Long Beach is a city situated in Los Angeles County in Southern California, on the Pacific coast of the United States. The city is the 36th-largest city in the nation and the seventh-largest in California. As of 2010, its population was 462,257. In addition, Long Beach is the second largest city within Greater Los Angeles and a principal city of the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana metropolitan area.
Long Beach is located in Los Angeles County, about 20 miles (32 km) south of downtown Los Angeles and 105 miles (169 km) north of San Diego. Long Beach borders Orange County on its southeast edge and other Gateway Cities to the west and north.
The City of Long Beach's vision is to be the most bicycle friendly urban city in the nation. The City of Long Beach has five major Class 1 bike paths (separate off road bike paths) within its boundaries, encompassing over 60 miles (97 km). The City also has many Class 2 (painted lanes on roadway) and Class 3 paths (connecting bike routes with shared use of road with cars). The 3.1-mile (5.0 km) Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath runs along the ocean from Shoreline Village to Belmont Shore. The southern terminus of the L.A. River bicycle path is located in southwest Long Beach between Downtown and the Port. The southern terminus of the San Gabriel River bicycle path is located just east of Long Beach in Seal Beach, and the trail runs north through the El Dorado Park neighborhood in east Long Beach and adjacent to El Dorado Regional Park.
The city's green lane project in Belmont Shore (sharrows, bike boxes) earned an award from the Institute of Transportation Engineers for best innovative project of the year (2010). In an effort to provide sustainable transportation alternatives to the community, as well as a safe route to several neighborhood schools, the City of Long Beach is also installing a “bike boulevard” on Vista Street, extending from Temple Avenue to Nieto Avenue.
In April of 2011, new separated bikeways were added to two streets in downtown Long Beach along Broadway and 3rd Street – between Alamitos Ave. and Golden Ave. These are one way streets with two lanes of through traffic, one parking lane and a protected bikeway. Bike signals are installed at intersections to control safe crossing of cyclists in the separated lanes and regulate motor vehicle left turns across the bikeway.
New bikeway signs can be found throughout Long Beach to identify designated bike routes and provide wayfinding information for cyclists. Generally you will find even numbers assigned to east/west routes; odd numbers assigned to north/south routes; and route numbers increasing as they progress from south to north. The signage was funded through a grant provided by Metro, and they include new route numbers that have been assigned to all bike paths, bike lanes and bike routes that correspond to the City’s new bike map. Complete maps of the city's bike-friendly roadways can be found at http://bikelongbeach.org/Maps/Default.aspx.
Long Beach Transit provides local public transportation services within Long Beach, Lakewood, and Signal Hill. Long Beach Transit regularly operates 38 bus routes. Bus routes are computer scheduled to ensure excellent on time performance. Most regular service bus routes begin or end at the Long Beach Transit Mall in Downtown Long Beach.
Long Beach Transit also operates the Passport shuttle routes. All four Passport shuttles are free within downtown Long Beach west of Alamitos Ave and require the standard fare otherwise. The red Passport mini-shuttles carry passengers to the Aquarium of the Pacific, Pine Ave, Shoreline Village, the Long Beach Convention Center, the Queen Mary, Catalina Landing, the East Village, and other points of interest. During the summer, Long Beach Transit operates the AquaLink, a 68-foot (21 m) catamaran that carries passengers between the Downtown Long Beach waterfront and the Alamitos Bay Landing. In addition, during the summer, they operate 49-passenger water taxis called the AquaBus. With $1 fares, the AquaBus serves six different locations within the downtown Long Beach waterfront.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LA Metro) provides public transportation services at the county level. LA Metro operates the Metro Blue Line, a light rail service that runs between the Long Beach Transit Mall in downtown Long Beach and the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in Downtown Los Angeles. From 7th Street/Metro Center Station, passengers can make connections to Hollywood, Union Station, Pasadena, East LA, Universal Studios, Chinatown, and other points of interest along the Los Angeles Metro Rail network. The Metro Blue Line also offers connection to the Metro Green Line at Imperial/Wilmington Station with service to Redondo Beach, Norwalk, and Los Angeles International Airport via an additional shuttle connection. The Metro Blue Line Maintenance Shops are also located in Long Beach just south of the Del Amo Blue Line station.
Several transit operators offer services from the Long Beach Transit Mall. Torrance Transit offers bus service to the South Bay. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) offers bus service to San Pedro. LA Metro operates other regional bus lines.
Orange County Transportation Authority offers limited bus service to Orange County. Route 1, from Long Beach to San Clemente is the longest bus route in the OCTA system. Traveling along Pacific Coast Highway for most of the route, it takes 2-2.5 hrs to complete.
Amtrak Thruway offers bus shuttles starting in San Pedro, with stops at the Queen Mary and downtown Long Beach, that then goes to Union Station in downtown Los Angeles, and ends in Bakersfield.
Greyhound Lines operates the Long Beach Station in downtown Long Beach.
A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Long Beach the eleventh most walkable of fifty largest U.S. cities.