Actual Southern California locations
where 1994's "Speed"
With the bus driver shot and
Sandra now behind the wheel, the bus (that can't slow down
below 50 MPH) finds itself heading towards a traffic jam on the freeway.
Keanu tells Sandra
to pull off the freeway on the next offramp, and she does - at 50 MPH -
smashing signs and
cars as the bus barrels down the shoulder of the offramp.
At first glance, this appears
to be an easy location to identify. There are street signs everywhere
that read "Western Avenue". And since the bus is supposed
to be headed east on the
Santa Monica Freeway, Western Ave would seem to make sense. But look closer...
As the bus careens down the offramp, the first thing we see is a Hilton
Hotel. Then we see a
building with the words "Molina Medical Center".
Neither are to be found on Western Ave.
In fact, we're not even in
L.A. any more! When Sandra pulls that bus off the freeway, the camera
jumps 15 miles away to Long Beach. Yes, Long Beach!
That's the Long Beach
Hilton we see at the base of the "offramp". It's address is 701
W. Ocean Blvd.
And the address of that Molina Medical Center is 1
Golden Shore St., in Long Beach.
Worse, what we're really looking
at isn't even really a freeway offramp!
If you're heading west on Shoreline
Drive in Long Beach, you will end up on the north-bound
Long Beach (710) Freeway. But just before you go onto the freeway, they
give you an
opportunity to instead pull off on a circular ramp that leads back around
to Ocean Blvd,
(Long Beach's main coastal route). That is the ramp that they used
as the "Western Avenue"
freeway exit. What you are really looking at is this Shoreline
Drive exit to Ocean Blvd.
The offramp is located where Ocean Blvd meets
Golden Shore Street, just east of where
Ocean Blvd hits the Los Angeles River, near the south end of Long Beach
The bus survives the offramp,
and as it heads off on "Western", a garbage
into the path of the bus, forcing Sandra to swerve around it into the left,
This scene was shot in Long Beach,
with the bus heading east on Ocean Blvd.
swerve appears to happen just west of the intersection
of Ocean & Long Beach Blvd.
The camera is looking east in the photo
above, and the tall building you can see in
the distance (in the upper right corner) is the Villa Riviera,
a Long Beach landmark,
located at the southeast corner of Ocean Blvd and Shoreline Drive, in Long
Sandra successfully avoids
hitting the bus, and continues driving - still on the wrong
side of the street.
The stacked / tiered building you see behind the bus in the photo below
is located at the northeast
corner of Ocean Blvd and Long Beach Blvd.
(The camera is looking north,
and the bus is traveling east on Ocean.)
When Sandra finally manages to swerve
back into the right lane, she does it at the
intersection of Ocean Blvd & Linden Avenue.
(the camera is looking northwest.)
One of the most dramatic moments
in the film comes when a woman pushing a baby carriage steps out in front of the oncoming bus, and Sandra is unable
to stop. The bus smashes into
the carriage, sending it flying - but it turns out that the carriage was
just full of empty cans.
Now a few seconds ago, we were
in Long Beach. Hold on tight, because the movie
once again suddenly leaps miles away (30 miles this time) for this next
The woman pushing the baby carriage steps off the curb at at the southwest
corner of Pico Blvd and West Blvd, in south central
Los Angeles. The bus is heading west on
and the woman is walking south, across
Pico, when her carriage is struck. *
In the photo above,
the camera is looking west down Pico
Blvd, just before West Blvd.
In the photo below, the camera is looking back east
on Pico. But once again, the producers
fooled the audience. The second ("after") shot was actually
filmed several blocks to
the east of the first carriage
shot, even though the bus is traveling west.
Locations marked by an asterisk (*) may
be located in high-crime areas.
Exercise reasonable caution.