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Tag Archives: Christmas

Dashing Through LA This Holiday Season On Public Transit

Christmas lights on the classic bus model

Warsaw, Poland - December 5th, 2016: Christmas lights on the classic bus model on the street at night. The streets in a city is decorated by many interesting Christmas ornaments and lights in december. The children really like especially the Christmas old bus.

What fun it is to ride public transportation to L.A. holiday happenings like ice skating, light displays and other attractions!

Earn a spot on the nice list by keeping your carbon footprint small as you take in wintertime sights and sounds. Here’s a round-up of the merriest activities around LA you can get to using alternative transportation.

Winter Sports

Ice at Santa Monica

Trade in your sneakers for skates and hit this 8,000 square foot rink by the beach. Take the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus 2 to Downtown Santa Monica/SM Civic Center then walk a few blocks or ride the Metro Rapid Line 720 and get off at 4th/Arizona, just mere steps from the outdoor rink.

Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square

Skate surrounded by the city skyline. Multiple DTLA bus lines serve the area and Metro’s Red and Purple Line go to the Pershing Square Station.

Ride the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus then catch the Expo Line at Westwood/Rancho Park Station to get off at the 7th Street/Metro Center Station. You can also take the Metro Rapid Line 720 to 6th/Hope. Show your TAP card at the rink to save on admission.

Continue the holiday outdoor experience and jingle all the way through downtown using Metro Bike Share. The closest station is at Olive and 5th. For more station locations, click here.

Twinkle, Twinkle

LA Zoo Lights | Directions from UCLA lazoolights

Bigger, brighter and merrier this year, the zoo’s holiday tradition returns. Explore a wild wonderland of light under the stars and along the way view real reindeer, visit with Santa on select dates and enjoy seasonal treats and goodies.

Descanso Gardens Enchanted: Forest of Light | Directions from UCLA

This interactive nighttime event features a one-mile walk through colorful lighting experiences that employ sound and special effects through different parts of the botanical garden. Use the LADOT Commuter Express to reach this location from campus.

Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk | Directions from UCLA

Make the season magical by celebrating Christmas in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. See an all-new holiday spectacle with lights and music cast against the backdrop of Hogwarts castle.

Hit CityWalk on Sunday, December 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. to celebrate Chanukah at Chabad of the Valley’s annual event which features a free concert.

BOLD Holidays Beverly Hills | Directions from UCLA

All December the hills are aglow with events and activities including carolers, lighting displays, a meet and greet with Santa on Rodeo Drive, music and special shopping, restaurant and hotel offerings.

Fairytales & Festivals

Holiday Trainfest and Toy Drive at Union Station | Directions from UCLA

On Saturday, December 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. tour vintage rail cars, enjoy holiday music and refreshments and meet Santa at this free event. Celebrate the season and help those in need by donating new, unwrapped toys in support of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program.

Union Station is accessible via Metro Rail, Metro Bus and several municipal bus lines. Use Metro’s Trip Planner for routes and connections. Car and bicycle parking are also available on site. Enter from Vignes Street or Cesar Chavez Ave.

George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker” at the Music Center | Directions from UCLA

Catch a world premiere of a holiday classic performed by the Miami City Ballet with a live orchestra at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Image result for queen mary chillChill at the Queen Mary | Directions from UCLA

Embark on a holiday expedition at the Queen Mary’s 38,000-square foot Ice Adventure Park featuring ice skating, a zip line, ice tubing slide and other thrills. Celebrate the traditions of Christmas from six different regions with an international food fare and cultural celebration, dancing and live performances, a nightly Christmas tree lighting and more.

Happy Holidays, and cheers to staying as green as a Christmas tree by choosing sustainable transportation this season!


The Best Way to Get to the Airport This Holiday Season

Iconic LAX Los Angeles International Airport Sign at Night

Iconic LAX Los Angeles International Airport Sign at Night

It's the most wonderful time of the year — to use transit to arrive at your holiday destination! By taking public transportation to and from the airport, travelers don't have to worry about paying daily parking fees or driving in traffic. You can also help lessen traffic congestion and air pollution.

Reducing your transportation footprint is easier than ever with a new initiative from the LAX FlyAway bus provided by the Los Angeles World Airports. In addition to the FlyAway service, there are number of public transit authorities serving LA’s main hub for domestic and international flights.

