What is the best way to get to LAX?

Yes, you can avoid the $50 Lyft or Uber!

With Fall Recess approaching and winter break around the corner, many students are flying out for the holidays. But with various ways to get to Los Angeles’ busiest airport, LAX, which one is best?


Time: 20-30 minutes

Cost: Varies

By far the most convenient way to get to LAX is driving, the only caveat is access to a vehicle.

The best option is having a vehicle and friend who is willing to make the trip.

If favors are in short supply, parking at LAX is another option, but onsite parking can run $40 a day.

“If you’re just going for a day or two, it might be worth it to leave your car at the airport,” said Emily Scigliano, a senior environmental science and theater major.

Offsite parking is often more affordable at $20-30, but expect to take a shuttle to the airport, adding to the travel time.


Time: 30 minutes

Cost: ~$40-50

Beware estimated times in ride-share apps—drivers are required to drop off and pick up in the airport’s LAX-it lot, adding a 7-15 minute shuttle ride. Terminal 1 is adjacent to LAX-it, with a 3-minute walk separating the two.

“If there was a shuttle service that USC provided, that would be a lot safer,” said Samar Jethani, a freshman business administration major. He expressed concern about trusting a ride-share driver with his belongings.

The approximate cost for an UberX or Lyft is $40, which can be split three ways. If baggage space is a concern, Uber and Lyft offer SUV options.


Time: 1 hour

Cost: $1.75

Metro offers the cheapest option, but it is comparatively slower. Travelers can take the Metro J (Silver) from 37th Street/USC to the Harbor Freeway station. From there, transfer to the Metro C (Green) line to Aviation Boulevard/LAX station. A shuttle bus runs every 10 minutes from Aviation to LAX’s terminals.

“I have Ubered before, but it’s really expensive,” said Andrew Otterson, a senior global health major. For reference, the Metro trip costs less than $2 while a ride-share can cost upwards of $40.

Other options


The Flyaway shuttle provides direct service from Union Station to LAX’s terminals. Tickets cost $9.75 each way. The bus takes about 35 minutes from Union Station to Terminal 1. USC has a free shuttle to and from Union Station.

Taxis and shared shuttle vans

Taxis vans are still an option, with a ride to and from LAX running approximately$40. Like ride-shares, taxis and vans are required to drop off at the LAX-it lot, adding a 7-15 minute shuttle ride to the terminal. Popular taxi services include Bell Cabs, Checker Cab and Yellow Cab. Popular shuttle van services include Super Shuttle and Prime Time Shuttle and run about $14 a person, but keep in mind that shuttles may need to make stops for other passengers, adding to the travel time.

Higher-end taxi services ($70-$120) offer direct to terminal service.