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Free Park and Ride with the Los Angeles Metro

Jul 06, 2009 by Lisa Newton


Who doesn’t like free stuff?

Free parking is included in the Metro’s Park and Ride Lots throughout the City, and they’re all part of, and connected to, a Metro location.

Why own a Car but also use the Metro?

Simple and to-the-point— Metro’s Park and Ride is a go-between for drivers who prefer to combine modes of transportation to better optimize and accommodate their daily commute. Best of all, depending on where you live, it can be—and frequently is–the quickest way to get from one place to another.

Top 5 reasons to use the Metro’s Park and Ride

1. It is easy.

2. It saves money on gas, parking, and wear and tear on your auto.

3. It is eco-friendly.

4. It is low stress.

5. It saves time.

How does Park and Ride Work?

First, you need to find the closest parking lot to your residence. To be sure, Metro has already created a great list of them.

Because there’s no substitute for a map—being able to visually know where each Park and Ride lot is located– I decided to create a county-wide diagram that commuters can utilize:

View Free Parking by LA Metro in a larger map

With over 100 Metro Park and Ride lots to chart, Travelin’ Local’s ongoing project will be finished soon, so it’s a work in progress.

During my recent ride to Long Beach, I encountered the Park and Ride lot in El Segundo—I was very surprised that of the 90 allotted parking spaces available, it was obvious that only 20 or so of them were being utilized.

Based on my experiences traveling the Metro in Maryland and Washington, DC, the parking lots were always full– and everybody had to pay $4.75 during the weekdays to use them.

To the contrary–here, the parking is free, and the lots aren’t full. We can do better Los Angeles!

How to use the Metro’s Park and Ride and your car to get where you’re going

For example, let’s say you live in Reseda and work downtown. You can drive to the Metro parking lot at 6064 N Reseda Blvd., park for free, and take the Orange line Bus—which has its own dedicated bus lane. From there all you have to do is transfer to the Metro Redline subway:

View Larger Map

The Cost/Benefit ratio of using Metro’s Park and Ride

  • Cost: $2.50, Parking is free and the train fare is $1.25 each way.
  • Time: About 1.15 hours, which compares to rush hour traffic of at least 1.3 hours.  Source: Google
  • Keeping your sanity on the way to work: Priceless


Why wouldn’t one use the Park and Ride vs. sitting in the middle of rush-hour traffic? By not doing so, more CO2 emissions are created, gas is being guzzled, and air conditioners are consuming a lot of petrol. And with the price of gas now at or around $3.00 per gallon, it’s a loss/loss for most people.

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6 Responses to “Free Park and Ride with the Los Angeles Metro”

  1. Eliza says:

    I know you have explained to me that taking the bus is not a way of life in L.A., but it still boggles my mind. We have had free park and rides for as long as I can remember. Our problem is, you have to get there early to get a parking spot :-)

    Eliza’s last blog post..Understanding weight gain after 40


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @Eliza, I’ve only visited one Park and Ride, and that one was 2/3 empty at 11:00am on a working day.

    I don’t know about the other lots. I’ll have to do some research and find out how full the other Park and Ride lots are.


  2. David says:

    As a real estate developer, 20 years ago, I had to analyze justification of expanding a Park and Ride lot for funding.

    My recommendation was to do so–your post only serves to confirm, albeit very very late, my conclusion.

    /bit of sarcasm


    LisaNewton Reply:

    @David, Better late than never. :)


  3. Reduce the Costs of Traffic Congestion by using Metro | Travelin' Local says:

    [...] and Park and Ride: By using a mixture of a private and public component, your energy usages, congestion time, money, [...]

  4. al says:

    I did it one month.. When I got back to my car… Someone broke into it.
    I waited 40 minutes for Metro police to arrive and they said the lots don’t have security of any kind, This is a huge lot, the Artesia Transit Canter, the 405 and 110 freeways.

    They said there are no cameras and the few patrol cars come by once every 2 hours pass by and leave again.

    not a good thing. I lost a 400 in radio and the door lock.

    I wanted to safe using metro… Guess It did not work.

    I am very sad. I did try it.

    Now I am scared to use the metro and is not that cheap any way,

    3 one way for 2 buses going to work and 3 to return = 6 a day

    that is the same or more than gas on my car. and my car is safe at work!!!!!


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