The FlyAway non-stop bus service, which provides direct transportation between Westwood and each LAX terminal, now accepts TAP cards with sufficient stored value as a payment option. Plus, Bruins who use a TAP card at the Westwood bus stop (located on Kinross Avenue near Parking Structure 32) will pay only $8, a discount from the route’s regular price of $10 for a one-way fare.

Those with EZ transit passes will pay an even greater reduced fare or ride for free depending on which zone you purchased. For a complete list of fares for TAP cards with EZ transit passes, click here. Otherwise, you can purchase a ticket on the bus or online using a debit or credit card.

There are also FlyAway routes in Hollywood, Long Beach, Union Station and Van Nuys.

Another local shared passenger-transport service to help you keep it green while traveling during the holiday season is the Culver CityBus Rapid 6 — and it only costs 50 cents for UCLA students and employees (free with a BruinGO! Flash Pass).

The Rapid 6 (Sepulveda Boulevard Bus Rapid Transit) travels along the Sepulveda corridor from Westwood and UCLA to the Metro Green Line Aviation Station. Rapid 6 operates during weekday morning and evening peak hours every 15 minutes. This line has limited stops at major intersections along the route and has bus signal priority at intersections within the city to achieve travel time savings.

Other transit agencies serving LAX are Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Torrance Transit. Travelers can also use the Metro rail Green Line and door-to-door shuttle van services.

More Americans travel over Thanksgiving than any other holiday, and Christmas and New Year’s are the busiest long-distance travel periods of the year. Transportation is where most passengers have the biggest environmental impact, and using public transit is one of the best things you can do for the planet.

Additional responsible travel practices you can follow are:

  • For shorter trips take the train instead of flying
  • Choose a fuel-efficient rental car
  • Continue using public transportation to get around instead of taking a taxi
  • Better yet, rely on biking and walking to explore

Happy Trails, Bruins!


10 Holiday Gifts for Commuters

Christmas gifts

Christmas gifts

  1. Thermos:  Made with a patented vacuum insulation, this Thermos stainless steel 40-ounce container will keep your beverage hot for 24 hours or cold for 24 hours. The lid doubles as an insulated serving cup. Perfect for that long morning commute. Available online for $29.99.


  1. DE Portable Cell Phone Charger with 3-Setting Flashlight:  You know the anxiety that rushes over you when you get that low battery warning on your cell phone? Well fear no more! This lipstick-sized portable battery charger will give you eight hours of extended battery time. Plus, you can flip it around to use as a flashlight during nighttime walks to your car or train and bus stations. Buy it on Amazon for only $11.99.portcharger
  1. earbudsStoon Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds: These sweatproof wireless headphones comes with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 technology. You can connect two phones at the same time. It also features noise reduction
    technology with around four hours of playing time. With a 10-meter working distance and a magnet feature, you can hang it around your neck like a necklace and still enjoy music. All for only $27.99 online.


  1. Bottle Carrier:  If you like wine or beer and you like biking, you’re going to love this gift. Strap your bottle of wine or your six-pack onto your bicycle and head out. Just make sure you stay safe, and don’t pedal if you’ve imbibed a bit too much. Wine carrier available here for $26. Six-pack can be found on Amazon for $59.95.bottlecarrier


  1. mobilehotspotVerizon Ellipsis Jetpack 4G LTE No-Contract Mobile Hotspot: One of the benefits of vanpooling or taking the bus or train to work is the extra time you have to squeeze in some reading or to stream you favorite TV shows or movies. Now, with this Verizon mobile hotspot, you can get Wi-Fi wherever you go. Connect up to eight devices to stream, download or browse the Internet for up to 10 hours.  Available through Best Buy for $49.99.


  1. The TrackR for Lost or Misplaced Belongings:  Never lose anything again! Whether it’s your keys, wallet, backpack or purse, this nifty, coin-sized gizmo will help you locate it. It easily attaches to your valuable items. Then download the TrackR app to locate any item within seconds by ringing your missing keys, using the distance indicator or via Crowd GPS. It’s only $29.99 through their website.trackr

candea bottle

  1. Elite Candea Lighted Bottle:  With the shorter days and earlier sunsets, bikers may need better visibility on the road. This LED-equipped water bottle by Candea lasts about 60 hours. Stay safe when riding in the dark. Available online for $30.


