In a repeat of last year’s multi-city marches for human rights and gender justice, the Women’s March returns to LA this weekend with a focus on “marginalized voices and the power of voting.”
This year’s march in Downtown LA is not expected to draw the approximately 750,000 women, men, and children that attended last year, but organizers say they are still expecting a big crowd—about 200,000—at Pershing Square and along the route. If you’re planning to attend, prepare accordingly.
So far, about 63,000 people have RSVP’d to the Facebook event page, so chances are good that crowds and street closures Downtown will make driving directly to the march (let alone parking) pretty difficult. If you’re considering going, but aren’t sure how to get there, we’ve put together some tips for how to travel to Pershing Square.
Taking the subway’s Red or Purple lines is probably the easiest and most direct way to get to the march. Both lines stop at the Pershing Square station and—being subway routes—won’t be affected by street closures. (If you don’t have one already, remember to buy your TAP card ahead of time.)
Anticipating crowds, Metro is scheduled to run more frequent service on rail lines from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., with longer trains on the Expo, Blue, Gold, Purple and Red lines.
The Source notes that, in order to keep crowds moving through the station smoothly, the station’s Fifth and Hill portal will be enter-only during the march, and the Fourth and Hill portals will be exit-only. Riders in wheelchairs or with strollers may use the elevator at Fifth and Hill to enter or exit.
The city of West Hollywood will provide free shuttle service to the Red Line’s Hollywood/Highland station on the day of the march. The shuttles will leave West Hollywood starting at 7 a.m., making multiple stops on the way to the subway station (schedule and map here). The last shuttle back to WeHo will leave Hollywood/Highland station at 4 p.m.
The Blue, Expo, and Gold Lines all link up with the Red and Purple Lines in the Downtown area (the first two connect at the Seventh Street/Metro Center Station; the third connects at Union Station). All three routes have numerous park-and-ride lots situated next to stations, so if you don’t live within walking distance of a Metro stop, driving to the train is always an option.
If you’re Downtown already, LADOT’s inexpensive DASH buses provide easy access to Pershing Square. Routes E and F run on weekends and have stops within a few blocks of the park. Otherwise, over a dozen Metro bus routes make a stop at Pershing Square, with many others passing nearby.
Metro’s mobile app may help make navigating the county’s extensive bus network a bit easier.
Metro doesn’t appear to have a list of all the bus detours available yet, but does say that they’ll be providing live updates on service detours via Twitter at the accounts @metroLAalerts and @metrolosangeles.
Have a bike? Great! That will come in handy navigating through a crowded Downtown area. Don’t have one? Not to worry. Metro’s Downtown bike share program is up-and-running. That will be especially useful if you choose to park near Downtown or show up a little late and need to quickly catch up with the marchers. Conveniently, there are numerous hubs to borrow and return the bikes between Pershing Square and City Hall.
Other helpful things to know
- There is a large parking lot beneath Pershing Square that’s open all day. Of course, like we said, the event is likely to be crowded, so if you are committed to driving, get there early (marchers will start gathering at 8:30 a.m.).
- If you’re ride-hailing to the event, organizers suggest that you get dropped off at Seventh and Olive.
Correction: A previous version of this post misidentified which DASH buses run on weekends in proximity to Pershing Square.