Getting around Los Angeles: Car rental and public transport

Discover all of LA with our top tips for getting around town.

Certain areas of LA are walkable but often people want to explore more territory. We recommend that you rent a car if you want to see more than just the downtown core. If you just want to see the major attractions, you can use public transportation as there is a stop for each famous hot spot.

Image: Los Angeles Metro Facebook

Los Angeles public transport

  • Types of transport. Buses and trains are serviced by Metro.
  • Paying for transport. You can pay for transportation in cash or with the electronic Metro Tap card. You can purchase Tap cards at Tap vending machines at Metro rail stations for $1 or at authorised vendors for $2. If you use cash, you must pay in exact change.
  • Getting to and from the airport. Free shuttle buses provide transport to the Metro Green Line Aviation station which connects to the city and other Metro lines. The G shuttles pick passengers up on the lower/arrivals level in each terminal. The Lot C shuttles bring passengers to the Metro Bus Centre, which has routes throughout LA. Alternatively, FlyAway buses depart from the lower/arrivals level in front of each terminal under the green FlyAway bus sign. They go to locations across LA for US$8-$10.
  • Best apps for getting around. The LA Metro and Bus app provides real-time predictions of when the next train or bus will arrive, locates your nearest stop and gives you access to the Metro rail map.

Los Angeles metro map

This detailed Metro map shows you which lines are best to take to your destination.

Taxis and Uber

  • Taxi. You should book or call a taxi in advance as hailing one from the side of the road is extremely difficult and is even illegal in some areas of LA, such as in the downtown core. You can also find taxis at designated taxi ranks in busy areas.
  • Uber. Uber is available and costs US$23-$99 from LAX, the Los Angeles International Airport, to downtown LA.

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Los Angeles car hire rental companies

It is fairly common for tourists to rent a car in LA since many tourist destinations, like the Hollywood sign, are not within walking distance. LA also has beautiful scenic drives you can take if you rent a car.

All car rental companies are located off of airport property but there are shuttles provided by the rental companies. The pick-up point is on the lower/arrivals level outside of baggage claim.

Avis, Budget, Hertz, Enterprise, Advantage, Alamo, Dollar, Fox, Midway, National, Payless, Sixt and Thrifty all service the Los Angeles airport. Use DriveNow to compare car companies and find the best deal.





Los Angeles car hire deals

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Los Angeles airport transfers

Budget-friendly transfers that can be booked in advance with Viator and Jayride that will surely get you from LAX to downtown LA in no time.

Shared Airport Arrival Transfer: LAX International Airport to Los Angeles Hotels
Shared Airport Arrival Transfer: LAX International Airport to Los Angeles Hotels


Private Arrival Transfer: Los Angeles International Airport to Hotel
Private Arrival Transfer: Los Angeles International Airport to Hotel


Los Angeles Arrival Transfer: to Los Angeles Hotels
Los Angeles Arrival Transfer: to Los Angeles Hotels


Getting out: Los Angeles train

From LA, trains depart to destinations all over California. It’s a relaxing change of pace for those who always fly.

Los Angeles to San Francisco train

The Amtrak Coast Starlight service does not provide a train directly into San Francisco, but it does have a shuttle bus into the city from two of the final stops, Emeryville and Oakland. The cost is from US$61-$300 and takes 12 hours. Alternatively, you can catch the San Joaquin Train with a Thruway Bus connection for a total of 10 hours, half of which you spend on the train. You can catch both day and late-night trains from Union Station in LA.

Los Angeles to Las Vegas train

At the moment there is no train service between these cities.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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