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Consolidated "Getting to/from _____ in the Los Angeles area" thread

Consolidated "Getting to/from _____ in the Los Angeles area" thread

Old Oct 21, 2005, 5:44 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by andrewp
I have a meeting in the Burbank area (South of the Airport on Hollywood Way) on a Thursday afternoon. I then have a flight from LAX to TPE on SQ that departs at 11:25PM.

Let's pretend for a moment that the only flights that I can get to the LA area are into LAX....

Assuming that I arrive LAX around 8:45 AM how long will it take me to drive to the Burbank area? I'm assuming 30 - 45 minutes... 405 - 101 - 134 - Hollywood Way.

On the return suppose my meeting gets out at 5:00PM... How long will it take me to get to LAX (or should I catch a flight from BUR to LAS to LAX )?

I know that I can take the MTR to Union Station and then Metrolink to BUR (and the same in reverse), but in looking at the timetables that's looking like potentially MORE frustrating than fighting traffic.

OMG! LMAO!

Ahem...sorry. You should try to get a flight directly into BUR. I know, you said, "let's pretend". Lucky your meeting is in the afternoon. The cross-valley or cross-basin trips could take you a couple of hours, or more. Very hard to tell with L.A. The 405 is usually a crawl. Fortunately you have scheduled your meeting in the afternoon and your departure on SQ is late at night. Expect to spend most of the day in your rental car.

M8
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Old Oct 21, 2005, 5:54 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by andrewp
Assuming that I arrive LAX around 8:45 AM how long will it take me to drive to the Burbank area? I'm assuming 30 - 45 minutes... 405 - 101 - 134 - Hollywood Way.
Morning traffic on the 405 North is actually not that bad once you get past the 10 interchange. Pretty much full speed from Westwood on... By then, most of rush hour should have passed, too.

Originally Posted by andrewp
On the return suppose my meeting gets out at 5:00PM... How long will it take me to get to LAX
Now that is just going to be UGLY, no matter how you slice it. I would do 134 E, 5S, 110S, 105W and be happy if it took only an hour.
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Old Oct 21, 2005, 7:19 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by FlyinHawaiian
Now that is just going to be UGLY, no matter how you slice it. I would do 134 E, 5S, 110S, 105W and be happy if it took only an hour.
Yeesh.. maybe that BUR-LAS-LAX flight isn't a bad idea...

Or, just find a jetBlue flight with an iffy nose gear
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Old Oct 21, 2005, 7:45 pm
  #34  
 
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Uggghhh......

Thanks everyone! I had a feeling that I wasn't going to like the responses.

I was hoping to take care of a business meeting at the beginning of a personal trip, but in retrospect it looks like a bad idea. I'm one of those people who gets pretty neurotic in advance of an international flight and I think that I might just completely lose it if I get stuck in traffic on the way to the airport.... Even if I have 5 hours.

Looks like I'm going move the meeting up a couple of days and endure the HP RJ to BUR
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Old Oct 23, 2005, 11:34 am
  #35  
 
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My suggestion:

Due to time constraint, your best bet is to hire a car service that will pick you up from the airport and straight to your meeting in Burbank. (I've done this many times living in Toluca Lake a few years ago and having to jet for same-day meeting flights via LAX.)

By the way, your goal is doable, so don't be discouraged.

With a flight arrival of 8:45a, you will most likely get out of the airport around 10a -- depending if you have baggages, etc. If luck is on your side that morning, you may even get out sooner. Anyway, even with a 10a departure from LAX, you will still make it to Burbank by 11:25a. At 10a, the freeways are more cooperative. Your driver will most likely take you via one of these routes - or tell him if he's not sure:

FASTEST:
1) 105 EAST > 110 NORTH > 5 NORTH.

IF 110 NORTH IS CONGESTED:
2) 105 EAST > 110 NORTH > 10 EAST > 5 NORTH

We have a side-street route we use in our company that provides our drivers with a 90% guarantee of getting there in 50 minutes, but it's too long to give that route here.

Upon leaving your meeting, it's best you hire the same car service (if you had a good experience with them in the morning) to take you to LAX. Your worse case scenario on a typical rush hour drive would be 2 hours. So you're safest time of arrival at LAX will be 8p -- which will still be enough time for your late-night flight.

I've done what you're planning to do many times, and it's gonna be okay. Car service will cost you around $50 each way.

