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OC Register: How to get to Dodger and Angel stadiums without taking a car


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Bostonians roll their eyes when asked, “What trains go to Fenway Park?” That’s because they all do.

Yankee Stadium? Take the 4, B or D trains and from the Hudson, Harlem and New Haven lines outside the city, it’s a straight shot to the House That Ruth Built.

But getting to L.A. Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim baseball games becomes a game-within-the-game involving fighting traffic, paying for parking and then sitting in more traffic just to get home.

With the famous “Freeway Series” continuing Tuesday at Dodger Stadium, the local transit folks are stepping to the plate with nondriving alternatives that are gaining popularity as Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside county traffic woes worsen.

To see the highest paid athlete in America, Mike Trout of the Angels, you could do what most of the team’s 40,000-plus game day fans do: Take the crowded 5, 91 and 57 freeways.

Or, beginning April 5 for the Angels home opener through 49 weeknight home games, you could ride the Angels Express. This Metrolink train will get you to the stadium and back to your station after the game’s last out, Monday through Friday for night games only, depending on where you live.

To avoid the traffic jams around Chavez Ravine and downtown Los Angeles, you can take free buses from the Harbor Gateway Transit Center in the South Bay or from Union Station in downtown L.A.

The idea is to avoid the stress of zigzagging through traffic before and after a Dodger game, while cutting down on air pollution.

“The fastest way to ruin a fantastic day at Dodger Stadium watching the players hit it out of the park is sitting in post-game traffic,” L.A. County Supervisor and L.A. Metro board chair Sheila Kuehl said in a prepared statement. “The Dodger Stadium Express is a fun and stress-free way to avoid the pre- and post-game traffic.”

Since 2010, more than 2 million fans have taken the Dodger bus, according to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which is sponsoring the service. Half of the cost comes from a Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee grant.

In 2018, the bus had a banner year, providing rides to more than 371,000 fans.

0322_nws_ocr-l-metrobaseball-2.jpg?fit=6
Dodgers fans can disembark at Union Station in downtown Los Angeles and catch a Dodgers Stadium Express Bus. The round-trip connection is complimentary with a Dodgers ticket. (Photo courtesy of OCTA)

Here’s how these car-less game day rides work:

Angel Express

Runs Monday through Fridays, night games only. But the five nights a week are only for Orange County passengers and only from these stations: Oceanside, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Laguna Niguel/Mission Viejo, Irvine, Tustin, Santa Ana and Orange.

One train only on Friday nights goes from L.A. Union Station to Anaheim-ARTIC station and back (with stops in Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park and Fullerton). The train waits 30 minutes after the game to return north to Union Station.

The same is true for Angel fans in Riverside County. The Friday night only Angel Express leaves Perris (South and Downtown); Moreno Valley; Hunter Park-UCR; Riverside (Downtown and La Sierra); Corona (North Main and West) and Anaheim Canyon. At Orange, passengers transfer to the Angel Stadium train and vice versa on the return trip.

Round-trip tickets cost $7 (adults); $6 (seniors); $4 (children ages 6-18 and ages 5 and under ride free). Tickets are available at all Metrolink ticket machines on day of the game or through the Metrolink app.

Dodger Stadium Express

This line operates every home game from Union Station every 10 minutes and every 20 minutes from the Harbor Gateway Center. It will serve Tuesday’s exhibition game but then begins Thursday for the Dodgers season opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks and continues the entire season.

The Dodger Stadium Express service includes a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard, where game day traffic congestion is the heaviest.

The bus is free to ticket holders.

Buses run two hours before game time at Harbor Gateway and 90 minutes before start of game from Union Station. Buses run 45 minutes after the end of games.

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The Angels Express is the heat. We used it several times last year from Irvine.

But this ...

