Metro has some commuting tips for those of you thinking of getting out of town this Thanksgiving weekend.
Sure, you could take your car to get out of town, but why do that when you have mass transportation as an option? Really, it's not that bad.
Anna Chen, Metro spokeswoman, says she hasn't used a car in almost six years now (occasionally getting behind the wheel to go places with her four-legged companion).
Besides using mass transportation to get to and from work, she has also gone as far as Las Vegas and San Francisco.
"It's part of the journey," Chen says of mass transit, "especially if you're traveling with friends or family members. Instead of having one person who has to focus on the road and focus on driving, everyone can sit back, relax and have fun."
Here's how to take public transit like a pro:
- Plan ahead, Chen says. "Buy a TAP card and load it with whatever pass or with cash fare early to avoid any waiting at the [TAP vending machines] while you’re carrying lots of shopping bags, luggage, etc."
- Follow Metro, MetroLink and Amtrak on Twitter so you can be informed of real-time service alerts.
- Heading out of town by plane? Consider MetroLink's FlyAway ($7 charge tacked onto to your train ticket) or Metro's Green Line. Both options will drop you off at the terminal, without the traffic and hassle of finding parking.
- If you have out-of-towners visiting you, Chen says consider getting a Metro day pass. “Get them out to see all the sites of L.A. and explore like a true Angelino — taking public transit,” Chen says.
- For a scenic route to your destination, there's the Coast Starlight, an Amtrak train that can take you all the way up to Seattle. Downside: It takes longer.
- Private companies such as Megabus or BoltBus are also ways you can get out of town.
Now, you might still be inclined to drive this weekend. And, with Caltrans and OCTA holding off on construction this weekend, you might think there will be no commuter snags — wrong. This is Southern California. Something is always happening.
Here's what we know:
82nd Hollywood Christmas Parade
- Hollywood Boulevard: Hollywood Boulevard will be closed from Orange Drive to Highland Avenue beginning 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. It is expected to reopen Monday at 6 a.m. Read More
- Hollywood Boulevard: Hollywood Boulevard will be closed from La Brea Avenue to Orange Drive beginning Sunday at 6 a.m. It is expected to reopen Sunday at 10 p.m. Read More
- Hollywood Boulevard: Hollywood Boulevard will be closed from Highland Avenue to Gower Street on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Read More
- Orange Drive: Orange Drive will be closed from Hollywood Boulevard to the alley north of Hawthorne Avenue beginning 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. It is expected to reopen Monday at 6 a.m. Read More
- Hawthorne, De Longpre and Fountain avenues: Hawthorne, De Longpre and Fountain avenues will be closed from La Brea Avenue to Highland Avenue beginning Sunday at 1 p.m. They're expected to reopen at 9 p.m. Read More
- El Cerrito Place: El Cerrito Place will be closed from Hollywood Boulevard to Franklin Avenue starting Sunday at 1 p.m. and expected to reopen at 8 p.m. Read More
- Sycamore Avenue and Orange Drive: Sycamore Avenue and Orange Drive will be closed from Franklin Avenue to Fountain Avenue starting Sunday at 1 p.m. The streets are expected to reopen at 9 p.m. Read More
- Sunset Boulevard: Sunset Boulevard will be closed from La Brea Avenue to Highland Avenue on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunset will be closed from Highland Avenue to Gower Street on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Finally, Sunset will also be closed from Highland Avenue to La Brea Avenue on Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Read More
- La Brea Avenue: East side of La Brea Avenue will be closed from Hollywood Boulevard to Sunset Boulevard on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Read More
- Highland Avenue: Highland Avenue will be closed from Franklin Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Read More
- Vine Street: Vine Street will be closed from Franklin Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard on Sunday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Read More
- US-101 Freeway Ramp Closure at Cahuenga Boulevard: Northbound and southbound off-ramps of Cahuenga Boulevard will be closed Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Read More
- US-101 Freeway Ramp Closure at Highland Avenue: Northbound and southbound off-ramps of Highland Avenue will be closed Sunday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Read More
View Hollywood Christmas Parade Road Closures in a larger map
Turkeys are taking over Southern California! OK, not really. The turkey trot is, however. The annual running event is taking place in a number of SoCal cities, bound to close some roads.
