Metro to the beach: What you need to know about the Expo Line extension

ByJanet Kinnaman KABC logo
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Color murals are shown above Expo Line signs in Santa Monica.
Color murals are shown above Expo Line signs in Santa Monica.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Starting Friday, Angelenos can hop on the Metro and arrive a half mile from the beach, thanks to the Metro Expo Line extension.

The 6.6-mile extension of the Expo Line will take passengers via rail to the Westside for the first time since street cars stopped going to Santa Monica in 1953.

After an opening ceremony Friday morning, the light-rail extension will be open to the public around noon, and to celebrate, Metro is offering free rides on the entire Expo Line starting noon Friday until the end of service Saturday, according to officials.

This map shows the entire Metro Expo Line, including the latest extension that leads to Santa Monica.

But before you pack your beach gear, here's everything you need to know:

Where in Santa Monica does the Expo Line end?

The last stop on the west end of the extended Expo Line is at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in downtown Santa Monica. When you get off the train, you'll be about a block from the Third Street Promenade and about a half-mile from the Santa Monica Pier.

How long does it take from downtown L.A. to Santa Monica?

The estimated travel time is between 47 and 48 minutes.

Are transfers free?

The fare for a one-way trip is $1.75. On Metro's website, it states that this fee includes transfers to other Metro lines for up to two hours to complete a one-way trip. This means you will not have to pay again when you transfer from, say the Red Line, to the Expo Line. However, you can only take advantage of this free transfer deal if you're using a TAP (Transit Access Pass) card, Metro media spokesman Jose Ubaldo said.

What is the time table for Expo Line trains?

Trains will run every 12 minutes daily (trains come about every 20 minutes past 8 p.m.) from about 4:30 a.m. to about 1:45 a.m. on weekdays and around 2:30 a.m. on weekends. You can get detailed train times on Metro's timetable.

The Expo Line's downtown Santa Monica stop is seen in this undated file photo.

Which stops have attached parking lots?

Along the entire Expo Line, there are six Metro stations with available parking - three free lots along the original stretch of the Expo Line and three paid lots along the extension. Here is a list of all these stations:

Expo Line stations with free parking:

- Expo/Crenshaw (3428 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles): Available parking nearby by independent company; 10 bike rack spaces.

- La Cienega/Jefferson (5664 W Jefferson Blvd., Los Angeles): Free on-site 476 parking spaces; 12 bike rack spaces and eight bike lockers.

- Culver City (8817 Washington Blvd., Culver City): Free on-site 586 parking spaces; 20 bike rack spaces and 22 bike lockers.

Expo Line stations with pay parking:

Some of these spaces are reserved in the morning for monthly permit holders, who pay $39 per month. Otherwise, daily parking will be $2. Ubaldo said you need to sign up online for a monthly pass. These monthly pass holders get first dibs on parking spaces between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. After 9 a.m., the empty spaces are up for grabs to all transit patrons. Ubaldo said to utilize the station parking lots, you need to prove you are a Metro rider. You will likely need to show an updated TAP card or proof of fare.

- Expo/Sepulveda: 260 parking spaces

- Expo/Bundy: 250 spaces

- 17th Street/Santa Monica College: 70 spaces (Tip: There is a Breeze Bike Share hub adjacent to this station.)