It’s a whole new world when you ride the subway

Daily Sundial

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Life as a college student means sometimes enduring financial hardships, specifically this year with the recent increase in gasoline. Yet the Los Angeles subway system can be a clean and affordable alternative when traveling around the city.

We all know that gone are the days when a crisp $20 bill could not only fill up your gas tank, but also get you a few snacks from the mini mart. Today, it seems that it is not only expensive to live in Los Angeles, but drive around in it too.

Many people seem to know little, if anything, about our city’s subway system. However, the subway system is an excellent way to commute or site-see around the city. For the bargain price of $1.35, you can ride one-way, anywhere on the route. In approximately 25 minutes, you ride from the first stop to the last, and what’s even better is you do not have to deal with traffic and expensive parking.

What is particularly neat about the subway system is that each station is designed and decorated differently. The first station of Red Line subway system is in the arts and theatre community of North Hollywood, specifically at Lankershim and Chandler Boulevards. After, the North Hollywood station, the subway stops in Universal City, directly across from Universal Studios.

Once you pass Universal Studios, the next stop is the Hollywood and Highland exit. Here, all in walking distance, tourists can check out some of Hollywood’s famous attractions such as Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the Kodak Theatre, the El Capitan Theatre, Hollywood Wax Museum and Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum.

After leaving Hollywood, the subway continues on its path, stopping at Hollywood and Western, Vermont and Sunset, Vermont and Santa Monica, and Vermont and Beverly before finally reaching 7th and Metro, the heart of the financial district in Downtown.

After completing this stop, the subway presses on stopping at Pershing Square, which is near the Grand Central Market and the Biltmore Hotel. Next the subway stops at the Civic Center, where visitors can stop and look as the Music Center and Cathedral. Finally, the last stop is Union Station.

Union Station, which was built in 1939, is said to be “the last of America’s great rail stations.” The station resembles something out of a 1940’s movie. It is beautifully well kept and aside from the Subway, it is also the home of the Amtrak station.

Once exiting Union Station simply cross the street, walk up the hill, and you will find historical Olvera Street. After shopping and eating to your hearts content, at some of LA’s oldest known Mexican restaurant, continue walking and eventually, you may have to get directions at the Visitor’s Center, you will discover Chinatown.

At Union Station, the Red Line comes to an end; however you can transfer to the Gold Line station if you wish to continue on to Pasadena. By taking the Red Line back from Union Station, to 7th and Metro, you can than transfer to the Blue Line system, which travels to Long Beach, and meets the Green Line which continues on to LAX.

Confused? No worries. To map out your route, you can either check out the directory located at each stop or Metro’s website, www.metro.net, to plan your trip.

The Metro subway line is a great and inexpensive way to tour friends and out-of-town guests around LA, particularly for students. With the holiday season now upon us, traffic around this great city is sure to knock the holiday spirit out of anyone, so why not give the Metro a try?

Renee Hassija can be reached at spotlight.sundial@csun.edu.