Quote

“The fastest way to ruin a fantastic day at Dodger Stadium watching the players hit it out of the park is sitting in post-game traffic,” L.A. County Supervisor and L.A. Metro board chair Sheila Kuehl said in a prepared statement. “The Dodger Stadium Express is a fun and stress-free way to avoid the pre- and post-game traffic.”

Doesn't a bus still have to sit in traffic? Or does the bus have a magical underground tunnel that only it can use?

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21 minutes ago, Taylor said:

The Angels Express is the heat. We used it several times last year from Irvine.

But this ...

Doesn't a bus still have to sit in traffic? Or does the bus have a magical underground tunnel that only it can use?

I believe the bus has a separate route out of the stadium that doesn't deal with the laypeople's lines. Also, on the streets, there are more and more bus lanes (I believe like 90% of the stretch between union and the stadium has a bus lane). I REALLY prefer going to Dodgers stadium than to Angels (I work in downtown, so I'm a bit biased there), but the problem with the bus system at Dodgers stadium is that there just aren't enough of them. Its fine getting to the game, because the arrival times are more staggered. But, with everyone leaving at once, there ends up being a really long line to wait for buses.

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I never have a problem driving from San Dimas to the stadium. The worst traffic is the Diamond Bar curve and next to Cal State Fullerton. Everything else is pretty easy and I enter from State College, park on the left side so exiting it funnels to the 57, or if Katella is backed up I just roll down State College to Ball. 

I'm headed out to the series in Arlington this April and have to decide whether to rent a car or just Uber/Lyft everywhere. Don't know how crazy the traffic is at Arlington, any advice is appreciated. 

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2 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

Angel Express

One train only on Friday nights goes from L.A. Union Station to Anaheim-ARTIC station and back (with stops in Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park and Fullerton). The train waits 30 minutes after the game to return north to Union Station.

that's not terribly helpful for me or anyone else in LA County.

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2 hours ago, Blarg said:

I never have a problem driving from San Dimas to the stadium. The worst traffic is the Diamond Bar curve and next to Cal State Fullerton. Everything else is pretty easy and I enter from State College, park on the left side so exiting it funnels to the 57, or if Katella is backed up I just roll down State College to Ball. 

I'm headed out to the series in Arlington this April and have to decide whether to rent a car or just Uber/Lyft everywhere. Don't know how crazy the traffic is at Arlington, any advice is appreciated. 

Where are you staying?

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9 minutes ago, Blarg said:

A few miles south east of the stadium next the the 360.

You can lyft/Uber. The lyft/Uber area is a bit of a pain because it’s about 500 yards from the stadium, though. 

Since last year there is actually a bar-restaurant area across the street so it’s better probably to just hang out there and have a drink till the traffic dies down. 

And come to think of it, the construction of the new park has taken up a lot of parking so that’s more reason not to drive. 

Edited by Jeff Fletcher
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16 hours ago, Tank said:

that's not terribly helpful for me or anyone else in LA County.

 

19 hours ago, AngelsWin.com said:

One train only on Friday nights goes from L.A. Union Station to Anaheim-ARTIC station and back (with stops in Norwalk/Santa Fe Springs, Buena Park and Fullerton). The train waits 30 minutes after the game to return north to Union Station.

Yeah...what the hell...they used to run the LA direction train M-F as well. 

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2 hours ago, Taylor said:

They must not have had enough traffic M-Th to justify the southbound train operating all week.

From metrolink....

Thank you for contacting Metrolink about the Angels Express train service.

 

As a result of a lack of funding, the level of Angels Express service was changed to accommodate available funds.

 

In previous years, the Angels Express was largely funded by grants, which this year were no longer available.  

 

The 2019 Angels Express train service is funded by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) and the Riverside County Transportation Commission (RCTC).

 

Metrolink staff will look for ways to offset the funding deficit.

 

Please know that we appreciate your interest in the Angels Express train service and hope we can provide increased service in the future.  Your feedback has been documented and will be shared with executive management.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Metrolink Customer Relations

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