Transportation from Amtrak Union Station in LA to San Pedro

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#1
Sunny AZ
23,444 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We are going on a Pacific Coastal Cruise from LA (San Pedro) to Vancouver in May, 2012. We plan to drive from PHX to LA and leave our car at a park & cruise hotel (probably the Doubletree) during the cruise. We are returning via the Coast Starlight (Amtrak) which terminates at Union Station in LA. If the schedule remains the same, and the train is on time, we will arrive at Union Station around 9 PM. We then plan to transfer back to the Doubletree where we will again spend the night before driving home. Only question - how will we get from Union Station back to our San Pedro hotel? Shuttle? Cab? How much should we expect to pay? Thanks!
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Ginny


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#2
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Amtrak has dedicated Amtrak Thruway buses to San Pedro, which can you take at a nominal additional cost (like $2). There are two stops in San Pedro, one essentially at the cruise terminal (SPD), the other in "downtown" San Pedro (SPO) at 9th & Gaffey. Think the downtown location is closer to the Doubletree. Call ahead to a cab company on your way and have a cab meet the bus for the last bit to the Doubletree. The Thruway bus leaves Los Angeles Union Station at 10:10 and gets to downtown San Pedro at 11:45 (it is the same bus that goes to Long Beach, so downtown San Pedro is the last of 4 stops). The buses are dedicated Amtrak buses, and are tour type buses with a luggage hold underneath, not transit style buses.

The can only issue the Amtrak Thruway bus tickets in conjunction with rail travel, so you need to change your ticketing destination from "LAX" to "SPO". You can't buy the LA-San Pedro ticket independently. The connection is guaranteed, so if, for some reason, the connection isn't made, Amtrak will get you to San Pedro, even if it means putting you in a taxi at Union Station and paying for it.

Note that San Pedro is about 25 miles south of LA Union Station, so it is quite an expensive cab ride.
#3
Iowa
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Sunny AZ Girl:
I've been researching this same question; we are doing a Hawaii cruise next winter round trip from LA (San Pedro) and will also be arriving via Amtrak at LA Union Station. The cost of the the Amtrak Bus is minimal, but the time it takes to go 25 miles (90 minutes) seems a little excessive to me. (This coming from someone traveling 38 hours to LA from the midwest on the train!) Then again I don't know anything about the route/traffic, etc., as it's all new to us.

I have found other options that will pick up at Union Station, like Super Shuttle and Craigs Limo...they are quoting us about $60 to the Doubletree for 2 adults. Don't know what the cab fare would be. We haven't made a decision yet. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info.

Good Luck!
Cindy
#4
Sunny AZ
23,444 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by sloth
Sunny AZ Girl:
I've been researching this same question; we are doing a Hawaii cruise next winter round trip from LA (San Pedro) and will also be arriving via Amtrak at LA Union Station. The cost of the the Amtrak Bus is minimal, but the time it takes to go 25 miles (90 minutes) seems a little excessive to me. (This coming from someone traveling 38 hours to LA from the midwest on the train!) Then again I don't know anything about the route/traffic, etc., as it's all new to us.

I have found other options that will pick up at Union Station, like Super Shuttle and Craigs Limo...they are quoting us about $60 to the Doubletree for 2 adults. Don't know what the cab fare would be. We haven't made a decision yet. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info.

Good Luck!
Cindy
Good to know other options. Thanks!
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!
Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 17, 2018 ~ Caribbean Bound!

My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#5
Fresno Ca.
1,343 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
I have used super shuttle in LA and they have a good service.

One point that you need to know is that the area around Union Station in LA is not safe after dark. The station itself should be fine, but I wouldn't stray too far afield.
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#6
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Deb in Cali
I have used super shuttle in LA and they have a good service.

