While known for its "car culture," Los Angeles provides numerous alternatives to driving, allowing students to travel virtually anywhere they need to go, quickly and inexpensively. It is possible to make it from USC to Universal City in 40 minutes without stepping foot in a car. Beyond that, one can travel from USC to downtown San Diego or Santa Barbara in just a few hours entirely via public transportation.
USC partners with several Los Angeles companies and services to help students navigate the city. The city's DASH buses and Expo rail line provide easy, affordable access to Downtown LA and the LA Live entertainment complex, as well as to Pasadena, Hollywood and Culver City.
The innovative Zipcar program, university ride-sharing and matching services, and the Enterprise rental car office can help you get where you need to go, inexpensively and in a hurry.
Each freeway is identified by a number and usually one or two names (freeways are such a part of life in Southern California that the number is even preceded by a preposition). USC's nearby freeways are the 110 Freeway (Harbor/Pasadena Freeway - running north and south) and the 10 Freeway (Santa Monica/San Bernardino Freeway - running east and west). Heavy morning and evening rush hours can double the time it normally takes to drive from Point A to Point B. During these times, for many Angelinos, the Metro system is a better option. Union Station is one of the main hubs for public transportation in Los Angeles and USC makes commuting to/from Union Station easy with convenient shuttle service throughout the day. Additionally, the new Metro Expo Line allows for a connection between Union Station and practically the front door of the law school without the need to spend any time in traffic.
Options to/from Union Station include the Metro Red and Purple lines (subway), Metro Gold, Green, Blue and Expo lines (light rail) and Metrolink (commuter rail). This is in addition to Metro bus lines (MTA) and Commuter Express lines (LADOT) that travel all over the city. The Metro system is a great option during the school week since you will have a regular schedule to stick by. This saves you from the frustration and stress of traffic; not to mention all the gas money. Save your car for the weekends!
USC encourages students to take advantage of public transportation options and offers discounts on many passes to make it even more economical. The USC Transportation website has valuable information to help you plan your commute.
If you take the Metrolink, Metro subway or Metro light rail, you will end your journey at Union Station. USC's free shuttles will pick you up at Bay 4 of the Patsaouras Transit Plaza of Union Station. A schedule of drop-off and pick-up times is also available on the USC Transportation website.