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LOS ANGELES TRANSPORTATION

The landmarks of Los Angeles and vicinity are spread over nearly 4,000 square miles, so to see all they can see, visitors will find themselves traversing the region’s deserts, mountains and valleys. Here are tips to help you learn the lay of the land, from the time you arrive.

Rental Cars:
Even with L.A.’s notorious gridlock traffic, driving a car will most likely be the easiest way to get around. There are dozens of rental agencies throughout the city including Hertz and Avis. On a Budget? Try Rent-a-Wreck for classic American cars from the 1960s and 1970s, including convertibles, at rock bottom prices. If money is no object, call Beverly Hills Rent-a-Car, the city's leading renter of such class cars as Ferraris, Maseratis and Rolls Royces.

Airport Shuttles:
There are at least a dozen airport shuttles to choose from, but most charge around $20 for a trip from the Convention Center to LAX. Among the biggest shuttle services are: Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle.

Limousines:
Among the best and most reasonably priced car-for-hire companies is Skycar (800-332-5252). If you have a pressing need for a Rolls-Royce Phantom Classic at 4 a.m., Integrated Transportation Service will supply one for $75 per hour with a four-hour minimum. For something even roomier, rent a 33-foot-long Lincoln Navigator from SUV Limousine (877-788-5466).

Bus:
Despite the efforts of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), crossing L.A. by bus can be far from rapid, and conditions can be crowded during rush hours. Express lines stop only at major streets and are reasonably speedy. It's perfectly possible, for instance, to take a bus from downtown to the beach.

Trains:
Trains are gradually becoming more popular, and Metrolink regional trains connect Downtown Los Angeles with the suburbs. Within Los Angeles, Metro Rail trains take passengers to dozens of local destinations. For a day trip, try Amtrak, headquartered at Union Station. Trains travel daily between L.A., San Diego and Santa Barbara, stopping at most cities in between. Beware, due to heavy freight traffic, frequent delays can more than double your travel time.

Taxis:
Expect to pay a flat fee of approximately $46 for a trip between LAX and Downtown. Since L.A. distances are so vast, relying solely on taxis for transportation can quickly become very expensive, but taking taxis for relatively short trips is perfectly viable. One of the best on the Westside is Beverly Hills Cab (310-273-6611); in the San Fernando Valley try Valley Cab (818-787-1900); and servicing the San Gabriel Valley is Bell Cab (818-285-1141).

For more about Los Angeles Travel, see our 72-Hour Vacation Guide.

 
(Updated: 02/10/11 CT)

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