As part of the celebrations for the opening of the Expo Line to Santa Monica on Friday, May 20, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) will offer free rides on Friday and Saturday and will hold station celebrations on Saturday, May 21.
The free rides will be on the entire Expo Line, from 7th St/Metro Center to Downtown Santa Monica. On Friday, free rides will begin at noon and will continue until the close of service. On Saturday, May 21, the free rides will start at 4:42 a.m. in Downtown Santa Monica and at 4:45 a.m. at 7th/Metro Center and will last until the end of service around 2 a.m.
“We invite the public to join us on Friday and Saturday to celebrate the historic opening of the Metro Expo Line to Santa Monica,” said Metro CEO Phillip A. Washington. “We encourage the community to enjoy this new light-rail line service and see for themselves how close to the beach Metro can get you.”
The station celebrations will be Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the following new stations: Downtown Santa Monica, 17th St/SMC, 26th St/Bergamot, Expo/Bundy and Palms. The Culver City Station that has been open since 2012 will be joining the celebrations. Entertainment, children’s activities, food trucks, bike valet and bike-pit stops and information booths are among the activities.
About the Expo Line Extension
The $1.5-billion, 6.6-mile light rail project from Culver City to Santa Monica has seven new stations: Palms, Westwood/Rancho Park, Expo/Sepulveda, Expo/Bundy, 26th Street/Bergamot, 17th Street/Santa Monica College and Downtown Santa Monica. Each station features original art.
Three stations will have park-and-ride facilities: Expo/Sepulveda (260 parking spaces), Expo/Bundy (250 parking spaces) and 17th Street/Santa Monica College (70 parking spaces).
The Expo Line to Santa Monica includes a paved bike path that runs along most of the right-of-way between Culver City and the 17th Street/SMC Station. The bikeway includes lighting and landscaping, and each station has secure bike racks and lockers for the convenience of cyclists using the Metro system.
The new rail maintenance facility in Santa Monica can house up to 48 light-rail vehicles and will operate on a 24/7 basis.
Expo Line Phase 2 was built by the Expo Construction Authority, an independent transportation planning and construction agency. It was largely funded by Measure R, the half-cent sales tax measure approved by Los Angeles County voters in 2008. Construction of Phase 2 began in 2011 and the project was completed in early 2016 and handed over to Metro for operation.