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Information for air travelers

If you will be flying into the area there are several options for traveling to Pasadena. Where you will be staying will determine which mode of transportation is best for you. Several options include:

  • Ride sharing services
  • Fly-Away Bus with Metro Rail
  • Rental Car

We highly recommend you read more information about getting to the Pasadena area and moving around Los Angeles in the Caltech Transit Guide. Please also note that when booking flights, be sure to check for flights flying to the Burbank airport in addition to LAX. Often flights into Burbank can be cheaper, and Burbank is closer to Caltech.

Ride sharing services: Both Uber and Lyft serve as options for picking-up and/or dropping-off passengers at LAX. The services can do drop-off directly at your terminal, however, due to construction, the pick-up location has been moved away from the standard location to the "LAX-it" space. In principle one could walk there from the terminal, but there is also a free shuttle which comes every 7 minutes. Please see LAX-it for more details. The price for a ride from LAX to Caltech is roughly $50, but it depends on surge charges. Both services offer carpool options in LA.

Fly-Away Bus with MetroRail: Go to Ground Transportation Level and look for the "Fly-Away Bus" sign along the curb. Take the bus that goes to Union Station. Once at Union Station you can buy your bus ticket for USD 9.75 (debit and credit cards only, no cash unless booked online in advance) and present it to the driver to retrieve your luggage. Then, enter Union Station and take the Metro Gold Line north to Pasadena. You will need to buy a TAP card at any of the kiosks there and add USD 1.75 value to cover your metro fare to Pasadena. If staying at the Vagabond Inn you will want to exit at the Lake Station. If staying at the Saga Motor Hotel you will want to exit at the Allen Station. Please see the Caltech Transit Guide for more information and for Metro Rail hours of operation.

Rental Car: You can rent a car from most of the airports in the area. We encourage you to look for rates through the company and/or travel websites.

The Caltech campus hosts a few Zipcar vehicles on S. Holliston Ave. and San Pasqual St. (on the east side of campus) that you can rent for the times that you actually need the vehicle. It is sometimes more cost-effective to use the usual rental car venues when needing a car for more than half of a day.