One point that you need to know is that the area around Union Station in LA is not safe after dark. The station itself should be fine, but I wouldn't stray too far afield.
Note the Amtrak buses load within the station complex, just to the north side of the main waiting room, beside baggage, to be specific. No need to leave the station grounds.
#7
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by sloth
Sunny AZ Girl:
I've been researching this same question; we are doing a Hawaii cruise next winter round trip from LA (San Pedro) and will also be arriving via Amtrak at LA Union Station. The cost of the the Amtrak Bus is minimal, but the time it takes to go 25 miles (90 minutes) seems a little excessive to me. (This coming from someone traveling 38 hours to LA from the midwest on the train!) Then again I don't know anything about the route/traffic, etc., as it's all new to us.

I have found other options that will pick up at Union Station, like Super Shuttle and Craigs Limo...they are quoting us about $60 to the Doubletree for 2 adults. Don't know what the cab fare would be. We haven't made a decision yet. Maybe someone else will chime in with more info.

Good Luck!
Cindy
The Amtrak Thruway bus probably isn't that a good fit for you, as you are almost certainly arriving on the Southwest Chief, which is scheduled to arrive at 8:15am and often arrives 45 minutes early. The first Amtrak Thruway bus to San Pedro doesn't leave until 2:30 pm, so you'd be laying over 6 hours at Union Station before the bus even leaves.

For the OP, arriving on Coast Starlight at 9:00pm, the connecting bus leaves at 10:10, the layover time is much less.

FYI, the buses are actually scheduled to connect at Bakersfield with the San Joaquin trains coming from Oakland. The buses run from Bakersfield to San Pedro through Los Angeles. That is why there are none in the morning. However, any Amtrak passenger can book on them, not just those on the San Joaquins.
#8
Sunny AZ
23,444 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
The safety issue is important. How long does it actually take to do the drive (in a shuttle) to San Pedro? Also, where would the shuttle pick you up? Is there a safe place to wait?
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!
Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 17, 2018 ~ Caribbean Bound!

My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#9
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Sunny AZ Girl
The safety issue is important. How long does it actually take to do the drive (in a shuttle) to San Pedro? Also, where would the shuttle pick you up? Is there a safe place to wait?
A dedicated shuttle or taxi would only take 30-35 minutes (it is 25 miles). You'd be picked up at the front entrance of Union Station near the cab stand. Anywhere on the grounds of Union Station is perfectly safe, and the station is pretty busy, even at 9pm when the Starlight arrives. You just don't want to wander away from the station late at night. And during the day, the surrounding area is fine (Olvera Street).

For myself, I'd tend to take the Amtrak bus, spend the extra time and save about $50.
#10
Phx East Valley AZ
23,205 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Where does a late train arrival leave you missing that 10:10 pm bus to San Pedro?
Since it is a dedicated Amtrak bus I would think it would wait for the train arrival.
I really don't feel like riding around for 90 minutes.
Will need to assess all our options.
Laura
#11
Sunny AZ
23,444 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
Originally posted by Arizona Laura
Where does a late train arrival leave you missing that 10:10 pm bus to San Pedro?
Since it is a dedicated Amtrak bus I would think it would wait for the train arrival.
I really don't feel like riding around for 90 minutes.
Will need to assess all our options.
Laura
Since there will be at least 6 of us we may be able to split the cost of a shuttle to be a lot less pricey. There could be more of us. I'm counting right now the two of you, us and my friends Sue & Don who are also planning to take the train back. we'll have to see, but I guess we'll have to decide before we actually buy our Amtrak tickets since you have to buy through to San Pedro for the bus.
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Ginny


Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 1, 2018 ~ Trans-Atlantic Amsterdam to Tampa!
Brilliance of the Seas ~ September 17, 2018 ~ Caribbean Bound!

My Bucket List Cruises:
British Isles - Ireland Booked September 2018!
Italy & Greek Islands
Baltic
European River Cruise
Northeast/Canada Fall Colors
Alaska Cruisetour
Australia/Tahiti
Hawaii - again!