Another solution is to take the Super Shuttle or Primetime Shuttle from LAX to BUR airport. (I know this exists via Super Shuttle, but I'm just not sure of the price.) Then you can switch shuttles when you're at the Burbank airport and head to your meeting. However, the car service may just give you less headache and stress -- and it may end up costing the same at the end.

Good luck, have a safe flight and positive meeting!
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Old Oct 23, 2005, 12:01 pm
  #36  
 
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Doable, don't over react

What you have proposed is very doable. Agree that having a car take you to the meeting and back to LAX is the way to proceed. I think worst case scenario from LAX to Burbank will be 1.5 hours. Leaving Burbank area as late as 7:30 p.m. will still get you back to LAX with plenty of time to spare.
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Old Oct 24, 2005, 7:42 pm
  #37  
 
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Unfortunately your arrival time and meeting time will put you in rush hour both ways. Yes, it's doable but plan on at least an hour or more in traffic each way. Car service is a good idea but I am not sure where you will find one for $50. My house (which is 3 miles from BUR) to LAX is $75-85 each way with everyone I have ever checked/heard of.

Definitely rental car. Definitely get one you don't mind sitting in for along time. You won't miss your flights, but you will be on the freeways for a good amount of time. No need to reschedule your trips though.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 10:32 am
  #38  
 
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Also take some Xanax and get a rental car with XM satellite for sitting in Los Angeles gridlock.
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Old Oct 25, 2005, 12:47 pm
  #39  
 
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Talking

Originally Posted by andrewp
Let's pretend for a moment that the only flights that I can get to the LA area are into LAX....

Assuming that I arrive LAX around 8:45 AM how long will it take me to drive to the Burbank area? I'm assuming 30 - 45 minutes... 405 - 101 - 134 - Hollywood Way.
If you are going w/ a car rental, I think you're a tad low in your time estimates, and would figure 60-75 minutes. Equally, I'd avoid the 101 as the 405 & 134 interchanges are both notorious for plugging up, even outside of rush hour traffic. Going N. on the 405 to Burbank Blvd. and then taking this surface street East (or dropping south to Magnolia Blvd. or Chandler Blvd. which are even better) is apt to save you real time instead of sitting in freeway congestion.

On the return suppose my meeting gets out at 5:00PM... How long will it take me to get to LAX (or should I catch a flight from BUR to LAS to LAX )?
I'd figure an hour and a half to two hours at 5 p.m.... Although if you go out to dinner in the Valley, and save your trip "over the hill" until after 6:30, I'd guess that you're back to looking at an hour to an hour and 15 minutes total travel time. Maybe eat somewhere in Encino on Ventura Blvd, which has almost any cuisine your heart might desire.

I know that I can take the MTR to Union Station and then Metrolink to BUR (and the same in reverse), but in looking at the timetables that's looking like potentially MORE frustrating than fighting traffic.
Actually, if I were trying to do an "all public transit" routing, I'd try going mostly Metro light rail rather than trying to transfer to the heavy rail Metrolink. Take the shuttle to the metro green line, green line to blue line, blue line to red line. The last station on the Metro Red Line is at Lankershim Bl. & Chandler Bl....and you should be able to catch a taxi from the waiting zone there, as Hollywood Way is less than 2 miles. As near as I can make out the schedules, you'd be looking at 2:00 to 2:15 in travel time. (For the bargain concious, using a "Metro Day Pass", less the taxi(s) at the Valley end, the whole trip would cost $3 )
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 5:32 pm
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If you do a mapquest directions search from the address of BUR to the address of LAX and then choose "avoid highways," you will get excellent directions for how to get from BUR to LAX on surface streets. The route provided (Hollywood Way -- Barham -- Cahuenga -- Highland - [the transition from Highland to La Brea is the only part of the directions I can't verify: I would cut over on Franklin] - La Brea -- Stocker -- La Cienega -- La Tijera -- Airport) basically combines my route from BUR with my route to LAX!
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 11:40 pm
  #41  
 
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Yep, you're right!'

Here's specific directions on how to get from LAX to BUR in a more reliable way:

1) Century Blvd East

2) La Cienega North

3) Slauson East

4) La Brea North

5) Right on Edgewood Place, which turns into Highland North

6) Left on Cahuenga Blvd

7) Right on Barham Blvd.
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Old Oct 29, 2005, 11:47 pm
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I guess Edgewood between Highland and La Brea is confirmed. Mapquest out!
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Old Dec 7, 2005, 3:42 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by cecelia
Jackal, We did a similar trip a few years ago but were able to drop the rental car at Union Station for no extra fees. This worked perfectly for us. Don't remember which rental company though.
I just rented a car for the entire time I was down there--a really nice Chrysler 300 from Dollar. Worked much better in terms of getting to the airport at the end of my stay.

