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A Bruin’s Guide to Exploring Los Angeles Using Public Transportation

U See LA Without a Car

Some of the best sights and attractions L.A. has to offer are accessible by public transportation. And with UCLA offering a free transit pass to new riders and a discount on passes moving forward after the first quarter's complimentary one, journeys around the city are more affordable, hassle-free, and fun.

Besides saving money by not paying for gas and parking, you’ll be going green, sparing the environment and improving air quality.

Let's look at the pass options. Go Metro is good for unlimited rides on LA Metro bus and rail lines, while BruinGO! offers unlimited rides on Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) and Culver CityBus (CCB). For occasional BBB and CCB riders, UCLA Co-Pay has you covered with a discounted fare. Passes are also available on four different commuter lines.

Now it’s time to go! There are many gems in L.A.’s diverse neighborhoods. Here we present a few transit-accessible destination highlights. Google Maps is good for planning (select the transit icon) or use the Transit app, and be sure to review schedules and stop on each line's website. 

Fun in the Sun — Santa Monica & Venice

Taylor Swift sang about a cruel summer, but not for Bruins with beach cities in their backyard! Quintessential Southern California’s Santa Monica Pier and Venice Beach Boardwalk are both reachable by the Big Blue Bus and Culver CityBus.

Residing on campus? Catch the BruinBus Saturday Shuttle at Sproul Hall and Hedrick Hall to reach Santa Monica at no cost.

Shop Till You Drop — Abbot Kinney & Sawtelle

These two trendy boulevards on the Westside feature food, fashion, art, and more to peruse. Big Blue Bus, Century CityBus, and LA Metro can all drop you on these strips.

For a mall visit, Westfield Century City is mere miles from UCLA and a short trip on Santa Clarita Transit departing directly from campus. 

Turn Back Time — DTLA

Bruins will find themselves in rival territory here. That said, this side of town takes you to L.A.'s origins and offers plenty to see and do. From Olvera Street to Chinatown, museums and music venues, including the Natural History Museum and Broad and Walt Disney Concert Hall and Grand Park, hop on Metro Rail to have a look around. 

Great Outdoors — Griffith Park

The largest municipal park with an urban wilderness area in the U.S. is home to several activities: an observatory, zoo, the Autry Museum, and hiking trails, which you can follow up to the famous Hollywood Sign. Go Metro to reach the park and use the LADOT Dash Observatory to see the stars.

Flying out of town? Take transit to LAX! CCB Line 6 has convenient stops on campus and in Westwood Village, dropping you at the Metro C (Green) Line  Aviation Station, where you can connect with a free shuttle to the airport. The Rapid 6 will also get you there, arriving every 15 minutes during weekday morning and evening peak hours.

For a complete list of places to visit car-free plus directions, check out U-See-LA Without A Car.