L.A. The City of Angels. Glitz, glamor, celebrities, creative capital.  he City of Los Angeles attracts tourists year-round due to its placement in Southern California. The city is the second largest in the United States with a population of 3.7 million, behind only New York City. Los Angeles is a global city with a diverse economy. Among the strongest economic sectors are education, entertainment, finance, international trade, media, sports and technology.

The L.A. metropolitan area is the country’s major center of entertainment, film and television production. The country’s top six film studios are within the metro district, with 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures and Universal Pictures all being within the city limits. Due to this media economy, tourists have access to countless attractions relating to the entertainment industry – from studio tours to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This destination report provides the information and tools needed to make a journey to Los Angeles rewarding, in spite of the accessibility challenges the city may present.

Public Transportation

The public transportation system in Los Angeles is operated by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) and is accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users. The two primary modes of transit are the city bus service and the Metro Rail. Also serving the area are the FlyAway dedicated airport bus service and Southern California’s MetroLink train service.

LA Metro Train
A Los Angeles Metro Rail train.

Metro Rail

The Metro Rail is a rapid transit rail system composed of six total lines. The Purple and Red lines are below ground subway lines. The Blue, Green, Gold and Expo lines are above ground light rail lines. The network includes 80 total stations. All trains and stations are fully wheelchair accessible and barrier free.

Trains are easily accessible from station platforms and both powered and manual wheelchair users are able to easily roll on and off the trains. The train cars themselves have areas for wheelchair users to park, but securement straps/tie downs are not available. Priority seating is also provided for those with disabilities.

There is no direct rail service to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The Green line stops at the Aviation/LAX station. From this station, the free city bus, line G, the “Airport Shuttle,” provides service to all terminals at LAX airport. The ride from the metro rail station to the airport takes 10 minutes. The G shuttle is wheelchair accessible.

City Bus Service

The Metro Bus system operates throughout the city of Los Angeles and surrounding areas using some 170 unique lines. Buses are equipped with numerous accessibility features which make them entirely accessible to the disabled and wheelchair users. These adaptations include:

  • All buses kneel or lower and are equipped with lowered floor ramps or lifts.
  • Two wheelchair securement areas with tie-downs are located on each bus.
  • Audio stop and intersection announcements are made on each bus.
  • Lowered yellow accessible stop/alert buttons are positioned at each wheelchair securement area.

There are three different route types on the Metro Bus network:  Metro Local, Metro Rapid and Metro Express. Metro Local buses are orange in color and operate according to a set time schedule. They serve a large number of stops on each route. The Metro Rapid buses are red in color, do not operate on a timed schedule and serve fewer stops. The LACMTA says that the rapid buses reduce travel time by 25%. Metro Express buses are blue in color, use expressways/freeways and serve the fewest stops. There are 9 total Metro Express lines.

LAX FlyAway Airport Bus
The LAX FlyAway express service bus is
wheelchair accessible and has an electronic lift.
Photo by John Morris/WheelchairTravel.org.

FlyAway Airport Express Bus Service

The LAX FlyAway bus is an express service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and several destinations. Buses provide stops at every LAX terminal. FlyAway buses are traditional motor coaches, not city buses, and luggage storage is available in the luggage bays below. The following routes are prices are available:

  • LAX Airport to Van Nuys,  $8.00
  • LAX Airport to Union Station,  $8.00
  • LAX Airport to Westwood,  $10.00
  • LAX Airport to Santa Monica,  $8.00
  • LAX Airport to Hollywood,  $8.00.

Reverse route trips are available for the same price.

LAX FlyAway buses are wheelchair accessible. Each bus is equipped with an electronic wheelchair lift. Seating rows collapse inside the bus to make room for wheelchairs. Securement straps are available to tie-down wheelchairs and the bus operator will provide assistance.

Fares, route maps and schedules

Fares on the city buses can be paid with cash or the reloadable TAP card, while Metro Rail riders must via the TAP card. TAP cards are available for $1.00 from automated vending machines at each Metro Rail station and from city bus operators. Metro Bus and Metro Rail fares are $1.75 each way. One-day unlimited ride passes are available for $7.00 and 7-day passes for $25.00. Rides on the Silver line or Metro Express bus routes carry an additional $0.75 charge, even for those using unlimited ride passes.

