Southern California Day Trips

Hockey Train

I love the LA Kings. I still remember when Wayne Gretzky joined in the late 80s. LA was on top of the world with the dominant Lakers and then the greatest hockey player joined our hockey team. Ah, the 80s. How I miss you, my favorite decade.

But, for a period of time I became an Anaheim Ducks fan, especially when they became the Ducks instead of the Mighty Ducks. I’m not a traitor; I went to high school in Anaheim and was a junior when the team started. Once I resettled permanently in LA I went back to my roots and became a diehard Kings fan once again.

So when I needed to meet someone last night at a Ducks game that started at 7 pm on a Monday night, my immediate thought was, “My God, traffic from Downtown LA is gonna suck.” And then I remembered, ARTIC: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center and that I can take a train (either Metrolink or Amtrak) to see the Ducks.

At just before 5 pm in Downtown Los Angeles, I boarded the subway to Union Station, a $1.75 ride. I bought my train ticket to Anaheim for $15, and from Union Station I took the 5:10 pm Amtrak Surfliner towards San Diego. Anaheim was the second stop, and I arrived at 5:50 pm. Had I taken a car I would have crawled to Anaheim and who knows how long it would have taken me.

The ARTIC is a stunning building that sits just on the either side of the parking lot of Angels Stadium and a third of a mile from the front doors of the Honda Center where the Ducks play.

As you walk through it you feel like you are in a futuristic film, though you know that this is what stations in the year 2017 are supposed to look like: well-lit, organized, easy to navigate and with plenty of food options.

When I exited the main front entrance of the station, I was in a well-lit parking lot. After a short well-lit walk, I made it to JT Schmidt’s, a solid, family-friendly brewery and restaurant with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating to catch dinner before the game. Once finished, I walked across Katella Avenue and was at the Honda Center in time for the opening faceoff.

Towards the end of the game they post the train times (for going South towards San Diego and North back to LA). The game ended at 9:35, and the next train back to LA didn’t leave until 11. JT Schmidt’s for a night cap was an option, but instead I got a Lyft back to the South Bay, which was $50 with tip.

All told, my transportation costs to the game were $66.75. Considering the cheapest parking at the game was offfsite for $20, the amount I saved in gas, toll fees (because I probably would have taken the 110 Express Lanes to the 91 to cut a bit of the traffic at 5 pm rushhour, even though that would have cost me $15) and stress, I came out ahead because I was able to work on my phone on the train ride down and the Lyft ride back.

So, score one for Hockey Train. I will use it again. I will also use it the next time I go to an Angels game.

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