The Guide to Los Angeles Public Transit

Discover one of the country’s best public transportation networks

Metro K Line train at Florence Avenue
Metro K Line | Photo: LADOT, Wikimedia Commons

Los Angeles is home to one of the country’s best public transportation networks, including subways, light rail, buses and shuttles that service every corner of the Greater Los Angeles area. With this guide, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is making it easier than ever for visitors and locals alike to discover LA without a car.

Metro TAP Card
TAP Card | Photo: Metro

Metro Trip Planning: The Basics

The Metro Trip Planner is a great online tool for planning your Los Angeles itineraries. In conjunction with Google Maps, the Trip Planner generates detailed instructions on how to get to and from your destination. Metro has also compiled a list of Rider Apps to help plan your route, take your trip, and pay for it all seamlessly.

The reloadable TAP Card offers the most convenient and flexible way to pay your fare on Metro Bus and Rail. TAP Cards can be purchased at vending machines located at all Metro Rail, J and G Line stations. Cards can also be purchased and loaded online at

Fares for a one-way trip on Metro includes 2 hours of FREE transfers.

  • Regular Ride: $1.75
  • Senior 62+, Medicare, Customer with Disability: $.75 peak | $.35 off-peak
  • K-12 And Community College Students: Free with GoPass
  • Low Income (LIFE): 20 free rides/month

Use your TAP Card and earn free rides with Fare Capping, a new program introduced by Metro in July 2023. With Fare Capping, the more you ride, the more you save. You will never pay more than $5 in a day or $18 within seven days. Once you reach the 1-Day or 7-Day fare cap, rides are FREE! Frequent riders will benefit the most. For more info, visit the Metro website.

Metro Rail & Busway Map 2023
Metro Rail & Busway Map | Photo: Metro

Metro Rail

Metro Rail features six lines serving 101 stations across L.A. County: four light rail (A, C, E and K Lines) and two subways (B and D Lines). Metro Rail connects with Metro Busway (see below), Metrolink commuter rail and several Amtrak lines.

A detailed map of the Metro Rail & Busway System is available for download HERE. PDFs of the Bus and Rail Schedules are available at the Metro website.

In June 2023, Metro opened the Regional Connector, a 1.9-mile rail link that added three new underground Downtown LA stations, connecting riders along two new routes from Azusa to Long Beach, and East Los Angeles to Santa Monica.

With 7th St/Metro Center as the hub, these stations service the newly extended A Line and E Line, which now continue along the former L Line (Gold) northern and eastern routes, respectively.

7th Street/Metro Center Station
7th Street/Metro Center Station | Photo: Metro
The Metro A Line is the longest light rail line in the world.

Spanning nearly 50 miles from Azusa to Long Beach, the A Line opened as the Blue Line in 1990 and is the oldest line in the system. Following the completion of the Regional Connector project, the Metro A Line is now the longest light rail line in the world.

Opened as the Red Line in 1993, the B Line is a fully-underground subway that runs from North Hollywood in the San Fernando Valley to the landmark Union Station in Downtown LA.

Running from Redondo Beach in the South Bay to Norwalk at its eastern end, the C Line (formerly the Green Line) offers a free shuttle at the Aviation/LAX Station that takes passengers to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

From the B Line’s Wilshire/Vermont station, you can transfer to the D Line, which connects Koreatown to Downtown LA. Like the B Line, the D Line is a fully-underground subway.

Now expanded to 22 miles, the E Line (formerly the Expo Line) runs from the Santa Monica Pier to East Los Angeles.

The system's newest line, the six-mile K Line connects Jefferson Park and Westchester, running through historic neighborhoods like Leimert Park and Inglewood.

For highlights of the world-famous attractions and cultural gems you can visit via Metro Rail, check out our guide to Go Metro and Go Everywhere in LA.

Eastbound Metro G Line bus
Eastbound G Line bus | Photo: Metro

Metro Busway

The Metro Busway features two bus rapid transit (BRT) lines that service 29 stations.

Opened as the Orange Line in 2005, the G Line operates in the San Fernando Valley on an exclusive busway between Chatsworth to the west and North Hollywood to the east. The NoHo stop is a Park & Ride that connects to the Metro B Line subway. The G Line operates 24/7 and services 17 stations that are located at approximate one-mile intervals.