Check out the list below to see if a trot is happening near you.
- Big Bear
- Costa Mesa
- Dana Point
- Fountain Valley
- Huntington Beach
- La Canada Flintridge
- La Quinta
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- Pacific Palisades
- Palm Desert
- Thousand Oaks
- Van Nuys
- Yorba Linda
The following closures are part of long-term projects, but Caltrans and the Orange County Transportation Authority have announced there will be no construction taking place over the holiday weekend. Some, such as permanent ramp and road closures, may still be in effect.
- Freeway Closure: The southbound 5 freeway will be closed nightly between the 5 and 170 interchange and Sheldon Street from 11 p.m. to 4 a.m. through Dec. 20. Read More
- Ramp Closure at Alondra Boulevard: Northbound 5 on-ramp closed at Alondra Boulevard for bridge demolition. Read More
- Ramp Closure at EB/WB Tuxford Street: On-ramp closed at EB/WB Tuxford Street on southbound I-5 for shoulder reconstruction until the end of the year. Read More
- Ramp Closure at Pioneer Boulevard: The southbound 5 off-ramp at Pioneer Boulevard/Imperial Highway will be permanently closed through April 2014. Read More
- Ramp Closure at Imperial Highway: The northbound 5 off-ramp at Imperial Highway is permanently closed. Read More
- Freeway Closure: The 405 freeway experiences nightly closures at various locations in Los Angeles, such as a connector closure from the 101 freeway to 405 south. Click "Read More" to see if a closure might affect your commute this weekend. Read More
- Ramp Closure at Olympic Boulevard: On-ramp closed at 710 SB at Olympic Blvd. for long-term bridge construction until 2014. Read More
- Lane Closure: Lane closure at New Dock Street to Henry Ford Blvd. on 47 north and south for bridge work until 2014. Read More
- Ramp Closure at New Dock Street: On-ramp closed at EB/WB New Dock Street on Northbound 47 for bridge demolition until 2014. Read More
- Construction Update for 2/5 connector: The northbound 2 freeway connector to the northbound 5 freeway is closed due to damages sustained in a fiery tanker crash July 13. Construction repairs began Nov. 5. Read More
- Lane Closure: Lane closures at Crystal Lake Road on Northbound/Southbound 39 for permanent road closure of highway. Read More
- Lane Closure: The north and southbound 215 will be affected by two lane changes and ramp closures between Mccall Blvd and Scott Rd until 2014. Read More
- Alondra Boulevard and Freeway Drive Intersection: The Alondra Blvd. and Freeway Drive intersection will be closed until Feb. 14, 2014. Alondra Boulevard Bridge will also be closed until mid/late 2014. Read More
- Corner of Paddison and Zeus avenues: Adoree Street will be fully closed between Kalnor Avenue and the corner of Paddison and Zeus avenues through late February 2014. The corner of Paddison and Zeus avenues will also be fully closed. Read More
- 1st Avenue and Santa Clara Street intersection: The intersection of 1st Avenue and Santa Clara Street in the City of Arcadia will be completely closed as crews start constructing grade crossing improvements. The intersection is expected to reopen in February 2014. (A temporary re-opening of the intersection is planned for a few days in early November 2013). Read More
- California Avenue and Duarte Road intersection: As part of the 11.5-mile Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension light rail project, construction crews will work on the Southern half of California Avenue at the intersection of Duarte Road in Monrovia from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Monday through Saturday until February 2014. California Avenue will be closed. For more details, click "read more." Read More
Metro and Metrolink Alerts
- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus: Due to Expo Line Phase II construction, Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus will temporarily close a number of Route 5 and Route 12 stops until further notice. Read More
- Expansion of parking spaces at Metrolink Station: A new 176-space parking lot at the Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo Metrolink Station opened to the public on Oct. 30. Read More