LOS ANGELES AIRPORT (LAX)
|Los Angeles International Airport (16 miles southwest of downtown Los Angeles) is served by the following ground transportation options:
A - metro
B - local bus
C - shared ride van
D - taxi
E - limousine
F - rental car
The airport has nine passenger terminals arranged in a horseshoe (1-8 + Tom Bradley International.) Tom Bradley handles most (but not all) of the international traffic.
|Terminal passenger links
Note that all of the terminals in the airport are connected by a walkway.
However the terminals are also served internally by a shuttle bus. It is known as the LAX Shuttle Airline Connections Bus. It pulls up in front of every terminal under the blue overhead sign.
Most inter-terminal connections require passengers to exit security, then walk or use the shuttle bus to get to the other terminal, then re-clear security. Such connections can be time consuming and do normally require set minimum connections times to be considered a legal connection.
A few LAX terminals provide airside connections, which allow connecting passengers to access other terminals without having to re-clear through security. The following airside connections are possible:
- Terminals 5, 6, 7 and 8 are all connected airside via walking corridors allowing connecting passengers a seamless connection. The only exception applies to international-arriving passengers in Terminals 6/7 who are making connections. International arrivals still need to exit through customs, then re-clear through security to have access to the departures area (even though it's the same terminal.)
- Terminals 4 and 5 were previously connected via an underground walkway located in the center of the concourses. This walkway is currently closed.
|A: Metro Rail
Free shuttle bus G to the Metropolitan Transit Authority Metro Green Line Light Rail's Aviation station leaves from every terminal under the blue overhead sign that says: "LAX Shuttle Airlines Connections."
You can purchase single-ride tickets or $5 day passes from the vending machine at the metro rail station.
Single-ride fares cost $1.25 and must be used within 2 hours of the purchase. The metro rail system is run on the "honor system" so there are no turnstiles - you simply walk onto the train. From time to time, however, uniformed inspectors may ask you to present your ticket or day pass. Note that each metro rail ride requires a separate fare. For example, if you ride the green line, for $1.25, and then transfer to the blue line, you need to purchase a second $1.25 ticket.
To use a day pass, you must first purchase a $2 tap card on which to load the fare. So a day pass will initially cost $7. (The day passes purchased at the metro station may also be used on the metro buses.)
|B: FlyAway Bus
The FlyAway Bus is a shuttle service run by the LAWA (Los Angeles World Airports), which travels between one of three off-airport locations, and leaves from every LAX terminal – lookout for the green overhead sign that says "Flyaway Buses and Long Distance Vans."
- Los Angeles Union Station (bus stop 9 at the station.) 25-45 minutes journey time. As well as getting you to downtown LA, this links you to Amtrak and Metrolink regional and national train lines as well as to the red, purple, and gold metro rail lines as well as the blue metro rail line (via the red line - transfer to the Blue Line at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station.)
- Van Nuys Airport in the San Fernando valley.
- Westwood, UCLA campus - Kinross Avenue. You can then transfer to Wilshire Bl buses (the #20, #720, #920 and others), which connect Westwood with Santa Monica (20 minutes west of Westwood) and Beverly Hills (15 minutes east of Westwood). The Flyaway bus drops off passengers 2 blocks north of Wilshire Bl so you must walk 2 blocks south to pick up any of these local buses. Note that these local buses are obviously not set up for passengers with a lot of luggage.
The service is operated 24 hours a day with each line operating at least one trip per hour, with more trips in daytime, with the exception of the line to and from Westwood, which does not run in the early morning hours.
@ Summer 2009 tickets cost:
- Union Station or Van Nuys routes, $7 (Van Nuys, credit or debit cards only.)
- Westwood route - $5.
The blue buses are well-branded and easily distinguishable and pick up travelers at every terminal on the (lower) arrival level.
|C1: Shared Ride Vans
A number of private companies run door-to-door vans providing service between the airport and passenger-specified locations. At LAX, these vans pull up under the orange overhead signs that say "Shared Ride Vans."
A typical fare to downtown LA would be between $15-$20.
|C2: Disneyland Express Bus (Grayline)
Goes to the Disneyland Resort first and then on to area hotels. (You will either be taken to your hotel aboard this coach or you will be transferred to a smaller vehicle for the ride from the Disneyland Resort to your hotel). The transfer could take an hour or more depending on traffic and the number of hotels that are being stopped at.
Leaves from every LAX terminal - lookout for the green overhead sign that says "Flyaway Buses and Long Distance Vans."
Runs every 30 minutes during the day, 60 minutes during the evening.
@ Summer 2009 tickets cost:
- Adult single, $20.
- Children single, $17.
- Adult return - $30.
- Children return - $23.
Note that family tickets are available online.
|C3: Hotel Shuttles
Free shuttles operate between the airport and a number of hotels in the area.
Taxis are available from curbside on the lower level. Passengers will be given a ticket stating the typical fare to major destinations. Airport authorized taxis will display an official seal. A typical fare into LA would be $50-$60.
A sedan car or town car where the driver of the car meets you in baggage claim. Maximum passengers - 3 or 4, depending on the vehicle. A typical fare to downtown LA would be around $80 for the car.
|F: Rental Cars
Approximately 40 rental car companies operate out of LAX, with vehicle rental sites located off the airport. Many of these rental car companies provide phone links inside or near the baggage claim areas on the Lower/Arrival Level of the terminals. Customers should meet the LAX Shuttle Bus "Lot C" on the Lower/Arrivals level island under the sign for LAX Shuttle to travel to the rental car terminal.
Note that some rental firms are permitted to pick-up and drop-off their customers directly from the airline terminals using courtesy shuttles.
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