A query from Facebook

Q:  I just moved back to San Diego (can’t stand to live in LA, but loved the school). Is there a realistic TRAIN alternative to driving? I’m planning on attending part-time, just 1, maybe 2 days in a row. I have nephews I can spend the night with. Thanks!

A: The answer is yes, if you’re willing to switch from the train to Metro Rail and Metro Bus 720.

Google Transit has information for Amtrak, so I tried that first to see how useful it would be for our poster:


View Larger Map

None of the itineraries proposed by Google Transit do what I would recommend, which is to

  1. Ride the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner to Union Station
  2. Switch to the Metro Rail Red or Purple Lines. Exit Wilshire/Vermont.
  3. Board Metro Line 720 on Wilshire Boulevard. Ride to Wilshire/Westwood.
  4. Walk (the nursing school is about 0.6 miles) or switch to one of the Big Blue Buses or Culver CityBuses to hitch a ride into campus.

Google Transit suggests this will take about 4.5 hours. It takes awhile, but you’ll be able to read, listen to music, or doze off during your trip. This is in contrast to fighting the 5/405, and in my experience, I’ve found the driving time between San Diego and LA to really vary depending on time of day.

Students are eligible for discounted fares, too. UCLA students can receive a 20% discount using the code V363 when purchasing a ticket. For these discounts, tickets must be reserved at least three days before travel and held with a credit card. Travel restrictions and holiday blackout dates may apply. Remember to carry a valid ID and your bruin card with you as proof of discount eligibility.