The commute into Los Angeles is one of the most infamous in the country, often depicted in movies and media as being a multi-hour pursuit leaving no time left in the day for much else. In real life, there are many ways you can cut down your commute time going into L.A. whether those options be public transportation, alternate routes, or other methods.
With so many different places to commute from and to in the greater Los Angeles area, it is impossible to note down every conceivable shortcut for every commuting route in Southern California. Instead, this guide to tackling the Los Angeles traffic is intended to give you new ideas as to cutting down your driving time, and cut down the toll of the commute on your day.
Be Aware of Rush Hour
One of the most important things to be aware of in Los Angeles is the time when rush hour begins. Generally, roads start to get bad at about 5 a.m until 10 a.m., and again at about 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m – it is especially bad from about 7 to 9 in the morning and again from 4 to 6 at night during the weekdays.
Avoiding the main roads as much as you can during these hours is key to making your commute as painless as possible – two things you can do to make rush hour easier for yourself are to leave home much earlier and depart the city much later on. Consider going to a coffee shop or diner to enjoy a nice start to the day before work starts, or make a nice dinner to bring to a park while you wait for rush hour to end at the close of the day, or hit the gym afterwork.
Try A New Route
This one may require a bit of planning on your part, but it can shave lots of time off your commute if you find a route that works for you.
One example of a better route into the city is the commute from Miracle Mile to the UCLA campus through Wilshire – one user on the city-data.com forums pointed out that the commute can take about 20 minutes on a great day, as it’s theoretically a near-straight shot from the neighborhood, but on days with high traffic it can easily take up to an hour of driving. The user claims that with a “long-cut” they planned out through side-roads, you can cut down the time travelled by half, making it about a 30 minute trip on rush days despite it being a slightly longer distance.
That’s just one example, be sure to look for alternative routes to highways and major roads in your commute and you could easily shave lots of time off of your travel. Having a fuel-efficient car helps a lot as well.
Public Transportation Options
L.A. has a subway system, commuter bus transportation systems, park-n-ride stations outside the city center and other options for making your trip into the city as hassle-free as possible.
The subway system is relatively expansive, covering a good part of the LA city limits. There are stations in Eastside, the San Fernando Valley, San Gabriel Valley, and other areas that are more accessible to commuters than driving into the inner city. Consider investing in a TAP card, charge your phone, and you can reduce the stress of your commute underground.
Another option is bus systems and park-n-ride stations scattered throughout the outskirts of L.A. and the greater metro area. Park-n-ride services help traffic by reducing the number of cars on the road significantly. The bus system and subway system in the city can get you around downtown, but park-n-rides takes your hands off the wheel and let you do other things while you travel into L.A.
Although there are some complaints as to its effectiveness in cutting down your actual commute time, public transit can make your commute easier by letting somebody else deal with the stress of traffic and maybe let you catch up on Netflix shows in your favorites list.