If you’ve set out on the journey of starting your own business in Los Angeles--or are just headed there for a conference or meeting--congratulations! While Los Angeles is synonymous with temperate weather, glamourous stars, and even its buzzing startup community, it’s also unfortunately known for its paralyzing traffic. Just getting into the office can be a daily hurdle for budding entrepreneurs with meetings from Santa Monica to East L.A., but with a little preparation and creative thinking, you can make your own travels much easier.
Make Driving Easier
It’s no secret that driving is the primary mode of transportation in Los Angeles, and that’s one reason the freeways and side streets are often so full. However, if you’re new to the area, a native Angeleno, or you’re just visiting, there are a few measures you can take to reduce your time in your car.
- If at all possible, try to ride with one other passenger and take the carpool lane on the freeways that have them.
- Try driving a vehicle with an automatic transmission. It’s no fun trying to make sure a manual car doesn’t roll back when you’re stuck in traffic on a hill.
- Read the parking signs! Complicated though they might look, this is how to avoid a ticket.
- Know that the freeways are most busy between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. as well as weekend evenings.
- Oftentimes taking surface streets is much faster than the freeway.
But if you’re open to some others ways of getting around L.A. try one of these instead.
Metro or Bus
Schedule all your meetings for one day and pick up a metro pass for $7 a day and ride all the buses or Metro lines. The trains don’t go to every area of the city, but if you’re going where they’re going you’ll save yourself the time and gas to drive and the frustration of finding parking. The bus system, however, goes everywhere you could want to go. Cut down on the confusion of the many lines and schedules by using the Metro Trip Planner. Just put in your starting points, ending points, and preferences about arrival time and travel mode and it’ll tell you the best route.
Bike lanes are on many city streets, so take advantage. If you live close enough to your office or your workplace isn’t too far from a meeting, rent a bicycle and glide all the way there. It’s not the fastest way to go a far distance or to get through the most densely crowded areas of Los Angeles, but when you have the chance bicycling can save gas, time, and road rage. (Bonus: it’s better for the environment!) While getting around the City of Angels can seem daunting, you have options for making the trip from point A to point B easier.
Following some driving tips, riding on public transportation or biking will all ensure that your stay in L.A.-whether it’s a permanent move or a weekend getaway-comes with fewer hassles. And remember, the saying that “nobody walks in L.A.” isn’t true. If you’re lucky enough to be close to your destination, you can always enjoy the comfortable weather and walk.