FlyAway (bus)

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FlyAway bus at Union Station
Parent Los Angeles World Airports
Founded 1975
Locale Los Angeles County, California
Service area  United States
Service type Airport shuttle
Routes 4
Fuel type Diesel, Compressed Natural Gas
Operator Coach America
Website FlyAway

FlyAway is a shuttle bus service created and funded by Los Angeles World Airports, which transports passengers non-stop to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Coach America provides the drivers and daily operations for the service. Currently, there are four routes in service with separate schedules; the routes have no stops in between their terminus stations and LAX.

At the airport, the blue buses are well-branded and easily distinguishable and pick up travelers at every terminal on the (lower) arrival level under green signs reading FlyAway, Buses and Long-Distance Vans. When dropping off passengers, the bus stops at each airport terminal on the (upper) departure level.

FlyAway sign at LAX

As well as using the blue FlyAway branded buses, the FlyAway Bus sometimes uses the buses from the fleet of its operator, Coach America which does not have the same blue livery. The Westwood route has smaller compressed natural gas (CNG) fueled shuttles with free Wi-Fi internet access for passengers.

The LAX FlyAway bus network is owned by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), the City of Los Angeles department which owns and operates three airports in Greater Los Angeles area. The FlyAway is part of the LAWA ground transportation initiative to improve passenger convenience, reduce traffic congestion and vehicle emissions pollutants by encouraging high-occupancy vehicle ridership as part of the LAX Master Plan Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program. LAWA reported the LAX FlyAway network serviced more than 1.5 million passengers in 2008; saving its passengers from driving a combined total of 23 million vehicle miles, and saving nearly one million gallons of gasoline. [1][2]


Van Nuys[edit]

Panorama of the Van Nuys Flyaway bus station
 Van Nuys FlyAway Bus Terminal and Parking Structure alt text
Van Nuys FlyAway Bus Terminal and Parking Structure

The Van Nuys FlyAway charges an adult bus fare of $8 and a parking rate of $4 per day, and provides services every 30 minutes throughout much of the day (except every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 60 minutes late in the night).

This service operates from the LAWA-owned Van Nuys Airport (located at 7610 Woodley Ave)[3] to LAX. Van Nuys is the only FlyAway location with a passenger terminal building, which opened on December 17, 2004. The $34-million facility was designed to serve as a remote LAX terminal, and was designed with the ability to add airline ticketing and checked baggage services in the future.[4] The renovation also added a 2,000-car parking structure, more convenient passenger drop-off and new landscaping.[5] The service is operated with 45-foot motorcoaches that feature free Wi-Fi service.

The Van Nuys FlyAway is the original route and was the only FlyAway service for more than 30 years after it was launched on July 10, 1975. During its first year of operation it transported over 275,000 passengers. By 2008, Los Angeles World Airports reported the annual passenger count from its flagship location in the San Fernando Valley rose to nearly 988,000.

The Van Nuys FlyAway route is one of the few public transportation systems that operates at a profit. Fares and parking fees charged to customers generates enough revenue that LAWA expects to have a net operating profit of approximately $168,000 in[6] 2013. [7]

Union Station[edit]

FlyAway Bus at Union Station

This route travels from Los Angeles Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to LAX; it is mainly intended for those who are able to use public transportation to get to Union Station and then transfer to the bus to complete their journey. There is, however, a parking garage available for those who wish to drive to Union Station, though the rates ($6/day) are higher than at Van Nuys ($4/day).

The Union Station FlyAway costs $8 one-way[8] and operates every 30 minutes (except 60 minutes late night and 20 minutes during peak hours). The buses leave from Bay 9 at Union Station's Patsaouras Transit Plaza, and use the carpool/High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes on the Harbor Freeway (I-110) and the Century Freeway (I-105). Tickets may be purchased from the staffed FlyAway kiosk at the Patsaouras Transit Plaza or at any Metrolink ticket vending machine.[8]

The buses on this route look very similar to the Van Nuys buses, but bus drivers remind riders which bus goes to which destination and destination signs are present on the front and sides of each bus.

