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San Diego - Los Angeles : $5.15 on public buses ~6 hours

San Diego - Los Angeles : $5.15 on public buses ~6 hours

Old Nov 4, 05, 11:05 pm
  #1  
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Thumbs up San Diego - Los Angeles : $5.15 on public buses ~6 hours

This could be the longest (in one direction) and cheapest ride on public buses ever taken. I've done it a dozen times to get to LAX from UCSD.

Total price: $5.15 (if starting @ UCSD in La Jolla)
Travel time: ~6 hours
Distance: ~100 miles of public bus travel

By far the cheapest way to get from La Jolla to LA (besides hitching of course)

First, here are the bus operators used (all fare info, route maps & schedules are available at their websites - thank you Internet!):

NCTD - North Couny Transit Department (http://www.gonctd.com)
OCTA - Orange County Transit Authority (http://www.octa.net)
LBT - Long Beach Transit (http://www.lbtransit.org)
MTA - Metro Transit Authority (http://www.mta.net)

Now, here's the fare breakdown:

$3.75 day pass on NCTD (w/free transfer to OCTA *upon request*)
$0.90 for LBT
$0.50 transfer from LBT to MTA bus/rail (valid for one ride only)
TOTAL: $5.15

Finally, here's the route starting at UCSD, ending up at LAX:

NCTD #101 to Oceanside Transit Ctr (ride to end)
NCTD #394 to San Clemente (ride to end)
OCTA #1 to Long Beach (get off at Westminster, walk towards bridge)
LBT A or D to LB transit center (ask for Transit Ctr)
MTA #232 to LAX (ride to end)

The OCTA #1 could be the cheapest cost per mile public bus ride in America. $1.50 for about 45 miles. And you always get a few interesting SoCal hobos joining you for the ride

This is for those who enjoy the ride just as much as the destination. Enjoy!
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Old Nov 5, 05, 9:13 pm
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Think the train from Solana Beach is only $20 and takes a lot less time..... and it's quite comfy.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by civicmon
Think the train from Solana Beach is only $20 and takes a lot less time..... and it's quite comfy.
You have stated 3 facts, and believe me I know about that train, but you obviously missed the point of this post (because it doesn't apply to you). $20 is 4 times as much as $5. Let me repeat that: 4 times. Let's say you were buying a ticket to Europe that costs $450. Alternatively, you could get a Z class ticket for $1800 (i.e. 4x450). Certainly, biz class is more comfy, but it costs a lot more.

I understand what you're saying about comfort and less travel time, but this is the budget travel forum. There are times when budget concerns trump comfort, travel time and even safety.

I guess this post was meant to be in the non-existent "extreme budget" travel forum. It's hard to find people who are appreciative of this kind of travel, let alone willing to do it themselves.

The way I figure it, I would much rather spend an extra 3 hours traveling on buses along the gorgeous Pacific coast than spend an extra 2 hours working to make the extra $15 to pay for the train. I certainly don't expect you to think the same way (most of the world doesn't), but I just wanted to point out that you are absolutely correct about the train, but absolutely missed the point of the post.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 12:28 am
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Thanks for the info. I had once tried to figure out something like this, but gave up with all the different bus systems involved, and uncertainty about whether I would be in a safe area at each point.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 12:30 am
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Great Post - I love the idea of riding public busses. I wonder, could one go further than L.A.? I mean how far can one go on Public buses?
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Old Nov 6, 05, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by davistev
Great Post
Seconded!

That bus ride is probably not something I would do these days, but it's the sort of thing I used to do in my teens. Reading this post brought back some fond memories... including memories of my first ever day out without adult supervision, when a friend and I spent an entire day riding buses round our home town and exploring different neighbourhoods. I think we were only about eleven at the time - what an adventure!
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Old Nov 6, 05, 10:52 am
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Wow, I thought I was the only one who had ever done this!

I landed at LAX from BKK back in the day with less than $10 and made my way home to San Diego on public transit buses. It was a long day, but all the drivers were very cool and helpful when I explained what I was doing. One even shared his lunch with me.

I also took local public buses from Chiang Mai to Bangkok once. Not the night bus with box lunch, videos and lavatory, just a plain old bus, stopping at every town. It took about 12 hours as I remember, but it was hella cheap!
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Old Nov 6, 05, 11:06 am
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Had lived in Los Angeles for two years, but have never known this kinda thing was possible.

Wanted to try OCTA#1, but never got chance to do.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by davistev
Great Post - I love the idea of riding public busses. I wonder, could one go further than L.A.? I mean how far can one go on Public buses?
For an additional $2.50 (buy a $3.00 day pass on LA MTA instead of the $0.50 one-ride from Long Beach), you could ride transit all the way to Thousand Oaks in Ventura County on the LA Metro Buses. For another $4.00 on top of that, you could ride to Santa Barbara on the VISTA (actually to Goleta, a little North of Santa Barbara). That would make it a total of $11.65 to go from San Diego to Goleta. Not too bad.