Discounted fares for seniors age 62+ and for those with disabilities are available, but require a reduced fare permit and application. Details on the application process and reduced fare amounts can be found on the LACMTA website using the following links:

Reduced Fares for Seniors
Reduced Fares for the Disabled/Medicare

Additional information on routes, schedules and riding Los Angeles public transit with a disability is available below:

Due to the rapidly changing nature of accessibility of the world’s public transit systems, please use the comments section at the bottom of this page to share your experiences and any changes you may have noticed in Los Angeles.


Amtrak rail service is available to/from Union Station in Los Angeles. For routes, fares and tickets, visit www.amtrak.com.  A 15-percent discount is available to the disabled and users of wheelchairs. Amtrak trains in the United States are wheelchair accessible.

Accessible Taxi Services

Wheelchair accessible, ADA compliant taxi vans with side or rear entry wheelchair ramps are available within the Los Angeles metropolitan area and are charged at the same meter rates as a normal taxi. Wheelchair taxis can be ordered on demand within the city and at both area airports. Due to the demand for WAVs in Los Angeles, wait times can exceed 45 minutes. Wheelchair taxis are typically quick to respond to LAX airport, however. The following taxi companies offer wheelchair accessible taxis:

United Taxi
(323) 653-5050

L.A. Yellow Cab
(424) 222-2222

L.A. Checker Cab Company
(800) 300-5007

L.A. City Cab
(888) 248-9222

City approved taxi meter rates can be found below:

Flag Drop & first 1/9 mile — $2.85
Each additional 1/9 mile — $0.30
Waiting time (per 37 seconds) — $0.30
Airport originating surcharge — $4.00
Flat rate between LAX airport & downtown — $46.50

Passengers are responsible for all tolls. There is no additional fee for baggage or trunk usage. There is no surcharge or convenience fee for paying by credit card. There is no fee for additional passengers. The minimum fare from LAX airport is $15.00. $4.00 is added to the base or flat fare for all trips which originate at LAX airport.

Airport Accessibility

LAX Airport International Check-in HallPhoto by TimBray at en.wikipedia.
LAX Airport International Check-in Hall
Photo by TimBray at en.wikipedia.

The city of Los Angeles is served primarily by Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The metropolitan area is served by a number of other airports, including Bob Hope International Airport (BUR) in Burbank, California and Ontario International Airport (ONT) in Ontario, California. Each airport is accessible to disabled passengers and wheelchairs may be taken to the gate and aircraft door. All airlines provide services for the disabled at the airport in accordance with the Air Carrier Access Act.

Information on BUR airport is available at www.burbankairport.com. Information on ONT airport is available at www.lawa.org. Detailed information on Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is below:

The airport has 9 separate terminals, each serving different airlines. Terminals 5, 6, 7 and 8 are connected by tunnels airside in the secure area. No other terminals are connected to one another beyond security. A list of the terminals and the airlines which occupy them is provided below:

  • Terminal 1:  Southwest Airlines
  • Terminal 2:  Aeromexico, Aeromexico Connect, Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air China, Avianca, Dynamic Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Volaris, WestJet
  • Terminal 3:  Frontier Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Spirit Airlines, Virgin America
  • Tom Bradley International Terminal:  Aeroflot, Air Berlin, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Tahiti Nui, Alitalia, All Nippon Airways, Asiana Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, El Al, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, EVA Air, Fiji Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, KLM, Korean Air, LAN Airlines, LAN Peru, Lufthansa, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Philippine Airlines, Qantas, Saudia, Singapore Airlines, Swiss International Air Lines, Thai Airways, Transaero Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Virgin Australia
  • Terminal 4:  American Airlines, American Eagle
  • Terminal 5:  Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Delta Shuttle
  • Terminal 6:  Alaska Airlines, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Delta Connection, Delta Shuttle, Great Lakes Airlines, US Airways
  • Terminal 7:  United Airlines, United Express
  • Terminal 8:  United Airlines, United Express

If wheelchair users plan to take public transportation from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to downtown, combination of city bus, LAX FlyAway bus and metro rail service will be necessary. To plan a route to your destination, use the Metro trip planner at socaltransport.org.

Numerous hotels in the vicinity of the airport have wheelchair accessible shuttles. Among these are: Courtyard Los Angeles LAX/Century Boulevard, Crowne Plaza Los Angeles Airport, Embassy Suites LAX North, Four Points by Sheraton Los Angeles Airport, Hilton Los Angeles Airport, Holiday Inn Los Angeles Airport, Hyatt Regency LAX Airport, Los Angeles Airport Marriott, Renaissance Los Angeles Airport Hotel, The Westin Los Angeles Airport.

