LAX to Duarte, CA -- How?
February 7, 2017 9:14 AM   Subscribe

Los Angeles mefites: I am flying into LAX from SEA and need to semi-expeditiously get to Duarte, CA. How would you do so?

I can assume there is nothing as cool as a bullet train straight from the airport to cosmopolitan Duarte. I will be landing mid-morning on a weekday.

My choices seem to be:
  • Cab: Roughly $120, according the fare estimating sites. Am I likely to be able to hail a cab interested in going to Duarte just by exiting the concourse?
  • Lyft: Third-party fare estimators claim Lyft would be roughly $50. That said, the lyft web site shows Duarte as being just outside their service area, if the shaded part of the map is their territory. If I can use lyft, is the driver tipped? I don't mind, just curious as to norms.
  • Rental car: This would seem to be about $130. Is renting a car a huge hassle/time sink as far as drop off and pick-up times? I'd really rather not use this route, but am interested in expediency as well as cost.
  • ?: What options am I missing?
posted by maxwelton to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (22 answers total)
Lyft (and Uber) seems to service that area for about 50 bucks ,as you found. I see cars in the center of Duarte right now. Also, you don't have to use third party estimators for either service- just download the app and you can get estimates.

How long are you staying? That makes the rental car equation change.
posted by thewumpusisdead at 9:35 AM on February 7, 2017

Just came in to note that the bus option that beagle mentions is actually a bus and a train: a (nonstop) bus to LAX Union Station, then the Metro Gold Line train to Duarte.
posted by andrewesque at 9:45 AM on February 7, 2017

I assume this isn't possible for some reason, but just FYI, Alaska flies to Ontario from SEA, and that would probably be a somewhat less annoying drive (though it can still take a while in traffic).
posted by primethyme at 10:09 AM on February 7, 2017

SuperShuttle is a decent option. If you need to guarantee an arrival time in Duarte, upgrade to the Execucar or nonstop van option. I'm seeing a price range between $50 and $105, plus tip (one way).
posted by postel's law at 10:19 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

You could do it all on the L.A. light rail system, with several changes of train.

There's a station of the Gold Line in Duarte. There an LAX serving station on the Green Line via a quick shuttle from the airport. You'd have to change trains three times to connect between them. So perhaps not a super expeditious option. But the whole thing would cost $1.75.
posted by bertran at 10:27 AM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

You could also hop the FlyAway bus from LAX to Union Station and take the Gold Line from there to Duarte.

On preview, what andrewesque said.
posted by chicainthecity at 10:42 AM on February 7, 2017

Renting a car at LAX is a huge pain in the ass, so avoid that if you can. I waited for an hour, and when I finally got to the counter I asked the woman, "why is it so busy?" and she said, "it's always like this."
posted by something something at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2017

Thanks for all the ideas and info. I am picking up a car to drive back to maxwelton-land in Duarte, so my stay is literally going to be the time it takes to get from the airport to the car.

The train is an interesting idea, though my fear of missing linked travel modes has me a bit averse to the idea. On the other hand, $2 sounds pretty good.
posted by maxwelton at 11:53 AM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

The trains run every 10-15m, during the normal day (not 24 hours). Missing connections is not that big a deal.
posted by ApathyGirl at 12:22 PM on February 7, 2017 [3 favorites]

And Union Station is an interesting and picturesque place to spend some extra minutes!
posted by something something at 12:23 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Check your memail.
posted by quiet coyote at 1:05 PM on February 7, 2017

I see rental cars on Costco Travel from LAX to Duarte (or Monrovia) on Wednesday, March 1 from Noon to 4:00 PM for about $56. I can't link you directly to that search, but it's easy enough to redo.

If you do rent a car from LAX, try to join the (often) free company rental car club. It often allows you to skip the long rental car lines. I too have waited an hour-plus for a rental car at LAX and it sucked.
posted by cnc at 1:45 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you do think about transit, bump it up to $10 and take the FlyAway bus straight to Union vs. the shuttle to the Green to the Blue to the Red.
posted by hwyengr at 2:28 PM on February 7, 2017 [2 favorites]

One last pitch for the FlyAway, it costs the same fare regardless of how much traffic there is on the freeway unlike a taxi or Lyft. Don't assume it'll be smooth sailing just because it's outside of rush hour.
posted by hwyengr at 2:32 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

Flyaway bus to Union Station, Gold Line to Duarte. Don't try to take rail all the way from LAX.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:59 PM on February 7, 2017

i had to do something like this from LAX, and rented a car through a hotwire type travel site(kayak maybe? i could search my email history)

it came out to, no seriously, $9 + fees. There were multiple deals like this. My charged total was like $24 and i had the car for a couple days even.

It seems like they have a totally ridiculous amount of rental cars just sitting around near LAX. For clarity, this was leaving from AND returning to LAX, not drop off.
posted by emptythought at 4:55 PM on February 7, 2017 [1 favorite]

i had to do something like this from LAX, and rented a car through a hotwire type travel site(kayak maybe?)

Priceline definitely does this.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:25 PM on February 7, 2017

Also the FlyAway from LAX to Union Station leaves every 30 minutes at the top and bottom of the hour I believe.
posted by ApathyGirl at 8:13 PM on February 7, 2017

Gold Line to Duarte from Union Station. Flyaway to US.
posted by persona au gratin at 12:56 AM on February 8, 2017

Nthing the FlyAway bus to Union Station, Gold Line to Duarte option. It'll run you just under $12 total, Union Station is beautiful, & it will save you the hassles of either rental car+driving or shuttle+Green line+Blue line+Red/Purple Line.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 9:28 PM on February 9, 2017

As a follow-up, my flight was an hour late so time constraints had me use Lyft.

Not sure what to think. Driver got me there in one piece and was a nice enough fellow (I gave five stars just because I know how shitty a job it is), but frankly wasn't a great driver and car was way too hot inside, which makes me sound like the entitled douchebag I am.

Lyft gives you the license plate number, but much more helpful would be a photo of the actual car, including color, etc.

Many thanks for all the ideas above.

I'll note I chose the surcharge for the exit row on the 737 and it was probably the best $17 spent on the flight. Every exit row had at least one empty seat and the leg room was a bonus.
posted by maxwelton at 9:33 AM on February 16, 2017

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