As one of America’s few non-walkable cities, Los Angeles can be notoriously difficult to get around without a car. Spread out over dozens of miles, one part of the city can feel like it’s on another planet from another part of the city. There are alternatives to car ownership however, and Discover Los Angeles’s guide to a car -free L.A. informs residents and visitors about how to get around major attractions without a car.
While cars will always abound in L.A., they definitely have their drawbacks. They are expensive to buy and to park. Not only are monthly parking fees in apartment building garages high, the city also has some of the highest insurance, maintenance, and gas prices in the nation.
So, are there alternatives to car ownership? Of course! Below are some of the best choices to get around L.A. without owning a car.
The Metro. The Metro goes more places than Angelinos may think. Hollywood Blvd is a major subway stop, making its many attractions easy to get to for visitors. But many residents may not be aware it’s possible to come in from the suburbs on L.A. Metro into Union Station, a historical building near Olvera Street and Los Angeles City hall, great for commuters.
The Metro also goes to other unexpected destinations- take the red and purple Metro lines to Disney Concert Hall, L.A. Central Library, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The gold line goes to Chinatown and Dodger Stadium.
Advantages: ease of use, inexpensive, goes a variety of places
Disadvantages: runs on a set schedule, routes have been reduced due to pandemic worries, may not go where you to want to go, ticket prices can add up, may have to walk blocks
Buses. While the bus doesn’t get love much in Los Angeles, those who use it know it goes many more places than the Metro, and it has been utilized by commuters and students alike for years. Wilshire Center, Koreatown, Studio City, and Van Nuys are common stops, and buses can be an inexpensive way across town. Some routes are closed due to the pandemic.
Advantages: inexpensive, goes a variety of different places
Disadvantages: requires exact change or a bus pass, runs on a set schedule, routes have been reduced due to pandemic worries, may have to walk blocks
Bicycles. Bicycling is popular in L.A. as a form of transportation that is environmentally sound and good exercise.
Advantages: go where you want when you want, green
Disadvantages: can’t go far, unsafe in traffic, can’t use the freeway, expensive to purchase, relies on physical fitness, can’t carry bags/purchases
Micromobility. Scooters, mopeds, skateboards and Segways present another green option. Financial and health scares have people working closer to home, and for urban dwellers, who are within a few blocks of grocery store, 10 blocks from work, etc, they represent a way to travel that’s faster than walking and is less of a physical challenge than biking.
Advantages: goes where you want when you want, free except for charging after purchase
Disadvantages: Doesn’t go far, dangerous in traffic, can’t go on the freeway, expensive to purchase, easily stolen, can’t carry bags/purchases
While there are alternatives to cars that can work, none of them come close to the advantages of having a car, especially in L.A.
What if you could have a car at your fingertips when you need one, but didn’t have to buy it, store it, or maintain it?
Blink Mobility is a 100% electric car sharing service and part of the City of Los Angeles’s mobility solutions. Blink Mobility is available to anyone over 18 years of age with a valid driver’s license. Members have access to a network of shared electric vehicles 24-hours a day, 7 days a week, at self-service locations throughout central Los Angeles.
Most car rental companies rent by the week or the month. Car sharing is different, offering you the ability to rent a car just for a few hours and only pay for the distance traveled and the time in use.
Blink Mobility stations are on-street, consisting of one self-service kiosk, and 5 parking spots each with an electric charger, where users pick up and drop off vehicles. Blink Mobility is point to point, which means there’s no need to return the car to your starting point or during regular business hours! Cars can be returned to any Blink Mobility location. And best of all, our cars are all electric, so you can drive without having to worry about environmental impact.
Advantages: ease of use, goes where you want when you want, green, inexpensive
Would you like to try car sharing the next time you need to drive? Go to blinkmobility.com. It’s easy to sign up and join.