Accessible taxis can be requested at the airport, with average wait times of 15 minutes or less.

Accessibility of Sidewalks/Streets

The majority of the sidewalks in Los Angeles are well cared for, smooth and even. The better cared for streets and sidewalks are located in the city center, downtown and business/financial districts. Curb cuts are present at all intersections.

Wheelchair users will encounter hilly or steep terrain in many parts of the city, including in the downtown and financial districts. Power wheelchairs and scooters will be capable of making the climb, but it will present a challenge for manual wheelchair users. These necessity for these climbs can be circumvented by taking a city bus up or down a steep street. All city buses are wheelchair accessible.

Audio and visual crossing signals are located at most intersections.

Attractions & Sights

Los Angeles features a wealth of both free and paid attractions, museums and sights, the majority of which are wheelchair accessible. Listed below are many of these top sights and activities. All listed here are at least partially wheelchair accessible.

L.A. Live

LA Live Nokia Theatre
Loge level wheelchair seating at Nokia Theatre.
Photo by John Morris/WheelchairTravel.org.
Located adjacent to the Staples Center and Nokia Theatre, L.A. Live is an entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles. L.A. Live attracts business and leisure travelers as well as local celebrities. The Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott hotels within the complex serve as the host hotels for events such as the ESPYS and Grammy award shows. Across the street are Courtyard and Residence Inn hotels. The Staples Center is the home arena for three professional sports teams, the Los Angeles Lakers, Clippers and Kings. The Nokia Theatre regularly hosts music concerts for some of the world’s most popular artists. Other attractions at L.A. Live include the Grammy Awards Museum, the ESPN Zone restaurant, ESPN’s broadcasting studios and a Regal movie theater. The complex is also home to a number of restaurants including Fleming’s, Katsuya, Lawry’s, Rock’N Fish, Wolfgang Puck and Yard House. The L.A. Live complex is ADA compliant and wheelchair friendly. Each of the hotels surrounding the complex have accessible rooms with roll-in showers and grab bars. For more information on what is available for visitors to the complex, visit www.lalive.com. The Microsoft Theater is also wheelchair accessible. For more information on disabled accommodations at the venue, visit www.microsofttheater.com.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 28, 728 at Olympic & Figueroa; 81, 442, 460 at Figueroa & 11th
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  2 blocks from Blue/Expo lines at Pico station

Shopping on Rodeo Drive

Rodeo Drive is a street spanning two miles and connecting the cities of Los Angeles and Beverly Hills. A three block stretch of Rodeo Drive, between its intersections with Wilshire Boulevard and Little Santa Monica Boulevard, has become a popular tourist attraction. The association which manages Rodeo Drive calls it “the epicenter of luxury, fashion and lifestyle.” The popular three block section of the street is lined with luxury retailers. Among the shops and stores on Rodeo are Dior, Giorgio Armani, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Rolex, Valentino and Versace. The area attracts not only tourists, but also Beverly Hills locals and celebrities. For a complete directory of retailers, hotels and restaurants, visit www.rodeodrive-bh.com. The sidewalks along the street are in immaculate condition and wheelchair accessible. All shops, hotels and restaurants can be accessed by wheelchair.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Route 20 at Wilshire & Rodeo
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  Purple/Red lines at Civic Center/Grand Park station

Los Angeles County Museum of Art & Urban Light

Urban Light Sculpture
The Urban Light sculpture at the LACMA.
Photo by John Morris/WheelchairTravel.org.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, or LACMA, is the largest art museum in the Western United States and attracts more than one million annual visitors. The museum’s collections include more than 120,000 works spanning the centuries since ancient times. Among the museum’s collections are Modern and Contemporary Art; Asia art; Green, Roman, and Etruscan art; and Photography. Among the pieces on display are works by George Bellows, Thomas Eakins, Paul Gauguin, Claude Monet and Rembrandt. Tickets to the museum are $15.00 for adults and $10.00 for seniors age 62+. The LACMA and its galleries are fully accessible to wheelchairs and the museum is equipped with ADA restroom facilities. For more information on the museum and the art collections or to purchase tickets, visit www.lacma.org. Outside of the museum and free to access is the Urban Light sculpture. The assemblage sculpture was installed in 2008. Composed of 202 street lamps of 17 unique designs, the sculpture marks the entry to the museum. The lamps on display once lit the streets of Southern California and date back to the 1920s and 1930s. The museum and sculpture are located on Museum Row, adjacent to a number of other museums and the LaBrea Tar Pits.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 20, 217, 720, 780 at Wilshire & Fairfax

