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Go Metro To A Dodgers Game

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As Guest Day Editor, Fred Camino of MetroRiderLA, will be joining LAist with a few posts throughout today. Read his introductory interview here and check out his site.

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Your mission: get to there, from anywhere, without a car.

I know LAist loves them some Dodgers. You know what, I loves me some Dodgers too. A Dodgers game is always a good time, and with my recent discovery of the footlong Dodger Dog corn dogs, you best believe I'll be returning soon.

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"But," I hear you say "it's impossible to get to Dodger Stadium without a car. Good luck getting a Dodger Dog Mr. Car-free!"

Au contraire my skeptical car-culture friend, although Dodger Stadium, like so many places in our fair city, is designed for the automobile, it is entirely possible and quite enjoyable to get to that classic ballpark sans car.

So it goes without saying that Dodger Stadium is not a very transit or pedestrian friendly place. Hell, despite the sea of parking surrounding it, it's not a very friendly place for cars either. Sorry to report that unlike many other cities, LA's stadium doesn't have a subway or light-rail train that serves it (the closest is the Gold Line Chinatown Station, and it's not that close). Nor is there any gameday shuttle service from nearby transit hubs like Union Station. Hell, there isn't even a pedestrian walkway for people who may live in the neighborhood. So what's a MetroRider to do?

Take the bus!

That's right. The dirty, smelly, bumpy ol' bus. It's all right, you can handle it, just give it a try - it's not as bad as you think. Actually, it's excellent mindless fun, get a bunch of your friends on board and chat about the game as a friendly Metro bus driver takes you to Sunset/Innes, just a 10-minute walk from Dodger Stadium. You can even "pre-game" guilt-free before you leave 'cuz you're not driving.

There's exactly two buses that will take you within a 10-minute walk from Dodger Stadium: Metro Local 2 and Metro Local 4. These workhorses will drop you off at the corner of Sunset and Innes from where you will walk .1 miles to Elysian Park Ave. onto which you will turn and walk east for .4 miles past Stadium Way, up through the entrance (wave your day pass to the cars as they pay to enter), and to Dodger Stadium (dodging cars the entire time). You'll wish they had designed things a little better for the pedestrian, perhaps at the very least a sidewalk to separate the cars from the humans, but alas you made it nonetheless.

So let's take a look at some examples. On Saturday, August 5th at 7:10 PM the Dodgers play the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. We want to arrive by 6:40 so we can get some treats and settle in for the first pitch. My route is quite easy, I live in the South Park district of Downtown, so I walk to Broadway/8th (chatting with friends along the way) and catch either the 2 or the 4 at around 5:55 PM (give or take 10 minutes, you gotta give buses some leeway). The bus snakes through Downtown for about 15 minutes as we talk and laugh and generally enjoy being driven around until we see that our stop is coming up. A simple bull of the yellow cable tells the bus driver to stop, and we disembark at Sunset/Innes and make the 10-minute walk to the game. Once the game is over we do just about the opposite, along the way discussing how poorly designed this stadium is for pedestrians and how nice it would be if there were some bars and restaurants along our walk to the bus.

Let's say you're coming from Long Beach. Well, you've got a journey ahead of you, but you already knew that. You just gotta get to that 2 or 4 bus, so hop on the Blue Line all the way to 7th Metro Center in Downtown Los Angeles, transfer to the Red Line (yeah it's a drag but deal with it), ride it one stop to Pershing Square and from there catch the 2 or 4 from Broadway/4th and your as good as there. It'll cost you about 1hr 17min, but that's what you get for living 23 miles away from something in a big city.

How about Glendale? Do people live in Glendale? Guess so. From the Glendale Galleria area you can catch a Metro 603 and take that to Alvarado/Sunset and transfer to a Metro 2 or 4 and repeat the process from above. It could take you as short as 32 minutes, as long as 1hr15min, plan your trip to hopefully avoid the longer route.

I've been getting these routes from the highly useful Metro Trip Planner. It's not flawless, and I recommend you double check the Metro timetables to confirm the best route, but it's a great place to start your Metro journey to Dodger Stadium. Don't forget to map out your return trip!

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Try it once, invite your friends, if it all goes to hell at least you'll share a good laugh, but my bet is you'll find an effective car-free way to see your favorite team play.

Photo by tykejohnson via Flickr.