Santa Clarita is a city in California just north of Los Angeles that is known for its amusement parks and tourist attractions. With so many visitors coming into the city, you might be wondering how all of these people will get around the city. That is why Santa Clarita has prioritized its public transportation system.
Santa Clarita, California has a strong and varied public transportation system. There are buses and shuttles that get riders around the city quickly. There are also connections to larger cities to the south like Los Angeles. Through these connections, people can ride Metrolink and Amtrak trains.
With so many different forms of public transportation, it can seem overwhelming to plan out your next trip and how you will get around. To ease some of these concerns, here are some tips to help you out, as well as some information about each form of public transit.
How to Ride the Bus
There are a handful of bus lines dedicated solely to Santa Clarita. These buses are best used for short trips around the city. There are buses that pass through Santa Clarita from neighboring cities, but these buses aren’t as reliable. They tend to be slow and not make stops at places where riders need to go. For some of these multi-city buses, riders are recommended to be waiting at the station a half hour early!
Since these buses aren’t as reliable, we’ll mostly focus on the Santa Clarita-only buses. A ticket for a local bus costs $1 for a single ride or $2.50 for a day pass. Here are some important bus lines to know and their destinations.
- Routes 1 and 2: Cover the Valencia Commerce Center as well as the regional transit station.
- Route 12: Connects both of Santa Clara’s Metrolink Stations.
- Routes 3 and 7: Makes a stop at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
How to Ride the Trolley
Since there are so many tourist areas in Santa Clarita, the city has to adjust to the influx of visitors, especially during the summer months. To do this, the city provides a complementary trolley to visitors to help them get around popular areas. This trolley begins operation in mid-May and runs until Memorial Day Weekend.
During this time it provides service to Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor, and the Westfield Valencia Town Center. The trolley also connects these locations to several large hotels within the city.
Something to keep in mind about the trolley is that it is a limited service. The trolley only drops off at the amusement parks in the morning before 11 am and runs back to the hotel during the evening until 10 pm. Trolleys have a limited amount of seating so if you have a large group you may need to split up.
How to Ride the Metrolink System
The main way that you can get from Santa Clarita to the cities down in the valley is through the Metrolink System. The Metrolink is a collection of rail lines tying the cities in and around Los Angeles together. It is easier than finding buses into these cities and gives you more seating room.
To ride the Metrolink from Santa Clarita, you are going to want to look for the Antelope Valley Line. This line starts in Los Angeles before heading north and up into Santa Clarita. It runs through Santa Clarita into the mountains before exiting the city of Lancaster. Trains run on weekdays starting at 7 am and stop running before 11 pm (10:40). The cost of the ticket depends on how far you are riding.
How to Use the Shuttle System
Another public transit option is to use the valley shuttle system. These shuttles are found at most of the Metrolink stations. By using these shuttles, you can get from the train station deeper into the surrounding neighborhoods. The best part is that any of these shuttles are free to ride if you have a Metrolink ticket with you.
There are a total of two shuttle lines in service in Santa Clarita. Each of these lines covers slightly different areas depending on the needs of the rider. We’ll take a look at each of these routes below.
The first route is the 501 route to Six Flags Magic Mountain. This is a great line to use if you rode the Metrolink into Santa Clarita to go to the amusement parks and need a way to cover the final distance between the station and the park. The shuttle starts at the Santa Clarita Station and heads up Valencia Drive. It makes stops at two of the Magic Mountain Gates before looping back toward the station.
The other shuttle route is Route 502 to the Valencia Commerce Center. Unlike the other shuttle, this shuttle only runs on weekdays. Starting at the Metrolink Station, the shuttle drives down Stanford Avenue making stops at Commerce Center and Hancock Parkway. The shuttle makes a couple more stops along Livingston Avenue and Harrison Parkway before looping around and heading back toward the station.
How to Ride Amtrak
While there are a lot of attractions and places to go within the city of Santa Clarita, you may also want to travel outside the city as well. Since Santa Clarita sits right at the base of the mountains to the north of Lost Angeles, most of the areas that you will want to explore are going to be south of the city. The first step to going to be getting from Santa Clarita into these areas. Many people making this trip choose to drive in their car. If you are a tourist or want to limit the miles you are putting on your car this may not be an option for you.
This is where the Amtrak system comes into play. By using the Amtrak rail system you can ride to cities that are both close to and far away from Santa Clarita. In order to ride Amtrak, you will want to get down to the line that runs through the Northridge and Sun Valley areas. You can use the Metrolink to ride directly from Santa Clarita to this rail line or catch one of the few buses from the valley that come up the mountain into Santa Clarita.
Once at the Amtrak line, you need to decide where you want to go. You can ride to the west, to the east, or deeper south past Los Angeles. Once you have decided where you plan to travel, you will need to buy your ticket or tickets. Tickets should be bought online to ensure that the train will have a seat for you on the day of your trip.
On the day of your trip make sure you are at the designated station at least 10 minutes before the departure time listed on the ticket. Keep track of any valuables you may be bringing with you on your trip and be aware of your surroundings. To help you out, here are some places you may want to travel to, as well as rough estimates of travel time and costs for tickets.
If you head west, you are going to pass through Thousand Oaks before reaching the California coast. There are a handful of cities that you will pass through as you head west. One of the main attractions to the west is the city of Santa Barbara. If you are boarding Amtrak at the Burbank Station (this is the station that Metrolink connects to Santa Clarita), it will take you about 2 hours to arrive at Santa Barbara. A one-way ticket will cost you $29 and take 2 hours and 10 minutes.
If you want to travel to the east, you can do that as well. To travel east, you will need to ride into downtown Los Angeles. If you want to stop in LA, you can do so as well. A ticket to Los Angeles will cost you $11 and take 30 minutes. If you would like to keep heading east you will ride through Los Angeles to your destination, for example, San Bernadino. A ticket to San Bernadino will cost $28 and take 8 hours and 10 minutes, so it is not the best choice for a day trip.
If you want to head south, you can do that as well. A ticket to Anaheim, which is just past Los Angeles, will cost you $18.30 and take 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete. This is a perfect choice if you want to mix up your trip and visit some of the amusement parks found in Anaheim. If you want to head further south you can also do that. Do you want to go to the beach in San Clemente? The trip will take 2 hours and 20 minutes and will set you back $26.25.
Is Public Transportation Necessary?
Something you might be wondering is if public transportation is necessary for Santa Clarita, California. The answer is yes. Public transportation in Santa Clarita is necessary because it allows for assistance in getting around the city without having to walk or drive. It’s faster, easier, and much less expensive than driving.