La Brea Tar Pits

The La Brea Tar Pits are a group tar pits created by the seepage of oil and tar up to the Earth’s surface. The process of seepage has occurred at the site over tens of thousands of years. The tar is often covered by soil/dust, water, leaves or other impediments. In past times, this concealed the tar pits and led to animals being trapped and dying. The tar pits are today a source of ancient bones and fossils of the creatures that were caught and died in the oil and tar seepage. The discoveries of these fossils have led to much scientific study and the development of research centers and museums around the pits. The George C. Page Museum, part of the county’s Natural History Museum, sits adjacent to the tar pits on Wilshire Boulevard. The Page museum places excavations from the more than 100 tar pits at La Brea on display. Both the museum and Hancock Park which houses the tar pits are wheelchair accessible. Paved paths exist throughout the park and around the areas where the tar pits can be viewed. Access to the tar pits and park are free. If you would like to learn more inside the museum, admission is $12.00 for adults and $9.00 for seniors age 62+. Active or retired military are admitted for free with proper I.D. For more information on the Page Museum or to purchase tickets, visit www.tarpits.org.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Route 20 at Wilshire & Spaulding

Santa Monica Pier

The Santa Monica Pier is actually a combination of two pier structures which were once owned by two competing owner. Their history now spans more than 100 years. Today it is home to numerous restaurants and attractions. Among these attractions are Pacific Park, a small amusement park with a ferris wheel and roller coaster directly on the pier. While the park’s pathways and entrances to all rides provide wheelchair access, the rides themselves, including the ferris wheel, cannot carry passengers in their wheelchairs. For more information on the attractions at Pacific Park, visit www.pacpark.com. For more information on the larger Santa Monica Pier, visit www.santamonicapier.org. Just four blocks from the pier is Santa Monica Place, a multi-block, multi-level and open-air shopping center. That space is also accessible to wheelchair users.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 1, 7, 10, 20, 33, 534, 733 at Ocean & Colorado

Hollywood Walk of Fame

The Hollywood Walk of Fame runs along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and honors achievement in acting, directing, production, music, theatre and numerous other disciplines. The Walk of Fame was established in 1958 and is today overseen by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and the Hollywood Historic Trusts. The walk contains more than 2,500 stars each spaced 6-feet apart. The star includes the honoree’s name and a brass emblem representing the field for which they were honored. There are five distinct emblems which represent the motion picture industry, television, radio, music and theatre. Approximately 20 new stars are added each year. Today, the Walk of Fame is a significant tourist attraction. The walk is accessible as the stars are embedded directly into the sidewalks along Hollywood Boulevard. Visit www.walkoffame.com for more information on the Walk’s history or to search for the location of your favorite celebrity’s star.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 156, 656, 212, 217, 222, 312, 780 at Hollywood & Highland AND Argyle (Vine) & Hollywood
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  Red line at Hollywood & Highland station

Hollywood Sign from Lake Hollywood Reservoir

Lake Hollywood
The Hollywood sign from Lake Hollywood.
Lake Hollywood, or Hollywood Reservoir, is one of the most picturesque places from which to view the famous Hollywood sign. The sign sits on the side of Mount Lee. The hike to the top of the peak is unfortunately not wheelchair accessible. There are, however, numerous other vantage points that allow spectacular views of the Los Angeles landmark. The viewing point pictured in the photo to the right does require a one mile walk/stroll/roll on a paved walkway which circles the lake. The pictured view is from Mulholland Dam. Other viewing perspectives are available from the lake grounds, but may be obstructed by chain-link fences which surround the reservoir. For more information on this and other locations for viewing the Hollywood sign, including a shuttle ride to the viewing platform at the Griffith Observatory, visit www.hollywoodsign.org.

