Los Angeles is one of the biggest cities in the United States, not to mention one of the most influential. But while most cities in the United States have excellent transportation systems, with New York City's subway system being the shining example, Los Angeles has always been criticized for having a less-than-adequate public transportation system and, partially as a result, constant heavy traffic.
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This is one of the main reasons why it's still necessary to have a car in Los Angeles, though not the only one. Read on to find out more:
Los Angeles is Spread Out
For those who do not actually live in Los Angeles, the city itself is often thought of in singular terms. In actuality, however, the Los Angeles that many think of is actually a series of different cities and neighborhoods, all of which combine to form Los Angeles County. Consider the fact that West Hollywood and Santa Monica, for example, are both cities in Los Angeles County, while the City of Los Angeles itself is separate. Chances are that you will find yourself having to get to Long Beach or Manhattan Beach from Downtown Los Angeles, and not having a car can create a tremendous amount of hassle and inconvenience for you.
Your Work Proximity is Important
How far your work location is from where you live will make a big difference. LA does have a public transportation system, but it can take considerably longer to get from Point A to Point B than it would if you have a car. Buses still have to fight through traffic, and with transfers and walking to the bus stop, it can take you three to four times as long to commute to work on a daily basis. Try getting to Studio City from Santa Monica by bus as opposed to a car and you'll see what we mean.
Not Everywhere is Easily Accessible
The fact is that not everywhere in Los Angeles is easily accessible by public transportation. To get to some areas by public transportation, you'll have to transfer 3 to 4 times by bus, not to mention walk to different bus stops. A simple thing such as meeting your friends for dinner in Manhattan Beach can become a major issue if you do not have a car, as it can upwards of 3 hours to get there if you're living in West Hollywood by bus.
Lyft and Uber Costs Still Add Up
Lyft and Uber have certainly made it more convenient to get around Los Angeles without having your own car, as well as much more affordable in comparison to regular taxis. But even though taking a Lyft or an Uber is a more affordable alternative to taxis, the costs of using them still adds up. You'll be paying at least a few hundred a month (and that's a conservative estimate) if you frequently use these services. With surge pricing, expect to pay even more. But with auto financing and lease options being offered at such good rates now, you should consider leasing or purchasing a car instead.
Los Angeles is a fantastic city, but public transportation is still a major issue. Consider what's been mentioned above before deciding what to do. Good luck!