A few weeks ago I took part in an outing that took the MetroLink from Lancaster down into Downtown Los Angeles. On the weekend you can ride unlimited for $10. This includes not just MetroLink, but the other rail lines in the L.A. area. (It also includes some of the bus lines down there as well.) So you could ride from Lancaster to Oceanside then back again all for $10.
And it isn't hard to do. You buy your ticket from a kiosk (which when we were there the security guard was happy to help with) and then a few minutes before the scheduled departure you board the train and find yourself a seat. Then you just sit and look out the window and try to figure out where you are from this strange perspective that's similar but not the same as other trips you might have taken down into L.A.
And all you need to do is keep your ticket handy in case someone comes by to check on it. They do check as you get on, but they have people that check on board occasionally. And to transfer to another rail line, well at least the subway, all you have to do is touch your ticket to a reader and go through the turnstile. It's as easy as that.
They announce each stop electronically and try to make sure you get some warning about when you might want to get off. Of course if you're headed to downtown L.A. you just ride all the way to Union Station. So you don't have to worry about when to get off, you're going to the end of the line.
If you're going on to somewhere else you can make your connection right there at Union Station. There are signs there that would help you find the right place to be, and there are helpful information booths too. But it would probably be a good idea to have checked out the route maps for the routes you'll be taking. It will probably help you know what to look for.
So you're still not sure? You're concerned about the strange characters you might see in the train? Well, you probably will see some. But these are the people that want to go to L.A. for whatever reason. Just like you. There were a lot of odd characters on the train on the way down. Not all of them in our group. But on the way home it was families and folks headed out to Lancaster to visit family. There was a couple that had gone down to L.A. for dinner and had leftover boxes they were bring home to Palmdale.
Frankly, I think that the oddest person on the train that night might have been me. Just goes to show, if you're looking around and don't see the weirdo, it's probably you. So now, I'm thinking about where to go next time I head down to the L.A. area. Let's see to get to Pasadena I need to take the Gold Line...