J. Paul Getty Museum

Opened in 1974, the J. Paul Getty Museum, commonly referred to as “the Getty,” is an art museum with an extensive collection of Western art from the Middle Ages to the present. In 2013, the museum welcomed 1.7 million visitors, ranking it 27th globally. The Getty has one of the finest art collections in the United States. The artists represented in the collection include Canaletto, Vincent van Gogh, Manet, Claude Monet, Rembrandt and Renoir. These works of art are displayed in a breathtaking museum campus located at the top of a hill in the Brentwood neighborhood of Los Angeles. The Getty Center is wheelchair accessible throughout. Admission to the museum is provided free of charge to everyone. For more information on visiting the Getty, go to getty.edu/visit.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Route 734 at Sepulveda

Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA Philharmonic

Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall
The Los Angeles Disney Concert Hall.
Photo by John Morris/WheelchairTravel.org.
Built between 1999 and 2003, the Walt Disney Concert Hall sits in downtown Los Angeles. The hall was designed by architect Frank Gehry and is stunning in both structural beauty and acoustic quality. Much of the building’s exterior is composed of stainless steel in a matte finish. Certain parts of the exterior were given a brighter, mirror-like reflective finish. This reflective quality beamed the sunlight into neighboring buildings and condominiums and had to be corrected. In 2005, the offending panels were dulled. Despite the building’s reflective controversy, it is a world class performance venue. The Concert Hall is home to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale. The venue is fully accessible to wheelchair users and wheelchair seating is available at all price levels. Tours of the structure are also accessible, with access to all three levels of the hall, the garden and the aerial pathway. For more information on the accessibility features at the hall, visit www.musiccenter.org. To learn more about the L.A. Philharmonic, view schedules or purchase tickets to a performance, visit www.laphil.com. Performance schedules and tickets for the L.A. Master Chorale are available at www.lamc.org.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 14, 37, 493, 495 at 1st & Grand
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  3 blocks from Purple/Red lines at Civic Center/Grand Park station

Griffith Observatory

Situated on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in Griffith Park is the Griffith Observatory. Originally opened in 1936, the observatory closed between 2002 and 2006 for renovation and expansion. During that time, the observatory was brought into compliance with the ADA and space for a number of new exhibits was added. Standing outside the observatory, visitors will have stunning views of downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and the Pacific Ocean. Inside, the observatory has numerous exhibits on space discovery, exploration and science and is a popular tourist attraction. The observatory is equipped with a large planetarium and offers shows daily. Access to the observatory is provided free of charge to everyone. For more information or to plan a visit, go to www.griffithobservatory.org.
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Observatory Shuttle between Observatory and Vermont/Sunset Metro Rail (Red line) station; Saturday and Sunday only, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Professional Sports Teams

Five major professional sports teams reside in Los Angeles and all have accessible seating and wheelchair access. The NBA’s Lakers and Clippers, MLB’s Dodgers and Angels and NHL’s Kings each provide exciting game day experiences. Links to the team-specific accessibility information and ticket office phone numbers are listed below.

NBA – L.A. Lakers
Staples Center
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 28, 728 at Olympic & Figueroa; 81, 442, 460 at Figueroa & 11th
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  2 blocks from Blue/Expo lines at Pico station
Website – Disabled Access Info
(888) 929-7849

NBA – L.A. Clippers
Staples Center
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 28, 728 at Olympic & Figueroa; 81, 442, 460 at Figueroa & 11th
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  2 blocks from Blue/Expo lines at Pico station
Website – Disabled Access Info
(888) 929-7849

NHL – L.A. Kings
Staples Center
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Routes 28, 728 at Olympic & Figueroa; 81, 442, 460 at Figueroa & 11th
Subway Metro Icon Nearest Metro Rail:  2 blocks from Blue/Expo lines at Pico station
Website – Disabled Access Info
(888) 929-7849

MLB – Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodger Stadium
Subway Metro Icon Nearest BUS:  Dodger Stadium Express to Union Station
Website – Disabled Access Info
(866) 363-4377

MLB – Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Angel Stadium
Subway Metro Icon Nearest MetroLINK:  Orange County Line at Anaheim station
Website – Disabled Access Info
(714) 663-9000  /  TTY:  (714) 653-8000

Wheelchair Accessible Hotels in Los Angeles

Due to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the vast majority of hotels in the United States are wheelchair accessible and have rooms with roll-in showers. For individuals requiring an accessible hotel room with roll-in shower, we recommend booking with a major hotel chain such as Hilton or Marriott for the best experience.