Let a Bus Take You to the Bowl
I don’t know what we did before we discovered Hollywood Bowl Park and Ride. The bus fare is reasonable, and they leave everywhere from Chatsworth to Torrance to Arcadia. Not to mention, they let you kick back and drink wine with abandon once you get to the show. It’s a pretty smooth operation, but you can still benefit from our hard-learned Hollywood Bowl Park and Ride tips.
Buying your park and ride ticket online is worth it.
You may feel silly because you only save like $1.50 once Ticketmaster fees are added on, but buying your ticket ahead of time allows you to skip the line for the bus. Very nice!
Where You Sit on the Bus Matters
Try to avoid the back, where it is bouncy and the smell of exhaust is overwhelming.
Where You Sit at the Bowl Matters
You officially have twenty minutes to get to your bus after the concert ends. In reality, you have a little more time than that, as they fill the buses one at a time and there are most likely many buses going to your destination. But you still don’t have a ton of time, especially if you are in the cheap seats and have a long way down. The Bowl is a notorious cluster-you-know-what to exit, with bottleneck upon bottleneck. It can easily take you twenty minutes to get to the street. That is why my number one Hollywood Bowl Park and Ride Tip is to avoid getting Bowl seats on the left (if you are looking at the stage). Avoid the K sections and U and X. E is probably fine, since you are so far down. We sat in U once and despite getting up the second the encore was over, we almost missed our last bus because it took so long to travel the length AND full width of the Bowl. My favorite Park and Ride sections that are fairly easy to exit and still not too terribly off center are F1, L1 and Q1.
Prepare to be Confused the First Time
When your bus arrives at the Bowl, a person in a green shirt will get on and yell instructions on how to find your bus when the show is over. What green shirt says appears to make perfect sense until the show is actually over and you are looking for your bus. That “middle row” she talked about is now six middle rows. That number she promised would be on the windshield is not there. That tunnel she said to take has two exits- which one is yours? I know I just said “prepare to be confused the first time” but the fact of the matter is, it is like this every time. You’ll just be less panicky after the first time. When you make it to the buses, if you don’t see your bus immediately, don’t bother searching rows and squinting at signs. Just (figuratively) grab the first green shirt or reflective vest person you see and ask. I promise you will be very glad you did.
Other Hollywood Bowl Park and Ride Tips
The buses are mostly city buses and don’t have seat belts.
The drivers range from competent and friendly to surly and lost. Like literally, had-to-ask-for-directions lost.
Most Park and Ride trips are moderately pleasant and uneventful. If you find yourself in gridlock traffic stuck in the bouncy, exhaust filled back surrounded by loud drunk people screaming out song lyrics and political opinions, remind yourself that it is still better than drinking and driving.