The location: Trey's Bus Station.

Q. What is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. A bus station.

Q. Where is it supposed to be on the show?

    A. The location isn't specified, but somewhere in Newport Beach.

Q. When did we see it on the show?

    A. In Episode 1 of Season three, "The Aftermath".

    Ryan's trouble-making brother, Trey, was shot by Marissa in an earlier episode (during a fight with Ryan, and after he had earlier tried to rape Marissa on the beach).

    While Trey is recovering in the hospital, Marissa's mother, Julie, blackmails/bribes Trey to lie and say that Ryan shot him.

    But with Marissa's prompting, Trey's conscience eventually comes around, and in this scene, he has left the hospital in the middle of the night and is about to hop a bus to Vegas.

    Ryan, finding the hospital bed empty, rushes to the bus station, arriving just in time to see Trey wave goodbye, as the bus pulls away. Sandy arrives and comforts Ryan.

    ( This same general location (a few yards to the north) was seen again in the show's final episode, "The End's Not Near, It's Here", in the scene where Summer is seen protesting an industrial site. )

Q. What is it actually in real life?

    A. Just a street corner, made to resemble a bus station.

Q. Where can I find it in real life?

    A. They used a street located right next to Manhattan Beach Studios (where The OC is filmed) - literally right across the street from the studio.

    They shot it at the south end of N. Redondo Ave., in Manhattan Beach, where the street ends at the studio gate.

    Trey's bus is facing north on Redondo Avenue, on the east side of that street, at a stop sign just south of 33rd Street. Ryan's car is heading west on 33rd Street and comes to a stop at the corner of 33rd & Redondo Ave.  He rushes (southwest) over to Trey's bus, which is sitting in the northbound lanes of Redondo Avenue.

    ( They have parked another bus sideways (east-west) across the end of Redondo Avenue to conceal the studio gate, and to make it look more like a bus station. )

    As Trey waves goodbye, the bus pulls away, and heads north on Redondo Avenue, towards Rosecrans Ave. Ryan is left standing on Redondo Avenue, where they have also put up a (fake) blue sign reading "Welcome to Newport Beach".

    As the bus leaves, it passes the Edison Galaxy Substation at the southwest corner of N. Redondo Avenue & 33rd Street. This is where they filmed Summer's protest in the final episode.

    Here is an aerial photo from Live Local, with the filming locations marked.

    And here is a map link.

Q. How the heck did you figure out where it was?

    A. I had earlier found the location of Summer's protest, and even though this bus scene was shot after dark, when I took a second look at it, I recognized the barbed wire-topped fence that appeared in Summer's scene. So I blew up the screen shots of the bus scene, lightened them, and compared the details I uncovered with aerial photos of the Redondo Avenue location... they all matched: the stop signs, the painted turn arrows on the street, the bushes, the fences, the street dividers...

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