How to get around L.A. on New Year's Eve

How to get around L.A. on New Year's Eve
Images are projected on City Hall in a rehearsal Tuesday for Grand Park's New Year's Eve celebration. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

If you're going to be partying on New Year's Eve, you might want to get around without a car.

Luckily, that is in no way as preposterous as it sounds in L.A.


As in years past, all Metro rail and bus lines will be free between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. However, the downtown Long Beach Blue Line station will be closed from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. because of a new year's celebration on Pine Avenue, so the light rail line will have modified service during this time

Tipsy Tow:

If you drive, but have too much to drink, don't drive home.

A tow truck dispatched by the Auto Club of Southern California can give you a ride home and tow your car, for free. The service is available from 6 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday.

For a ride, call 1-800-400-4222 and tell the operator, "I need a Tipsy Tow." You don't have to be a AAA member. 

Drivers will tow you for up to seven miles from your pick-up location, but will only take you homenot to another party. Passengers aren't allowed. You can only use the service one time on New Year's Eve. 

If the ride is longer than seven miles, you will be charged the regular towing rate.

Go Metro:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and trains will be free from 9 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday. After 2 a.m., a one-way fare will cost $1.75, which includes two hours of free transfers if you're using a TAP card.

Metro trains and the dedicated Orange Line busway will run every 20 minutes from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m., and many bus lines will be offering all-night service.

To figure out a route, try Metro's trip planner or the transit option on Google Maps.

Call a cab:

Two apps, Curb (formerly Taxi Magic) and Flywheel, let you summon a cab using your smartphone.

The nine licensed taxi companies in the city of Los Angeles also can schedule rides in advance, online or over the phone.

Hailing a cab on the streets of Los Angeles can be tough. If you're near a hotel, it's often easiest to go to their taxi stand.

Summon a ride:

If you're in a loud bar, or just prefer the convenience of asking for a ride without making a call, there's an app for that.

Uber: The ride-sharing behemoth will be using surge-pricing from 12:30 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday, the period of highest demands. Fares could be seven times higher than usualthe company warned. The fastest way to get a ride will be requesting one just after midnight, or waiting until after 3 a.m.

Lyft: Drivers are "stocking their cars with water, snacks and party-till-you-drop playlists," the company said in a blog post. Demand will peak between 7 and 10 p.m. and 1 and 3 a.m., and passengers in cars adorned with Lyft's signature pink, fuzzy mustaches will face "prime-time pricing" of up to four times the normal rate.

Sidecar: This rideshare company will not be charging different prices on New Year's Eve. "No surging, no surprise receipts," the company said in a blog post. The app also allows users to sort rides by price.

Both Uber and Lyft are donating money to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. For every passenger who enters the in-app promo code MADDNYE, Uber says it will donate $1. Lyft will donate $1 for every person who pledges to "keep the streets safe,” with a maximum donation of $10,000.

If you have to drive, keep an eye out for street closures around Grand Park in downtown L.A. for the New Year's Eve party. Spring Street will be closed between Temple and 2nd streets until 6 p.m. Thursday. Portions of Broadway, Hill and West 1st streets will be closed from 4 p.m. Wednesday to noon Thursday. Olive Street will be closed until noon Thursday and Main Street will be closed from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

On New Year's Day, Rose Parade-goers can take the Gold Line to Pasadena to avoid traffic and parking hassles. The Del Mar and Memorial Park stations are closest to the parade route, which is two blocks away, while the Lake and Allen stations are both only four blocks from the route.

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