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Tips on getting around this New Year's Eve

Los Angeles Police Department officers conduct a field sobriety and driver's license checkpoint in Hollywood. 5/24/2014
Scott Liebenson via Flickr
FILE: Los Angeles Police Department officers conduct field sobriety and driver's license checks in Hollywood in 2014. Watch for similar checkpoints this week.

If you're planning to head out this New Year's Eve, you'll need a good getaway plan. Even if you stick to the Martinelli's, navigating busy roads on the biggest party night of the year can be a bear.

In downtown Los Angeles, several streets will be closed for the New Year's Eve event in Grand Park:

  • Grand Avenue between First and Temple
  • Olive Street between Second and First
  • Hill, Broadway, Spring and Main between Temple and Second
  • Temple Street off-ramp on the southbound 101 Freeway

You've got some choices if you don't want to drive.

Option 1: Public transit

All the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and trains will be free between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. New Year's Eve. All rail lines, plus the Orange and Silver Line bus services, will run extended overnight service. Other lines will operate on their normal weekday schedules. You can find all the schedules at Metro's website and by using the Google Maps App.

Orange County will offer free bus service from 6 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., and Long Beach buses will be free from 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m.

Option 2: Ride-hailing services

Last New Year's Eve, about 2 million people around the country used Uber to get around, but some complained of high prices.

Both Uber and Lyft raise their prices as demand increases to lure more drivers to the road. Uber's surge pricing can jump to about seven times higher than normal while Lyft might bump up fares by 400 percent. More on that here.

Uber predicts the costliest time will run from 12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m., but some veteran drivers lamented on a KPCC Facebook post that last year's NYE business faltered due to hyped up concerns over prices and an overabundance of drivers on the road.

Both apps have fare estimator calculators so passengers won't be surprised by the price.

Drivers ask that passengers drop their pin in a convenient pick-up location if they are at a particularly crowded venue. Ride-hail cars must comply with California laws, so don't bring open containers of alcohol and make sure to wear your seatbelt.

If you're confused about whether to tip, check out our story on the issue.

Option 3: Traditional taxis

Taxis don't have surge pricing because fares are regulated by the taxi commission. Hailing a taxi can take longer than using Uber or Lyft unless you are in a central location, such as a hotel.

New apps Flywheel and Curb attempt to replicate the Uber experience, allowing users to hail, track and pay for their taxi on their smartphone.

You can also call one of the nine taxi companies that operate in L.A.

Option 4: Tipsy Tow

For the 20th year in a row, AAA is offering free towing service from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. An auto club affiliated tow truck will haul a vehicle seven miles for free and transport the driver but not any passengers. To request the service, call 800-400-4222.

If you are driving, be careful and keep an eye out for DUI checkpoints.

Those venturing out New Year's Day to the Rose Parade or Rose Bowl in Pasadena should be advised that parking is very limited. The Gold Line will have longer trains and more frequent service to accommodate parade-goers.

Use Gold Line Pasadena stations Del Mar, Memorial Park, Lake and Allen to access Colorado Boulevard and the parade route.

To access the Rose Bowl by transit, take the Gold Line to Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. When exiting the station, turn right on Holly Street then take a short, two-block walk to Parsons Parking Lot B for the free shuttle that drops you off next to the stadium.

Shuttle service begins at 10 a.m. on Jan. 1 and runs until about two hours after the game.