SANTA MONICA—The new Expo Line Phase 2 will open in Santa Monica on May 20 and will include transportation options such as 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 a new off-street bike/pedestrian path along the Expo route in Santa Monica, and 12 pedestrian scrambles downtown. The city will also be launching new Zip cars and other ride share opportunities in order to reduce emissions within the city.
Over the next few months, Santa Monica will be enhancing its efforts to educate the public on the new transit opportunities that the city will be offering. Topics that will be focused on include how to ride Expo, where to get a TAP card, connection information between Metro and Big Blue Bus and other practical transportation questions.
In a press release from the city of Santa Monica, Mayor Tony Vazquez stated the following regarding the new mobility options: “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. 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.”
The city has scheduled three events in May to feature and celebrate the new transit opportunities.
The first event will be the Expo Line Phase 2 Opening Ceremony taking place on Friday, May 20. A banner break will take place just east of the Downtown Station at Colorado and 4th Street. Elected officials from Los Angeles, Metro, Expo Line and Santa Monica will all be in attendance to officially open all seven new stations involved in the extension. The line is expected to be open to the public by the afternoon and all rides will be free. This will be the first train in Santa Monica since the Red Car ended service in 1948.
Station activities will take place at all three Santa Monica stations on Saturday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and fares will be free for the day on the Expo Line as well as the Big Blue Bus and Breeze Bike Share. Information about all the new transit opportunities will be available at all stations during the celebration. The stations involved are the 26th Street/Bergamot Station (at Olympic and 26th Street), 17th/SMC Station (at Colorado and 17th Street), and the Downtown Santa Monica Station (at Colorado and 4th Street).
On Sunday, June 5, residents are invited to attend the Coast, Santa Monica’s Open Street Event. There will be approximately two miles of car-free streets around the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Station from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event is presented by Metro and residents are encouraged to walk or bike to the event where they will discover new transportation opportunities within the city, and embrace local arts and culture.
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. The event is partially funded by a $200,000 open streets grant that was awarded to Santa Monica by Metro. Local businesses, organizations, community groups, and city departments are working actively together to put on this event for the residents of Santa Monica.