Happy Memories...
Big Red Boat 06/93 (Bahamas)~ Explorer of the Seas 06/05 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 04/06 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Monarch of the Seas 12/06 (Baja Mexico) ~ Monarch of the Seas 04/07 (Baja Mexico) ~ Golden Princess 01/08 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Explorer of the Seas 04/08 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Caribbean Princess 05/09 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Radiance of the Seas 09/09 (Cabo San Lucas) ~ Mariner of the Seas 05/10 (Mexican Riviera) ~ Carnival Spirit 07/10 (Alaska) ~ NCL Pride of America 05/11 (Hawaii)~ Allure of the Seas 04/13 (Eastern Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas B2B 05/14 (Southern Caribbean) ~ Oasis of the Seas 05/15 (Western Caribbean) ~ Jewel of the Seas 10/15 (Panama Canal) ~ Harmony of the Seas 10/16 (Transatlantic)

Oasis of the Seas 2015 Pictorial Review
Jewel of the Seas Southern Caribbean B2B 2014 Pictorial Review

Allure of the Seas 2013 Pictorial Review!

Are you an Arizona Cruiser? Come join the fun! "Never Ending Circle of Friends"
#12
Fresno Ca.
1,343 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by zephyr17
A dedicated shuttle or taxi would only take 30-35 minutes (it is 25 miles). You'd be picked up at the front entrance of Union Station near the cab stand. Anywhere on the grounds of Union Station is perfectly safe, and the station is pretty busy, even at 9pm when the Starlight arrives. You just don't want to wander away from the station late at night. And during the day, the surrounding area is fine (Olvera Street).
Very true about the safety issue. That is what I was trying to get across, but you said it much better.

Now on to one of my favorite spots in LA, Olvera Street. Anyone that is waiting around for a train or a bus during daylight hours ditch the food at Union Station and head up the hill to Olvera Street. The first resturant on the right of the fountain, at the far side of the street has excellent Mexican food. You will find the locals, everyone from construction workers, delivery guys, and paramedics to business men in line.

My family has been eating there since I was a wee lass. They make their own tortillas. During the week they use a press, but I have heard that they are still made by hand on the weekends. I remember going there as a child and having the women trying to get me to make my own tortilla.( This gringa has never rally mastered that task.) The women used to stand or sit on the blue tiled stairs that are above the kitchen area with a large bowl of dough. They would hand down the tortillas to the cook staff. One time when I was about 7 they had the cook staff grill the tortilla that I made and served it to me as a supplement to my ordered meal.

If you still have more time, walk the cobblestone street and shop for leather sandals, purses and belts and other items.
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#13
Fresno Ca.
1,343 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by zephyr17
For the OP, arriving on Coast Starlight at 9:00pm, the connecting bus leaves at 10:10, the layover time is much less.

