complex multimodal regional, national and international hub for passenger and freight traffic
Los Angeles has a complex multimodal transportation infrastructure, which serves as a regional, national and international hub for passenger and freight traffic. The system includes the United States’ largest port complex; an extensive freight and passenger rail infrastructure, including light rail lines and subway lines; numerous airports and bus lines; Transportation Network Companies; and an extensive freeway and road system. People in Los Angeles rely on cars as the dominant mode of transportation, but since 1990 Los Angeles Metro Rail has built over one hundred miles (160 km) of light and heavy rail serving more and more parts of Los Angeles.
In the Los Angeles metropolitan area, there are five commercial airports and many more general-aviation airports.
The primary Los Angeles airport is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The seventh busiest commercial airport in the world and the third busiest in the United States, LAX handled 61.9 million passengers, 1.884 million metric tons (2.077 million short tons; 1.854 million long tons) of cargo and 680,954 aircraft movements in 2007.
Other major nearby commercial airports include: LA/Ontario International Airport (serves the Inland Empire); Bob Hope Airport (formerly known as Burbank Airport; serves the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys); Long Beach Airport (serves the Long Beach/Harbor area); and John Wayne Airport (serves the Orange County area).
The world’s busiest general-aviation airport is also located in Los Angeles, Van Nuys Airport. Santa Monica Airport is also located near Los Angeles.
Intercity train services
Union Station is the major regional train station for Amtrak, Metrolink and Metro Rail. The station is Amtrak’s fifth busiest station, having 1,464,289 Amtrak boardings and de-boardings in 2006. Amtrak operates eleven daily round trips between San Diego and Los Angeles, five of which continue to Santa Barbara via the Pacific Surfliner, the only service that runs through Los Angeles multiple times daily. Two of those trips continue to San Luis Obispo, California. The Coast Starlight provides additional service on the route and beyond to the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, and on to Seattle, Washington. Amtrak motor coaches connect from Los Angeles to the San Joaquin Route in Bakersfield with frequent service through the Central Valley of California to Sacramento and Oakland, and eastward to San Bernardino and Las Vegas.
There is also daily service to Chicago, Illinois on the Southwest Chief, and three times a week to New Orleans, Louisiana on the Sunset Limited. Due to the effects from Hurricane Katrina, Sunset Limited service between New Orleans to Jacksonville, Florida has been discontinued, although Amtrak is required by current Federal Law to develop a plan to reinstate the service. The Texas Eagle is a second train to Chicago, which operates thrice weekly. Sunset Limited and