how do I get to machine without a car?

Machine board member Jason Brown wrote this the other day, and we thought you might find it useful.


Machine Project is on Alvarado, just north of Sunset Blvd.

Regular Buses

The 2 and 4 buses both run down Sunset. If you’re near Santa Monica, Sunset or Hollywood Blvds, you can get on any of these buses and end up at Machine — just look for American Apparel to the north. The 704 is a good express “Rapid” bus you can take from can take from Union Station getting off the red line, gold line, or LAX Flyaway bus.

There are no transfers on the MTA: you have to pay full faire for each nugget of transit. But there is a $6 unlimited day pass — recommended if you’re going round-trip or you’re taking any combination of MTA buses or trains.

Red Line Subway

If you’re near the Red Line (or your can connect to it from the Gold or Blue lines), the closest stops to Machine are: Westlake/MacArthur Park, Santa Monica/Vermont, and Sunset/Vermont.

From MacArthur Park, take the 200 bus north about a mile and a half to Sunset (but watch out because this bus might not run very late at night). The park is far less “edgy” than it used to be (more expensive art lofts, no floating bodies), but walking this route in the dark should still be undertaken in the jaunty spirit of adventure.

From Santa Monica/Vermont or Sunset/Vermont, pretty much any bus going east should go to Sunset and Alvarado. (The walk is longish. The bike ride, an exhilarating car dodge.)

Note:Bikes are allowed on the trains, outside of rush hours.

Express Buses

from the WestSyeed:

Take the 720 Wilshire Rapid Bus to Alvarado, in MacArthur Park. Act accordingly.

There’s also a Santa Monica Big Blue Bus which has a “freeway express” (the #10) to downtown LA, at which point, biking, MTA bus or subway+bus become reasonable options.

Note: Santa Monica and MTA are totally unrelated transit systems — waving the pass of the wrong one at your driver will get you frowned at.

From points east and south of Echo Park: The 704 “Rapid” is a great bus you can take from Union Station as you get off the red line, gold line, or LAX Flyaway bus.

Metrolink/Union Station

If you’re not in LA proper, there’s (pricey) Metrolink trains to Union Station. From there, you can negotiate your way to a Sunset bus — which is oddly difficult from Union Station, but it is the main transit hub, so there’s lots of maps. [for example these MTA system maps]. Bikes are allowed on Metrolink trains.

At Union Station, you could also jump on the Red Line, overshoot Machine by burrowing past it by a few miles, and then ride bus.

Note: from Union Station, there is a Red Line and a Purple line. Red and Purple trains go to MacArthur Park, but only the Red Line North Hollywood trains go to the Santa Monica and Sunset stops.

By bike from Union Station, take Caeser Chavez west, which quickly becomes Sunset. Keep going 3 miles. Turn right at Burrito King.

Honestly, if you’re not too far away, the best way to get there for evening events is bike. Riding Sunset is easy; there’s a bike lane (watch out for doors). Just make sure to bring a real u-lock, not some cabled gadget, because bike theft is rampant in Echo Park.

Further Advice

Bus tokens are now $1.50 each. You may also run in to people re-selling individual tokens at bus stops and subway stations: listen for jingling fists and the word “fichas” (tokens, in Spanish). They usually sell them for a buck each — a great deal if you don’t have a pass and you’re riding one-way. The base fare is also $1.50 for each trip, but only $0.55 for seniors (and $0.25 off-peak), so this is a great deal for your nightlife-loving grandparents!

Some regular buses have a deeply reduced faire after a certain time at night — usually around 8pm. If it’s after dark, then check the faire box or ask the driver before you drop tokens or stuff dollars.

There are no faire boxes or turnstyles on the MTA trains (Red, Gold, Blue, Green), so it’s easy to ride the trains without paying, but you risk a very hefty fine. You’re expected to always have your ticket ready for the teams of bored, burly Sherrifs who periodically hop on the cars (this happens far more often in low-income areas, natch). And if you get caught without a valid ticket or a valid ID, you risk jail. But if it’s an emergency, and you really don’t have a buck fifty….

And whatever you do, don’t take a water bottle onto the Blue Line. The Sheriffs will have your ass hog-tied in county before you even know what’s happening.

Welcome to LA!

Jason Brown