Los Angeles Metro
Metro, which operates the regional bus and rail system for Los Angeles, is the third-largest transportation system in the United States. Metro also connects different cities within the Greater Los Angeles Area to each other, for example:
A. A traveler exploring the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles can take the Metro Gold Line to Pasadena, and then take Pasadena Transit to the Rose Bowl Stadium for vintage shopping at the monthly Flea Market.
Metro in Popular Culture
In 1994, Metro was featured in several pivotal scenes in Speed, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The iconic orange Metro buses have made several appearances in other films set in Los Angeles, like Crash, Collateral, Battle: Los Angeles, Superbad, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, and Volcano.
Modes of Service
Metro's primary modes of services fall under three umbrellas; Metro Bus, Metro Rail and Metro Bike.
There are six Metro Rail lines throughout Los Angeles; Pasadena is serviced by the Gold Line, a 31 mile (50 km) light rail train line that runs between East Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley. Downtown Pasadena and Downtown Los Angeles sit at the center of the line.
Gold Line Right-of-Way
The Gold Line's route is quite unique and historic, it was originally built in 1885, and throughout its history it has served the Santa Fe Railway and LA's famous Red Car system. While most of line runs at-grade, it frequently becomes elevated and occasionally tunnels through the earth — providing an interesting perspective of Los Angeles that can only be experienced by riding the Gold Line. For example, near the Chinatown Station, as the train ascends above the LA River it simultaneously travels upward beneath an overpass for cars. As the train approaches Union Station from Pasadena, it simulates an airplane landing, as it comes to a complete stop at the platform. Near Southwest Museum Station, the train straddles a hillside, as it curves around riders can capture a great glimpse of the National Treasure at the top of the hill.
Gold Line Documentary (2003)
Pasadena Gold Line Stations
There are six Gold Line stations in Pasadena with easy access to several of the city's top attractions.
95 Fillmore Street, Pasadena, California 91105
Free On-site Parking – 130 Spaces
Paid Reserved On-site Parking – 30 Spaces
6 Bike Rack Spaces
Del Mar Station
230 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, California 91105
$2 Parking for Metro riders – 290 Spaces
26 Bike Rack Spaces (Bike Room)
Tip: Del Mar Station was originally built as a train depot for the Santa Fe Railway, today the exterior is a Metro station and the interior is La Grande Orange Cafe.
Memorial Park Station
125 E. Holly Street, Pasadena, California 91103
8 Bike Rack Space, 16 Bike Lockers
340 N Lake Avenue, Pasadena, California 91101
Paid Reserved On-site Parking – 50 Spaces
18 Bike Rack Spaces
395 N Allen Avenue, Pasadena, California 91106
28 Bike Rack Spaces
Sierra Madre Villa Station
149 N Halstead Street, Pasadena, California 91107
Free On-site Parking – 877 Spaces
Paid Reserved On-site Parking – 88 Spaces
10 Bike Rack Spaces, 16 Bike Lockers
Metro Gold Line Connections
At Union Station, the Gold Line connects to Red Line (Hollywood and North Hollywood), Purple Line (Koreatown), and the LAX Flyaway (Los Angeles International Airport).
Metro Local routes stop about every two blocks and are painted orange. Metro Rapid routes are faster, they stop only at major intersections and they are painted red. Metro Liner routes travel long distances on freeways and make very few stops, they are painted silver.
Cost & TAP Cards
Metro's base fare is $1.75, passengers can pay exact cash every time they board a Metro bus (bus operators don't carry change) or buy a reusable TAP card from kiosks at Metro Rail stations and add fare. TAP Cards work for both Metro Rail and Metro Buses, TAP cards are also accepted aboard most other public transportation agencies in the area (Pasadena Transit, Foothill Transit, etc.). It is highly recommended that travelers get a TAP card and load enough fare to last a few days — this way you breeze through the system and you aren't waiting in line at a kiosk while trains are passing you by. Note: the Metro Local 501 (NoHo to Pasadena Express) costs an additional 75 cents.
Speak to a Metro Customer Information Agent at 323.GO.METRO (323-466-3876) or visit metro.net.
Tip: Most bus and rail lines start around 4 AM and keep running past 12 midnight, but they're less frequent in the evenings, so be sure to plan your return trip before you go.