Sunday, January 15, 2012

Free Train In West LA . . . Seriously

There is a free light rail line [hover-train, see comments, (awesome!)] in West Los Angeles. I'm not kidding. I'm not talking about lines that are planned to open in the future like the Expo Line. I'm also not talking about an alternate reality where Los Angeles values public transportation enough to subsidize it to the point of making it free. I'm talking about the real world as it is now.

To make matters even more counter-intuitive, this free light rail line is financed by the private sector and it's in Brentwood. Still don't know what I'm talking about? Okay, here's a hint: what's on top of a hill, has lots of art, and is named after an oil magnate/philanthropist?

If you said the J. Paul Getty Museum, you were correct. And the light rail line I'm talking about is how you get to that museum, at least, from the parking garage at the bottom of the hill.

Let's call this the "G Line". Author's photo.

Los Angeles art aficionados may try to correct me by saying the G Line isn't free because you have to pay to park in the Getty's parking garage, but I beg to differ. It is true that you have to pay to park in the Getty's garage, but it is not true that you have to drive to get to the Getty. Luckily, Metro line 761 stops nearby. The museum itself is free.

The moral of the story? Los Angeles is an amazing place, truly full of surprises. I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. "Light rail" here is a strain. The Getty tram is fixed-guideway transit, but there are actually no rails involved in the system. The tram incorporates Otis HovAir technology, and in fact hovers over the guideway on a cushion of air. It is propelled by cable hoist.

  2. I didn't realize that. I stand corrected :)

  3. Also, will Expo connect to the 761? At present, I have to drive to get to the Getty, as I would basically have enough time to get to the museum and back to the bus stop before the last bus home. I'm hoping that a rail line to the Western Wilds will help with that.

  4. Looks like you'll have to wait for the subway to get to Westwood to make a direct rail connection with the bus. Phase 2 of the Expo line will get kind of close to Westwood, but it will drop you a few km to the south of where you pick up the bus.

    When I was an undergrad at UCLA taking the 761 to get to the Getty worked out well.

  5. Ah... so, roughly between the time that hell opens a ski resort and the time that I get tenure somewhere, I'll be able to take transit from Riverside to the Getty.

    Oh, how I hope not to have that problem by then...