Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I want to FlyAway

At one point I thought I had posted about a trip I took on the Metro from Pasadena to El Segundo but it's still sitting in my 'not completed' file. That trip consisted of the Gold Line, Red Line, Blue Line, to the Green. Which was cool because I got to go through Union Station, the 7th Street Metro Center, and the Rosa Parks station. The uncool part was that it took about 1.5 hours and required a separate ticket for each hop (although now I find out they have day passes). Obligatory Metro link.

Today I had a similar mission: get from downtown to the SouthBay. I could have done a similar trip but I wanted to try something I had only read about called the FlyAway bus service. It is operated by Los Angeles Regional Airports and consists of shuttles that go from all the regions airports to Union Station and other population centers. My experience was great. I asked some very nice people at Union Station where the kiosk was and after a short walk and seven dollars I had a ticket in my hand. Buses leave every half hour and although the driver told us that the trip would be longer because it was rush hour it only ended up taking about 35 minutes (and even went over my second favorite interchange: 110 south to 105 west carpool lane - booyah!). I waited longer for my friends to pick me up at the Southwest terminal.

Map of where the FlyAway kiosk is:

View Los Angeles Union Station in a larger map

Also here's are a couple of ideas: how about taking and rating all the different transportation agencies in Southern California? Or how about some enterprising young programmer puts a database together of all the timetables of said agencies along with the cost for different hops and transfers and walking times, uses a little Dijkstra magic, and figures out routes that are either cheapest or fastest (or better yet let you weight each). Kind of like the Metro Trip Planner but cool and useful. Has GoogleMaps done this yet? Actually, can I have that job? Thanks...

Stupid video link even though the stupid record company won't allow embeds


C.Iskandar said...

I actually liked the FlyAway from LAX to downtown - fairly convenient, and only seven bucks! My only complaint about it was that the FlyAway at Union Station was all the way on the other side of the entrance, so that taxis aren't so easily accessible. (It took me a while to figure out that I needed to go down the tunnels before getting a cab). It's only a five-six minute walk to the other side, but you know, I can be impatient and always in a hurry! So if you're in a rush, not the greatest option, but otherwise, you can't beat the price.

Now, only if there was a direct Metro stop to LAX...then I'd be all set!

BradleyB said...

Amen on the Metro-LAX stop. Supposedly the Green Line expansion plans include something like that. There's a shuttle between LAX and the Green Line station on Aviation that isn't too bad.

Also randomly I was trying to figure out how to get from SoBay to Angel Stadium. The 'best' pubtrans is taking FlyAway to Union then Amtrak (or Metrolink). Stupid SoBay....