From the beach to downtown in 46 minutes: it’s now a reality for residents of Santa Monica, where three new stops are part of the 6.6 mile Expo Line light rail extension from Culver City. The $1.5 billion extension marks the first time Angelenos have been able to travel by rail between the beach and Downtown L.A. since the 1950s, giving residents and travelers the opportunity to skip congested roads from the Santa Monica Pier all the way to the city’s bustling business center.
The three new stops in Santa Monica — Downtown Santa Monica, 17th St/Santa Monica College and 26th St/Bergamot — are among the line’s seven new stations, with 17th Street station offering park-and-ride facilities. The downtown Santa Monica station features a pedestrian-friendly esplanade close to Santa Monica Place, Third Street Promenade, the Pier and the beach. For additional convenience and car-free travel, 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.
The option for car-less travel throughout the city is a welcome addition for AIRE Santa Monica, a new residential offering located within walking or biking distance to the new Expo Line stops. AIRE was designed so residents could make the most of their central location in Santa Monica, offering a bike with the purchase of each townhome or garden-level flat as well as secure subterranean parking for both bikes and cars. Now residents of AIRE may enjoy walking and biking access to the best of Santa Monica as well as greater Los Angeles, with bikes permitted on-board the light rail trains and bike parking available at the new Santa Monica stops.