Monday, January 06, 2020

South Bay Insiders' Bus Guide to LAX

Taxi drivers are on strike at LAX airport today*.

Did you know that there is a relatively painless way to get from LAX to most parts of the South Bay that doesn't involve multiple transfers and shuttles?  This only works if you can walk 5 minutes with your luggage.

I would probably pick up my elderly or disabled houseguests, or those with a lot of luggage.  But, I would make the rest of my houseguest take public transport away from the airport and part way to my guest room.  Because, a condition of being offered my guest room is that you are the type of person that uses private cars and taxis only as a last resort.

Look at the map of the eastern end of the LAX airport.  I circled the bus stop at the SW corner of Sepulveda and Century Boulevards in red.

This bus stop is the first stop after the southbound buses leave the LAX bus transit center. 

Metro 232 and Torrance 8 shared bus stop circled in red. Paths from Terminal 1 (Southwest) and Terminal 7-8 (United) are also marked in red.  Walking paths drawn in blue.
Both the Metro Los Angeles 232 and the Torrance 8 buses stop here, even though it is not marked on the schedules.  It's the stop used by southbound airport and airline personnel.  It is one stop south of the LAX bus transit center. Not having to take a shuttle bus to the transit center and then find and board your bus (in a line of 20 buses) is a big time and hassle saver at the cost of a few minutes walking.

Not causing another car to come into the congested LAX area is a big environment saver as well.  If you have light luggage and can comfortably walk half a kilometer, this is the way to go. 

From Terminal 1 (Southwest), walk past the LAX-it lot and cross Century at Sepulveda.  LA Times timed the walk from T1 to LAX-it at 3 minutes; the bus stop is just a bit further and may take about 5 minutes. 

From Terminals 7 & 8 (United), walk on the sidewalk around the parking structure and through the iconic "LAX Gateway Pylons" light sculpture.  (This is really cool at night.)  Then walk half a block north to the bus stop.  It took me 7 minutes the last time I walked it, and I stopped to take pictures of the light sculpture lit up at night.

There is a bench but no bus shelter at this stop.

Both buses leave the airport every 30-60 minutes.  The bus maps and schedules show the LAX bus transit center, but not this roadside stop.  I drew circles on the maps below and linked to the bus schedules.

Metro Los Angeles' 232 travels along the Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH aka Sepulveda Blvd) all the way to Long Beach. It takes a long time to get to Long Beach. But, you can get to many places in the Beach Cities, including all the hotels that line PCH, relatively quickly.  It's a bargain at $1.75 cash or TAP card**.

The bus stop is circled in red on the inset map.  The bus then continues south along Pacific Coast Highway (aka Sepulveda Blvd) all the way to Long Beach.
Torrance 8 goes to the El Segundo Employment Center, including LA Air Force Base and all the Aerospace companies near it. Then it continues to the South Bay Transit Center at the Galleria Mall and the Del Amo Mall in Torrance (and all the hotels near Del Amo) before continuing to the base of the Palos Verdes Peninsula. It also drops you off 0.2 miles from my house. $1 cash or TAP card**.

The bus stop is circled in red.  Hawthorne Blvd is a major boulevard, immortalized by Quentin Tarantino in Kill Bill.  Take the tour for $1 (or $0.25 seniors, $0.50 students.)
Catch the bus that takes you closest to your final destination and then walk or Taxi/Uber/Lyft from there.  (I would likely meet houseguests at the bus stop and walk or drive them home.) On weekends or late at night, the buses only run hourly.  In that case, take the next bus and take a slightly longer Taxi ride.  PCH and Aviation Blvd are only 1 mile apart.  PCH and Hawthorne are 2 miles apart. 

If the wait for any bus is too long, walk slightly further to the Hyatt Regency on the NE corner of Sepulveda and Century. Taxis ordinarily line up there as well.

* They have a valid beef IMHO.  Uber/Lyft have totally screwed up the LAX circular road and Taxis shouldn't have to be punished for the bad behavior of others.

** TAP cards are reusable stored value cards accepted by 25 transit agencies in the area.  LAX airport does NOT have a TAP card vending machine in the terminal area.  The closest vending machines are at the Green Line light rail stations.  Bus drivers do not sell TAP cards.  Save your TAP cards between trips and make sure to keep them loaded with enough fare to get out of the airport.  As a good hostess, I would snail mail you a preloaded TAP card upon request.

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