FYI, the buses are actually scheduled to connect at Bakersfield with the San Joaquin trains coming from Oakland. The buses run from Bakersfield to San Pedro through Los Angeles. That is why there are none in the morning. However, any Amtrak passenger can book on them, not just those on the San Joaquins.
The first train of the San Joaquin doesn't get to Bakersfield until around 11 AM, then getting in to Union Station around 1. But there is an Amtrak bus service that leaves Fresno around 5 or 6 in the morning and gets into LA around 9-930 AM. Where it goes from there I do not know.
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#14
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Deb in Cali
The first train of the San Joaquin doesn't get to Bakersfield until around 11 AM, then getting in to Union Station around 1. But there is an Amtrak bus service that leaves Fresno around 5 or 6 in the morning and gets into LA around 9-930 AM. Where it goes from there I do not know.
That one (5872) terminates at Los Angeles. Don't know why it doesn't go on to Long Beach/San Pedro, as that would be very handy for passengers arriving from the east on the Southwest Chief and the Sunset Limited. I am pretty sure there used to be a morning connection to Long Beach and San Pedro, but state budget cutbacks caused them to drop a lot of the connecting buses (those buses, as well as the San Joaquin and many Surfliner trains are subsidized by CalTrans). It appears to be designed to connect with Pacific Surfliner 572 to San Diego at 11:10 am.
#15
Washington State
1,050 Posts
Joined Jun 2006
Originally posted by Arizona Laura
Where does a late train arrival leave you missing that 10:10 pm bus to San Pedro?
Since it is a dedicated Amtrak bus I would think it would wait for the train arrival.
I really don't feel like riding around for 90 minutes.
Will need to assess all our options.
Laura
It is guaranteed. What they do depends on the number of connecting passengers off the Starlight and how late it is. If it isn't very late and there are a lot of connecting passengers, they'll hold the bus. Otherwise, they'll either charter a shuttle or another bus if there are enough passengers. If there are not that many passengers, they'll just put you in taxis and pay for it. But they WILL get you there.
#16
Phx East Valley AZ
23,205 Posts
Joined Sep 2006
Originally posted by zephyr17
It is guaranteed. What they do depends on the number of connecting passengers off the Starlight and how late it is. If it isn't very late and there are a lot of connecting passengers, they'll hold the bus. Otherwise, they'll either charter a shuttle or another bus if there are enough passengers. If there are not that many passengers, they'll just put you in taxis and pay for it. But they WILL get you there.
Thanks for the reply!
Laura
#17
Iowa
141 Posts
Joined Feb 2009
Originally posted by Deb in Cali
Very true about the safety issue. That is what I was trying to get across, but you said it much better.

Now on to one of my favorite spots in LA, Olvera Street. Anyone that is waiting around for a train or a bus during daylight hours ditch the food at Union Station and head up the hill to Olvera Street. The first resturant on the right of the fountain, at the far side of the street has excellent Mexican food. You will find the locals, everyone from construction workers, delivery guys, and paramedics to business men in line.

My family has been eating there since I was a wee lass. They make their own tortillas. During the week they use a press, but I have heard that they are still made by hand on the weekends. I remember going there as a child and having the women trying to get me to make my own tortilla.( This gringa has never rally mastered that task.) The women used to stand or sit on the blue tiled stairs that are above the kitchen area with a large bowl of dough. They would hand down the tortillas to the cook staff. One time when I was about 7 they had the cook staff grill the tortilla that I made and served it to me as a supplement to my ordered meal.

If you still have more time, walk the cobblestone street and shop for leather sandals, purses and belts and other items.
Thanks for posting this suggestion! I was just about to ask about things to do near Union Station. After our cruise, our train doesn't leave until early evening, so I've been wondering how to spend the time. Sounds like Olvera Street would be a great way to spend a few hours! Any other ideas?
Cindy
#18
Fresno Ca.
1,343 Posts
Joined Nov 2004
Originally posted by sloth
Thanks for posting this suggestion! I was just about to ask about things to do near Union Station. After our cruise, our train doesn't leave until early evening, so I've been wondering how to spend the time. Sounds like Olvera Street would be a great way to spend a few hours! Any other ideas?
Cindy
Olvera Street will have numerous things to do. The street has a sides with a kisok venders down the middle of the street. On the same side of the street as the restaurant. is a visitor's center with a filmstrip (that runs about 30 minutes, I think) about the history of Olvera Street. I can't promise that it will still be in operation due to the CA budget crisis. The history center is at the midpoint of Olvera Street. Just about across the street from it is the Avila adobe house. It shows as a typical hacienda home of that era. The rest of the street has numerous shops and resturants. On the other side of the plaza behind the large fountain, there is the historic Firehouse #1. I have been to these three building and can recommend them. I have no knowledge of the other historic buildings
there. You can look on-line for more info on the other buildings in the Olvera Street area. Chinatown is only one block away but I am not sure in which direction.

LA is a melting pot of many different cultures. There is Chinatown, Little Toyoko, and Koreatown all right near there, but you would need a car to get to those locations.
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