The 38-mile J Line (formerly the Silver Line) runs from El Monte in the San Gabriel Valley to Downtown LA to the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay. The J Line also runs 24/7 and services 12 stations with additional street stops.

Metro bus in Boyle Heights
Metro bus in Boyle Heights | Photo: Metro

Metro Bus

The Metro Bus system operates along 117 routes spanning the Greater Los Angeles area. In 2020, as part of its NextGen Bus Plan, Metro retired the Local, Rapid and Express brands. Most of the Rapid routes were retired in favor of more frequent service on the former Local routes.

For detailed information on Metro Bus lines and schedules, visit the Metro website.

Martin Luther King Jr. Station on the Metro K Line
Martin Luther King Jr. Station on the Metro K Line | Photo: Metro

Metro strives to ensure that its services (including more than 200 bus and rail routes) are fully accessible to all of its riders, including those with disabilities.

  • All Metro Rail lines are accessible to persons in wheelchairs. Every station has either a walkway/ramp or elevator from the street to the platform. In the event of an elevator outage at your station, you may take a bus to the next station for free.
  • For vision-impaired Metro Rail riders, braille and tactile signs are posted at station entrances. Additional signs are posted in all subway stations on the sides of stairs and escalators near the platform to indicate the direction the train is traveling.
  • Metro Buses can accommodate all types of wheelchairs, including three-wheel scooter-chairs, power chairs and small four-wheel chairs. The general requirement is that the mobility device must fit on the ramp and be able to maneuver to the wheelchair securement area (30” x 48”). Two wheelchairs are allowed on the bus at a time.
DASH bus in Chinatown
DASH bus in Chinatown | Photo: LADOT
DASH Observatory Bus at Griffith Observatory
DASH Observatory Bus at Griffith Observatory | Photo: LADOT


The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) currently operates the second-largest fleet in L.A. County. LADOT transit services span 46 routes and serve nearly 30 million passengers a year.

DASH is LADOT's system of localized bus services. For riders making longer trips, DASH acts as a feeder to the Metro Rail and Metro Bus system. Since its launch in Downtown LA, DASH has expanded to 31 routes servicing 27 additional neighborhoods. The DTLA DASH buses run from 6am to 9pm Monday-Friday; and 9am to 6pm Saturday and Sunday.

  • Downtown A – Little Tokyo / City West
  • Downtown B – Chinatown / Financial District
  • Downtown D – Union Station / South Park
  • Downtown E – City West / Fashion District
  • Downtown F – Financial District / Exposition Park-USC

DASH buses are currently free. For a full list of DASH neighborhoods, routes and schedules, visit the LADOT website.

Launched in 2017, the DASH Observatory Bus offers convenient transportation to two LA icons, the Griffith Observatory and the Greek Theatre. The service operates every day of the year, including holidays. Connect to the DASH Observatory Bus via the Vermont/Sunset Station of the Metro B Line. For more info, visit the LADOT website.

Commuter Express bus
Commuter Express bus | Photo: LADOT

LADOT's Commuter Express provides service to and from Downtown LA during morning and afternoon rush hours. Commuter Express makes a limited number of stops in order to make travel times as short as possible. Communities serviced span the San Fernando Valley to San Pedro and beyond. Commuter Express operates on a zone system - fare payment is based on how far you travel and how many zones you ride. There are five fare zones, identified as Base and Zones 1-4. All Commuter Express 31-Day Passes and Trip Tickets are sold on the TAP Card.

LAX FlyAway Bus at Tom Bradley International (Terminal B)
LAX FlyAway Bus at Tom Bradley International Terminal (Terminal B) | Photo: LAWA

LAX Flyaway Bus

There are numerous public transportation options available at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A free shuttle bus connects LAX with the Metro C Line, and free shuttle buses transport passengers between airline terminals.

Operated by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the LAX FlyAway® Bus provides frequent non-stop transportation between LAX, Union Station and Van Nuys. Passengers leaving LAX may board buses on the Lower/Arrivals Level in front of each terminal at the blue FlyAway columns. One-way fare for the FlyAway is $9.75.

For detailed information on ground transportation to and from the airport, visit the LAX website.