The new Hollywood Bowl rideshare lot is a total game changer. Here’s how it works


Being at the Hollywood Bowl to see a show is a magical experience. Getting there? Not so much, thanks to streets that get so clogged with traffic that it sometimes feels like every single one of the 17,000 people filling the storied venue to capacity are behind the wheel of their own car inching slowly up Highland Avenue.

Years ago, in an effort to make sure we got to the Bowl on time — reliably, every time — with a minimum amount of stress, my wife and I abandoned the idea of driving ourselves and parking on-site (a logistical nightmare) or taking one of the several shuttle buses from afar (an extra step that some swear by but requires the patience of a saint), in favor of taking a rideshare, building in an extra hour and wearing comfortable shoes.

Once the traffic inching up Highland Boulevard toward the Bowl slowed from a crawl to a near-complete standstill — which it absolutely always did with at least a quarter mile left to go — we’d disembark and make the rest of the way on foot. On the return, we’d try to beat the congestion and demand by hoofing it all the way down to Hollywood Boulevard before hailing a ride home. Neither of us particularly relished adding a mile-long walk to the end of the night, but the trade-off was avoiding the worst of the inevitable rideshare chaos.

Last time we went, though, things were different. Instead of heading up Highland and straight into the inevitable sea of Bowl-bound traffic, our driver took a circuitous route through the hills, emerged onto Cahuenga Boulevard and headed south. Sensing what seemed to be an epic blunder that would take us directly into the maw of vehicular misadventure, we exchanged nervous glances in the back seat and checked our watches. Then he did something wholly unexpected. Instead of continuing south straight toward the Bowl, he crossed over the Hollywood Freeway (via Pilgrimage Bridge), then headed south, taking the graceful arc of a right turn onto Odin Street. A few minutes later, we found ourselves disgorged onto a triangular patch of land across Highland from the Bowl’s entrance, which we could easily access via a pedestrian underpass.

After the show (James Taylor is still killin’ it in concert, btw), instead of slogging a mile down Highland to call a car, we just retraced our steps back through the pedestrian tunnel to the magical triangle where fleets of recently hailed Ubers, Lyfts and the occasional Alto arrived — also via Odin street — and slotted into numbered rows to make it easier to locate a driver once they arrive. Within about 15 minutes (lightspeed in Bowl terms), we were onboard, waved into a Highland southbound lane and on our way home. It was a game-changing, Bowl-going rideshare experience that shaved a good two hours and a 1.25-mile hike off our transit time.

That triangular space used to be the Bowl’s parking lot C, and its conversion into a streamlined rideshare hub was quietly announced on the venue’s website in mid-March — along with plans to dedicate part of lot B (the stacked-parking lot adjacent to the Hollywood Bowl) to mass transit. According to a representative for the L.A. Phil, which manages the Bowl, the venue averages about 1,000 rideshare cars per night.

The new rideshare setup, which went into effect when the season kicked off on April 11 (with the Jimmy Buffett tribute concert “Keep the Party Going”), resulted in cutting 350 of the venue’s 1,700 available stacked-parking spots.

The new Hollywood Bowl rideshare hub lot C is bounded by Highland Avenue, the 101 Freeway and Odin Street.

(Courtesy of the L.A. Phil)

While that was certainly bad news for anyone trying to snag one of those remaining 1,350 spots, I can tell you from firsthand experience that for the rideshare crowd, it’s game-changing good news.

The Hollywood Bowl rideshare hub lot C is located at 6655 Odin St. Information on additional transportation options, including shuttle buses and onsite parking, can be found at hollywoodbowl.com.



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