I'm too lazy to map out the most advantageous routes (especially within LA), but it would probably involve some combination of buses from LAX to Hollywood to Universal City to N Hollywood, connecting there to the new Orange line (express bus from N Hollywood to Woodland Hills, connecting to MTA line 161 to Thousand Oaks, connecting to the VISTA Highway 101/Conjeo Connection to Ventura ($2 fare), connecting there to the VISTA Coastal Express (another $2 fare) to Santa Barbara and Goleta.

That would be about 220 miles for $11.65 and would easily take all day. But it would be a very inexpensive way to get from UCSD to UCSB. Get an early start.

It may very well be possible to continue Northward from SB or Goleta on public buses - again, too lazy. I'll let someone else continue the route.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 12:17 pm
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While a $15 increase to $5 is 400%, a 15% increase to $450 is 3.3%. Rationally, $15 added to $5 should be the same as $15 added to $450. Also, think of all of the time you're wasting, and what you could be doing during that time. Is however many hours you are adding your trip really worth $15?

Economically Yours,

W

Originally Posted by mellowg
You have stated 3 facts, and believe me I know about that train, but you obviously missed the point of this post (because it doesn't apply to you). $20 is 4 times as much as $5. Let me repeat that: 4 times. Let's say you were buying a ticket to Europe that costs $450. Alternatively, you could get a Z class ticket for $1800 (i.e. 4x450). Certainly, biz class is more comfy, but it costs a lot more.

I understand what you're saying about comfort and less travel time, but this is the budget travel forum. There are times when budget concerns trump comfort, travel time and even safety.

I guess this post was meant to be in the non-existent "extreme budget" travel forum. It's hard to find people who are appreciative of this kind of travel, let alone willing to do it themselves.

The way I figure it, I would much rather spend an extra 3 hours traveling on buses along the gorgeous Pacific coast than spend an extra 2 hours working to make the extra $15 to pay for the train. I certainly don't expect you to think the same way (most of the world doesn't), but I just wanted to point out that you are absolutely correct about the train, but absolutely missed the point of the post.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Wingman32
While a $15 increase to $5 is 400%, a 15% increase to $450 is 3.3%. Rationally, $15 added to $5 should be the same as $15 added to $450. Also, think of all of the time you're wasting, and what you could be doing during that time. Is however many hours you are adding your trip really worth $15?

Economically Yours,

W
Agreed. While budget travel is great, I fail to understand people who go for the absolute cheapest route in anything regardless of the consequences (exception for those who are absolutely destitute).

Let's just assume the trait takes 2 hours. So $15 saved / 4 hours wasted = $3.75/hr. If you just a minimum wage job, you can easily make that up in ~2 hours of extra work, so net time wasted is ~2 hours (and this is minimum wage... I imagine a lot of people can make that up in under an hour).

And while traveling, I can think of a lot I could do with those 2 hours.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 3:58 pm
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How is easy it to takes a couple of suitcases or dufflebags on the bus in SoCal? Do they hassle you or make it user friendly?
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Old Nov 6, 05, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by IceTrojan
Agreed. While budget travel is great, I fail to understand people who go for the absolute cheapest route in anything regardless of the consequences (exception for those who are absolutely destitute).

Let's just assume the trait takes 2 hours. So $15 saved / 4 hours wasted = $3.75/hr. If you just a minimum wage job, you can easily make that up in ~2 hours of extra work, so net time wasted is ~2 hours (and this is minimum wage... I imagine a lot of people can make that up in under an hour).

And while traveling, I can think of a lot I could do with those 2 hours.
That's what my thought is.

If you have to pinch your budget that much, you may want to spend the next 3 or 4 weeks at home saving some more cash.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 7:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Wingman32
While a $15 increase to $5 is 400%, a 15% increase to $450 is 3.3%. Rationally, $15 added to $5 should be the same as $15 added to $450. Also, think of all of the time you're wasting, and what you could be doing during that time. Is however many hours you are adding your trip really worth $15?
Originally Posted by IceTrojan
Agreed. While budget travel is great, I fail to understand people who go for the absolute cheapest route in anything regardless of the consequences (exception for those who are absolutely destitute).

Let's just assume the trait takes 2 hours. So $15 saved / 4 hours wasted = $3.75/hr. If you just a minimum wage job, you can easily make that up in ~2 hours of extra work, so net time wasted is ~2 hours (and this is minimum wage... I imagine a lot of people can make that up in under an hour).

And while traveling, I can think of a lot I could do with those 2 hours.
For Chrissakes, you guys - you are off topic. civicmon, too.

Your replies are an awful lot like people taunting the particpants in the Mileage Run forum and somewhat analogous to ridiculing people in the airline fora who are willing to add segments and go out of their way to earn MILES.

This is the BUDGET TRAVEL forum. While I couldn't force myself to spend 5 or 6 hours on a bus to travel SAN-LAX, I can certainly appreciate a discussion about its possibility.
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Old Nov 6, 05, 10:22 pm
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As mentioned, it sounds like part of the attraction is the people and scenery one encounters on a trip like this. So a straightforward calculation doesn't quite take that into account.
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