Just for future reference for others, there are two rental agencies inside Union Station. Budget is one of them. I don't remember what the second one is, but my subconscious seems to remember it being Hertz.

My trip to SAN was awesome! Gorgeous train ride.
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Old Dec 11, 2005, 3:10 am
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L.a. Mta

I once rode the trains all the way from Hollywood to Long Beach. Went to some used bookstores, then came back. It took an entire afternoon--several hours. But it was interesting.

Actually, the train lines are pretty good for tourists. You can stay downtown, take the train to the walk of stars, and to Universal Studios, and not have to screw with car rental and parking hassles. But it's definitely not for people in a hurry, simply because of the vast distances to be covered.
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Old Dec 11, 2005, 6:47 am
  #45  
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Originally Posted by kef0913
Interesting to have an outsider's perpective on our much maligned transit system. To me it is completely inefficient and useless. The majority of Angelenos never ride the MTA because the Metro lines don't go where you need to go and the buses are disgusting and slow.
I'm kind of an insider/outsider. Being from CA but living out of town currently affords me both perspectives.

I love trains and often plan trips around them. (This last one was mainly designed for me to take the Surfliner from L.A. to SAN. My next one is to take the Acela from BOS to NYC. The one after that is to take the Acela from DC to NYC. On those two trips, I'm not even planning to rent a car, because I can get around DC, NYC and BOS all on foot and by subway, which completely thrills me.

But there are some places that just doesn't work--both for locals and for tourists. L.A. is one of those places.

Kef's right when he says the Metro trains don't go anywhere you need to go. L.A. covers a HUGE area--I can't give a size comparison off the top of my head, but it wouldn't surprise me if the L.A./Orange County megalopolis is the size of a small East Coast state.

OK, wow. I just did some research, courtesy of the Wikipedia. What is considered the "Greater Los Angeles Area" is 1,000 km^2 larger than the state of Maine.

That's a heck of a lot of area to cover with only four Metro lines (the R/G/B lines and the new Gold line). And it's complicated by another problem: L.A.'s suburban spread is so vast that the traditional notion of "downtown"--the "CBD" ("central business district") where everyone goes to work--doesn't apply here. Yes, there is a "downtown" with some high-rises and business headquarters, but it's largely ignored: Most Angelenos could quite possibly spend their entire lives without setting foot in downtown L.A. Most of the city is made of a spread of single-family housing neighborhoods with commercial development spread along the main streets and centralized in numerous points throughout the cities. Combine that with the fact that most people can live and work on opposite sides of the city--you can live in Pasadena and work in Palos Verdes (between which there are no train connections)--and you have an area in which public transportation just will not work, at least not without a MAJOR, multi-trillion-dollar project of dozens of high-speed train lines, perhaps operating in a large ring-and-spoke system with feeder lines going everywhere.

So, in addition to the four Metro light-rail/subway lines, there are six Metrolink lines (full-sized "heavy" rail commuter trains). But even with these, most of the residents of the Los Angeles area are still anywhere from a 10 to 30 minute drive (much less walk)--if not more--from the nearest Metrolink station. The best the Metrolink can do is operate as a park-and-ride...and not a very efficient one at that.

And hotturnip's comment is somewhat on, but I digress on a few points. First, yes, it's possible to navigate to some of L.A.'s tourist sites by train, but it's inconvenient and slow. And many of the sites--from Griffith Observatory to Disneyland and thousands of others--are not immediately accessible by train (in the case of Disneyland, one might be able to find a hotel shuttle or bus that can pick you up from the Anaheim train station, but the station's not immediately next to the park). Entire areas of Los Angeles are missing from rail access (both Metro and Metrolink). And if the Metro lines are intended to be convenient for tourists to avoid renting cars, their first mistake is not hooking the Green Line directly to the airport terminals.

I'd love to see a functional public transit and train system in L.A. I just don't think it's feasible, due to the way L.A. is laid out. But if one ever appears and people use it, it'd be awesome for two reasons: a) it'd be fun to ride and b) the freeways would be clear so I could set my cruise control at 95 and not have to worry about traffic.

:-D

G'night,
Jackal
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