  1. EnerPlex Packr Commuter Solar Powered Backpack:  This may be the coolest backpack you’ll ever own. It can charge many electronics in less than three hours and features a padded interior laptop sleeve with a charging pass-through and two external zippered pockets for water bottles. There’s also business supply compartments perfect for pens, business cards and more. Get it on Amazon for only $49.95.


  1. bikemountAbco Tech Bike Mount Phone Holder & Charger:  This power
    mount’s herculean grip is a match for any phone’s design. Charge your smartphone while you ride and listen to music or use your GPS. Installation is easy, and the Abco mount’s lithium polymer battery power bank has a whopping 3.7 voltage/6000 mAh capacity. You’ll never ride without it again. Available on Amazon for $69.99.


  1. AAA 76-Piece Excursion Road Kit:  You never know where the road may lead or what may happen, so don’t get caught unprepared. This emergency roadside kit by AAA can help protect you in the event of an automobile breakdown or personal injury. It comes with a heavy duty booster cable, 250 PSI air compressor, aluminum flashlight, 45-piece first-aid kit, emergency whistle and so much more. Buy it online for $59.99.aaafullkit

10 Holiday Events You Can’t Miss—And How to Get There Using Public Transit

Los Angeles skyline and San Gabriel Mountains

Los Angeles skyline and San Gabriel MountainsStaying in town for the holidays? Celebrate the season with these festive activities! Skip the headache-inducing traffic and the hassle of finding and paying for parking. Here’s a guide to how you can get to these fun events from UCLA using public transit.

  1. LA Kings Holiday Ice at LA Live – Ice-skate outdoors around the beautiful, gigantic Christmas tree now through December 31. Hours of operation vary. General admission is $17 for adults, $10 for military and seniors, and $12 for children 6 and under. Directions here.

  1. The NutcrackerEnjoy this holiday classic performed by the Los Angeles Ballet right here at UCLA’s Royce Hall from December 18-20. Other performances are available at various locations. Prices vary according to seat.
  1. Grinchmas at Universal StudiosListen to Whoville carolers, settle in for storytime with Cindy-Lou Who and enjoy a Whoville show. You can also take a photo with The Grinch or a 60-foot tree, now through January 3. Directions here.


  1. Marina del Rey Holiday Boat ParadeBoats decorated with holiday themes sail through the marina in a contest this Saturday, December 12 from 5:55 p.m. to 8 p.m. Enjoy food trucks, a DJ and “Winter Wonder” snow in the park. This year’s Grand Marshal is Florence Henderson from the Brady Bunch. Admission is free. Directions here.
  1. CHILL at the Queen Mary in Long BeachExplore the 13,000-square-foot Ice Kingdom with towering ice creations made using more than two million pounds of ice. Go ice-tubing, ice-skating or polar paintballing, and visit the all-new North Pole Village, now through January 10. For a limited time, tickets are only $23.50 on select dates. Directions here.

  1. Illuminate Your Holidays at the Getty CenterThe center comes alive with festive holiday lights this season. Sip complimentary cider and enjoy the exhibits every Saturday night until 9 p.m. through January 2. Admission is free; parking is not. Directions here.
  1. Pershing Square Ice RinkIce-skate at the historic Pershing Square in the heart of downtown Los Angeles through January 18. General admission is $9. Plus, save $1 by showing your TAP card. Directions here.

pershing square

  1. Griffith Park Holiday Light Festival Train Ride Celebrate the holidays with an evening train ride around a festively-decorated, one mile of track. Magical scenes and tens of thousands of lights will captivate you. Ride every night until December 30. Closed on Christmas and Christmas Eve. Tickets are only $4 per person. Directions here.
  1. LA Zoo LightsThe L.A. Zoo has been transferred into a wonderful populated by glowing animals made with LED lights, lasers, 3D projections, spectacular sets and interactive displays. Buy a ticket now through January 3 for only $13 on weekdays and $16 on weekends. Directions here.

  1. Holidays at The GroveHolidays at The Grove include Santa’s Cottage, where kids can take photos with Santa Claus, a 100-foot tall Christmas tree featuring over 15,000 lights and 10,000 ornaments, magical snowfall every night at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., holiday entertainment and more. Now through December 24. Directions here.