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FlyAway bus at Union Station
|Parent||Los Angeles World Airports|
|Locale||Los Angeles County, California|
|Service area||United States|
|Service type||Airport shuttle|
|Fuel type||Diesel, Compressed Natural Gas|
|Operator||Coach USA (Union Station & Van Nuys routes)
Corinthian Parking and Transportation Services (Hollywood, Santa Monica & Westwood routes)
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). Currently, there are five 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 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.
The Van Nuys and Union Station routes use larger motorcoach buses, while the Westwood, Hollywood and Santa Monica routes use smaller cutaway shuttle buses or transit style buses. As well as using the blue FlyAway branded buses, sometimes FlyAway Bus routes use buses from the fleet of its operators which do not have the same blue livery.
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.
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) 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. The renovation also added a 2,000-car parking structure, more convenient passenger drop-off and new landscaping. The service is operated with 45-foot motorcoaches.
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 2013.
This route travels from Los Angeles Union Station in downtown Los Angeles to LAX; it is mainly intended for those who 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 each way 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 high-occupancy toll (HOT) lanes on the Harbor Freeway (I-110) and the carpool/high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on 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.
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. 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.
With an adult fare of $10 the Westwood FlyAway runs daily from 6 am to 10 pm (southbound) or 11 pm (northbound) with buses departing UCLA and LAX at the top of every hour. 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.
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 the surrounding communities.
The Westwood route converted to smaller clean-fueled, compressed natural gas (CNG) buses in fall 2008. The buses mostly travel on the congested Interstate 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.
The Santa Monica FlyAway costs $8 each way and runs once an hour from 5:45 am until 9:45 pm southbound and from 6:45 am until 11:45 pm northbound.
Service on the Santa Monica FlyAway route began on July 15, 2014. There is no dedicated long-term FlyAway parking at the Santa Monica Place. The Santa Monica FlyAway route is intended for those who live in Santa Monica, those using the city's Big Blue Bus system, and those being picked up or dropped off by a motorist at nearby metered parking.
This route travels to LAX from a stop located one block east of the Hollywood/Vine station on the Metro Red Line. The Hollywood FlyAway route costs $8 each way and runs once an hour from 5:15 am until 9:15 pm southbound and from 5:15 am until 10:15 pm northbound.
Service on the Hollywood FlyAway route began on September 3, 2014. There is no dedicated long-term FlyAway parking at the Hollywood/Vine station. The Hollywood FlyAway route is intended for those who live in Hollywood, those using the Metro Red Line, or those being picked up or dropped off by a motorist at nearby metered parking or paid parking facilities.
Since its inception, over 75 complaints about the Hollywood FlyAway have been logged, ranging from buses arriving up to an hour late to not arriving at all. In December 2014, LAWA informed Corinthian Transportation, the contractor that supplies the service, that they expect greatly improved service immediately; however, the organization did not specify what punitive measures would be taken in the event service did not improve. Corinthian offered a plan in January 2015 to LAWA to improve the service, but it was rejected as inadequate. Corinthian claims that they have increased the number of buses on the Hollywood route, but as of January 2015 the problems persisted.
FlyAway buses do not accept cash. Tickets may be purchased onboard or online with Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit or debit cards. Tickets for the Union Station route can also be purchased at a Metrolink ticket vending machine located at all train stations, including Union Station. Metrolink monthly pass holders can ride the Union Station route for free with a same-day plane ticket.
The following table shows FlyAway fares, effective September 3, 2014:
|Route||One-way||Employee Monthly Pass||Child (5 and under)|
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.
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.
This route traveled from the Expo/La Brea station on the Metro Expo Line to LAX. Service on the Expo/La Brea FlyAway route began on July 1, 2013 and offered bi-hourly service priced lower than other routes. The route was discontinued on September 2, 2014 due to very low ridership.
- Van Nuys Flyaway info
- AECOM. "Van Nuys Flyaway Terminal". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- CSUN Oviatt Library Digital Collections Image
- Los Angeles World Airports. "FlyAway Pamphlet" (PDF). Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "AIRPORT COMMISSION OKAYS $7 FARE FOR NEW LAX FLYAWAY® STOP AT EXPO/LA BREA; FARE AT FLYAWAY® VAN NUYS TO RISE $1 TO $8 ONE-WAY". Retrieved 4 July 2013.
- "ONE-WAY FLYAWAY® BUS FARE BETWEEN LAX AND UNION STATION RISES TO $8" (PDF). Los Angeles World Airports. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- Press release announcing start
- Press release announcing ridership figures of the service
- "LAX FlyAway - Westwood". Los Angeles World Airports. Retrieved 12 March 2014.
- "LAX FlyAway - Santa Monica". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "BOARD OF AIRPORT COMMISSIONERS APPROVES NEW FLYAWAY® BUS SERVICE FOR SANTA MONICA AND HOLLYWOOD" (PDF). 16 June 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
- "FlyAway-Hollywood". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "FLYAWAY® BUS SERVICE BEGINS TODAY BETWEEN LAX AND HOLLYWOOD" (PDF). 3 September 2014. Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "FlyAway Bus Fares". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
- "LAX FlyAway® Bus at Irvine Station to Discontinue Service" (Press release). Los Angeles World Airports. August 30, 2012. Retrieved August 30, 2012.