Los Angeles Public Transportation

Hollywood and Western Metro Station
••• Hollywood and Western Metro Station. Photo © 2004 Kayte Deioma, licensed to About.com

You can get just about anywhere in Los Angeles by public transportation, but it’s a very slow and complex system unless you’re on a direct Metro route.

The best website for planning your route on public transportation is socaltransport.org, which incorporates the Metro system and multiple other systems (but not LADOT at this writing) or use Google Maps public transportation option. Neither is perfect but will get you there.

The Metro subway (not all routes are underground) system is still growing. It currently has six lines.

  • The Green Line goes east from near LAX connecting with the Blue Line in central LA and on to Norwalk (where you can catch a bus to Disneyland).
  • The Blue Line runs from Long Beach to Downtown LA and the Red Line.
  • The Red Line runs from Union Station through downtown and up through Hollywood to North Hollywood.
  • The Purple Line runs from Union Station along the same line as the Red Line ​but diverts at Wilshire and Vermont to continue along Wilshire for a couple stops.
  • The Gold Line runs from Union Station northeast to Pasadena.
  • The Expo Line runs from the 7th St/Metro Center Station in Downtown LA, where is meets the Red and Blue lines, west through Exposition Park to Culver City and on to Santa Monica (as of May 20, 2016). 

Metro buses extend routes from Metro stations to areas not reached by the trains.


Read about ​how to ride the LA Metro to figure out how to navigate the system.

LADOT (Los Angeles Department of Transportation) offers bus service within the city of Los Angeles and connects to the bus systems of surrounding cities and to Metro buses. LADOT runs the DASH system, the Commuter Express, and the San Pedro Trolley system as well as City Hall and Metrolink shuttles Downtown.

LADOT also operates a weekend shuttle to the Griffith Observatory.

Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system serves the Santa Monica and Venice area with lines extending to adjacent cities.

Long Beach Transit serves the Greater Long Beach area and includes the Aquabus and Aqualink boat services between waterfront attractions during the summer and weekends the rest of the year. The free purple Pine Avenue Link runs along Pine Avenue from Eighth Street to Ocean and connects to the Aquabus and Aqualink. The red Passport buses are free within the downtown area and to the Queen Mary, but require a fee to Belmont Shore.