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Expo Light Rail Opens in Santa Monica on May 20

A Time to Celebrate: New Mobility Options Arrive in Santa Monica

The public transportation landscape in Santa Monica is expanding as Expo Line Phase 2 opens on May 20. Mobility options include 500 Breeze bikes at 75 locations citywide, extended North-South corridor Big Blue Bus service connecting to each Expo Line Phase 2 stations, 1.5 miles of new off-street bike/pedestrian path along the Expo route in Santa Monica, and 12 pedestrian scrambles downtown. These, along with soon to launch Zipcar and additional rideshare services, provide more flexibility for Santa Monica residents and workers while reducing vehicle congestion and emissions.

They also align with the City's mobility goals. "It's a great time to be living and working in Santa Monica. People can move around our city and in and out of L.A. without relying on a car," said Mayor Tony Vazquez. "This $1.5 billion investment brings a new level of regional accessibility to Santa Monica and we want to mark this transportation game-changer by energizing the community and showing them how these options can impact their daily lives. We know traffic is a big local concern, and it's our hope that everyone coming to, or from Santa Monica will take this opportunity to try these new transportation options."

Over the next few months, the City will focus on making transit options in Santa Monica more accessible to residents, employees and visitors. This will be done through education opportunities on topics including how to ride Expo, where to get a TAP card, connection information between Metro and Big Blue Bus and other practical questions.

There are three key events scheduled to celebrate the arrival of the train, which provides another option to get around Los Angeles. Here's a look at preliminary information on Expo's opening festivities and opportunities to learn and try these new transit options.

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Expo Line Phase 2 Opening Ceremony - Friday, May 20

An opening ceremony hosted by Metro will kick off service on the Expo Line, which is the first scheduled passenger train in Santa Monica since the Red Car ended service in 1948. There will be a banner break just east of the Downtown Station located at Colorado and 4th Street. Elected officials from Los Angeles, Metro, Expo and Santa Monica will converge to officially open the seven stations that are part of the Expo Line Phase 2 extension. The line is expected to be open to the public in the afternoon and rides will be free.

For more information about opening weekend, go to

For Metro Expo Line marketing tools, go to the Partner Toolkit.

Station Celebrations - Saturday, May 21

Station celebrations will be hosted at all three Santa Monica stations at 26th St/Bergamot Station (at Olympic and 26 th Street), and 17th St/SMC Station (at Colorado and 17th Street), and Downtown Santa Monica Station (at Colorado and 4th Street) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and fares will be free on May 21 on the Expo Line as well as on Big Blue Bus and Breeze Bike Share. Each station will celebrate the opening and various locations will provide information about local transportation options, and encourage attendees to get out and about to enjoy local businesses and activities happening throughout the day.

Click HERE for the event program and over 40 local specials offered throughout the weekend.  

Coast, Santa Monica's Open Streets Event - Sunday, June 5

Residents and visitors are invited to enjoy approximately 2 miles of car-free streets around the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Station on Sunday, June 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Coast, Santa Monica's Open Streets Event presented by Metro encourages Santa Monicans to walk or bike to this event where they'll have a chance to discover local arts and culture, learn about sustainability, and explore new mobility options. The event commemorates the beginning of Expo, and gives Santa Monicans an opportunity to experience our multi-modal city with rail, bus, bike share and car share (Zipcar will become available this spring).  Pedestrian and bicycle access will be provided along Main Street from Marine to Colorado, Colorado from Ocean Avenue to 5th Street, and along Ocean Avenue from Colorado to Wilshire. Local businesses, organizations, community groups, and City departments will be actively involved in this citywide event, including producing interactive, engaging activity hubs along the route. This event is being held in lieu of the Santa Monica Festival for 2016. Metro awarded the City a $200,000 open streets grant which partially funds the event.

Street Closure Information

Event Postcard, Poster and Map (English and Spanish)

Event Website: 

Buy Local Santa Monica is also organizing an additional event on June 5 called LA Crawl.  Click here for more.

Additional Expo Updates:

Metro conducts pre-revenue service testing every 12-20 minutes

  • For Frequently Asked Questions about the Expo click here.
  • The full report presented to City Council in February 2016 is here. A summary document is located here which includes updates from 7 working groups set up to prepare for the train including Public Safety, First/Last Mile Connection, Traffic/Circulation, Maintenance & Operations, Maintenance Yard/Buffer Park, Commuters/Riders/Outreach and Launch/Opening.


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