HOW TO GET HOME FROM LAX FOR $1.40

Sometimes, you just can’t get a ride home.

Such was my dilemma upon arriving at LAX from the ABQ. Being a struggling actress on a shoestring budget, I didn’t want to spend $40 on a cab ride. Even the $20 for Shuttle2LAX.com was more than I wanted to pay.  Besides, that shuttle requires reservations at least four hours prior to pick-up time; and, when I boarded the plane in Albuquerque, I thought I had a ride.

Yesterday, I learned that it is possible to get from LAX to many points in Los Angeles for only $1.40. Here at Recession Cafe, we’re serving up instructions on how to do it.

First, get yourself and your baggage outside the baggage claim area and across the street to the inner ring around the airport where all the public transportation vehicles are. You need to board the Lot C shuttle. This shuttle is free! It will take you and your fellow passengers to LAX Lot C off of 96th Street.

Once you get to Lot C, it is only a quick jaunt across the street to the LAX City Bus Center. Here, you can board buses that will take you to thousands of destinations across the city of Los Angeles. LA Metro, Culver City Rapid Green and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus lines all radiate from the LAX City Bus Center.

To find which buses you need, and to print handy-dandy directions as to times, bus names, line numbers, departure/arrival times, and exact street corners for departure/arrival, you can go to www.metro.net. Look under the “Getting Around” tab, “Rider Tools” and “Trip Planner.” Make sure that when it asks you to choose exact points of departure and destination that you click the one that just says, “LAX.”

This planner is a great tool, except for one thing. Don’t trust the bay numbers it gives you. When I got to the the Bus Center, I found that the bay number my Culver City Rapid bus was supposed to leave from had a Santa Monica Blue Bus sign on it. The signs at the Bus Center were correct. If in doubt, just say hello to one of your fellow travelers and ask him or her. There is a wealth of information out there in the heads of Metro card-holding Angelenos.

When you go to the trip planner, you’ll find alternative modes and routes as well. For example, the Lot G shuttle takes you to the Metro Green Line Aviation Station, where you can catch Metro trains. If you have more money for your transpo and you can afford to pay for parking at one of their structures, you can catch The Flyaway right there at the airport in that same inner ring.The Flyaway has four stations: Irvine ($25 OW); Van Nuys ($7 OW); Union Station ($7 OW) and Westwood ($10 OW). No cash accepted

As for me, I couldn’t resist. That $1.40 option was just too good. In case of this eventuality, I had already printed out my directions from LA Metro’s Trip Planner. I like to have my directions on paper. If you have an iPhone, an iPad or an Android, you can download the Planner from your device’s app store. This mobile app includes features that help you find the nearest station to you and notifies you of bus, train and road closure alerts. You can also simply dial 511 on your cell phone to get this information in voice format.

So, how ’bout that? It is actually possible to get home from LAX for only $1.40. It did take two hours for a trip that would take me about half an hour in a car; but in these hard times, the ride was not half bad and the price was easy on the wallet.

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