Saturday, December 4, 2010

Los Angeles Metro Subway On The Boulevard

Hollywood/Highland Station Entrance
The convenience that is the Los Angeles Metro Subway brings the city to being more pedestrian friendly. The city that loves its cars has made it a little easier to get from point to point without said vehicle. The location of a metro station stop was one attraction of choosing the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel when I had tickets to a performance at the L.A. Music Center back in 2004. Return visits in 2009 and this December 2010 allowed me to discover more in the area. Without a car, I had Universal Studios, Hollywood Boulevard and Downtown L.A. within easy reach.

Escalator down at the Civic Center Station
Sign marking the entry to the Civic Center Station.
Los Angeles City Hall is at left.
Using the metro subway is easy. For example, the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel is closest to the Hollywood/Highland station along the Red Line. My destination is the L.A. Music Center which is nearest to the Civic Center station along the Red Line. This means I require only one fare in one direction. If had to transfer between lines, another admission is needed. For example, if I was heading to Chinatown, another fare is needed to switch from the Red Line to the Gold Line.

Fare machines
The fare one way along a line is $1.50 or $6.00 for a Day Pass. Head towards one of the fare machines and follow the simple instructions. The machines accept cash/coins and credit cards. For convenience I used a credit card rather than fumbling and searching for change. One thing you'll immediately notice after purchasing a fare is there is no need to swipe your ticket for entry or exit. This may be reason to skip paying a fare but metro security will show up occasionally to see your valid ticket.

Ticket and receipt (photo from 2009 when the one-way fare was $1.25)
Upon reaching the platform, be sure you wait for the train and line in the direction you are heading. Some lines share station stops. See what is the final stop of the train from the map, match that destination to the lighted signs on the stopping train and this should help you know that you are about to board right train. The average wait time is ten minutes and longer during off-peak hours. If the station is especially crowded, you may want to wait for a second train.

Upper level of Hollywood/Highland station. Trains stop one level below.
Each station has a unique design and is very modern and clean. As usual let safety be your guide. Be aware of your surroundings during both busy and off-peak times. Keep all belongings close to you and be sure items in your pockets are safe.

Above and below: The design of the Hollywood/Highland station marked
by the shovels adorning the columns.

The metro lines and stops have grown significantly in the past ten years. It may not bring the entire city to your feet but for a few days it brings a lot of attractions closer to you without the use of a car. One thing I noticed is city dwellers still love their cars. This is probably why after attending a performance at the Music Center with almost 2,000 patrons, I was among among only two or three people waiting at the Civic Center station after the performance.

Train leaving station.
The spacious platforms of the Hollywood/Highland station.
Click on the map below for a grid view of the various subway lines. More info by visiting the website.


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