, this rail runs through the tolls as it heads toward Union Station and Downtown Los Angeles. The Silver Line concludes its journey south on 110, stopping at USC and South LA before ending its route at Harbor Gateway.
Subways are non-existent in Long Beach. Underground traffic is not available. However, if you are taking the Blue Line down to LA, then the subway is the most efficient way to travel in La La Land. They run on the same price points at other Metro line services.
There are two rapid transit heavy rail lines in Los Angeles and they both share many of the same stops. From there, they have five light rail lines we talked about before that hit 93 stations. Here are the two main subway lines:
This is the original subway line in Los Angeles. Starting at Union Station, the Red Line hits a lot of popular tourist attractions such as:
- Grand Park
- Music Center
- Grand Central Market
- Universal Studios
- NoHo Arts District
You can also opt to take the Purple Line.
The Purple Line starts on the same trajectory as the Red Line from Union Station. Once you hit Wilshire/Vermont, it forks off, ending with two stops in Koreatown. Over the next ten years, the Purple Line plans on expanding westward, reaching out to UCLA and LACMA.