The LAX FlyAway began offering service at Union Station on March 15, 2006 and has been hailed as a success by city officials since its inception.[9][10] Union Station was the second FlyAway service location to open. During its first year of operation the FlyAway at Union Station transported 250,000 passengers, more than three times the number predicted at the onset of service. By 2008, Los Angeles World Airports reported the annual passenger count rose to more than 433,000.


Westwood FlyAway Bus stopped at UCLA Parking Structure 32.

This route travels from Parking Structure 32 south of the campus of UCLA in Westwood to LAX.[6]

With an adult fare of $10 the Westwood FlyAway runs daily from 6 am to 10 pm (southbound) or 11 pm (northbound) with buses depart UCLA and LAX at the top of every hour.[6] Limited parking is available (25 stalls in UCLA's Parking Structure 32 marked for the use of FlyAway passengers) for $12 per weekday, $8 per weekend day and $63 for any 7-day period.[11]

The LAX FlyAway in Westwood began operating on June 14, 2007. The Westwood location was the third FlyAway route in the network of non-stop buses to LAX. It has the smallest service territory, serving primarily the UCLA campus and anyone who lives or works in the surrounding communities within a three mile radius including Westwood Village, Brentwood and Century City.

The Westwood route converted to smaller clean-fueled, compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in fall 2008. Free Wi-Fi internet service is available to passengers on these 21-seat CNG shuttles. This is a great benefit for students and business travelers from the dozens of fortune 500 companies in the area. The buses mostly travel on the congested 405 Freeway, so average travel time can be 45 minutes or longer during peak traffic hours.

During its first year of operation the FlyAway at Westwood transported 105,300 passengers, nearly 10 percent more than the number predicted at the onset of service. The 2008, annual passenger count reported by Los Angeles World Airports was nearly 125,300.

Expo/La Brea[edit]

This route travels from the Expo/La Brea station on the Metro Expo Line to LAX.

The Expo/La Brea FlyAway costs $7 one-way and operates bi-hourly between 6 am and 11 pm, daily. Buses depart Expo/La Brea station at the top of every even-numbered hour and depart LAX Terminal 1 at the top of every odd-numbered hour.[6]

Service on the Expo/La Brea FlyAway route began on July 1, 2013. There is no parking at the Expo/La Brea station for FlyAway passengers and the route is intended for those who are able to use the Expo Line or buses to get to the station and then transfer to the bus to complete their journey. [6]


FlyAway buses do not accept cash. Tickets may be purchased with Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit or debit cards. FlyAway offers online ticket sales for the Van Nuys and Union Station routes. Tickets for the Union Station route can also be purchased at Metrolink ticket vending machine located at all train stations, including Union Station.[6]

Metrolink monthly pass holders can ride the Union Station route for free with a same-day plane ticket.[6]

The following table shows FlyAway fares, effective March 1, 2014:[8][6]

Route One-way Employee Monthly Pass Child (5 and under)
Van Nuys $8 $120 Free
Union Station $8
Westwood $10
Expo/La Brea $7

Former Route[edit]


Irvine Transportation Center.

The LAX FlyAway from Irvine operated from the Irvine Transportation Center. Service commenced on November 16, 2009 providing for a 60 minute or more journey between LAX and the Irvine Transportation Center. Following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Coach America, the operator of the route, service was terminated on August 31, 2012.[12]

The Irvine Transportation Center provided access to Metrolink and Amtrak services and provided more convenient access to Central and Southern Orange County. The LAX FlyAway station was next to the tracks near the shuttle pick up and drop-off area. LAX FlyAway passengers had access to free long term overnight parking (500 spaces) in a lot next to the Irvine Transportation Center.

Unlike the frequent services of the other FlyAway routes, the Irvine route only ran six times a day, with buses two to four hours apart. The fare was also much higher at $25 for adults.