This week is a good one for those who have been waiting for the arrival of the Expo light rail line, since it opens this Friday. This week also happens to be bike week, which means there will be ample opportunities to celebrate a multimodal Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles region.
On Friday, May 20, history will be made when the Expo light rail line officially opens to the public, bringing a passenger train to the westside for the first time since 1953.
People will be able to ride the train for free starting at noon on May 20 and continuing all day Saturday, May 21. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, there will be festivals at five of the new stations and another at the Culver City station.
“Festivities will include live music, local vendors, children’s activities, food trucks and performance art. Stations celebrations: Downtown Santa Monica Station, 17th St/SMC Station, 26th St/SMC Station, Expo/Bundy, Palms Station, Culver City Station,” according to Metro officials.
Free Bus Rides and “Buy One Get One Free” Passes
Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus will be celebrating Expo’s arrival with free bus rides on May 21. The municipal transit agency is also have a special “BOGO” (Buy One, Get One Free) deal for Big Blue Bus passes and fare media.
While supplies last, if you add any Big Blue Bus pass to a TAP card (whether it’s a day pass, a seven day pass, or a 30 day pass) and you get another pass for free. Also, if you add fare to your TAP card, Big Blue Bus will match your fare up to $20. That means, you can add up to $40 to your TAP card for half that price.
To take advantage of these offers, visit Blue: the Transit Store (1444 4th St.) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Mobility Center inside Santa Monica City Hall (1685 Main St.) from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
For more info, visit bigbluebus.com/bogo.
Ride Breeze for Free
To celebrate Bike-to-Work Day and the arrival of the Expo Light Rail, ride time will be free on Breeze Bikes Thursday May 19 through Saturday May 21.
According to Breeze’s website, “Monthly and annual members will not be charged for riding over their daily ride time amount. Pay-as-you-go members will not be charged for their ride time.”
Anyone who is not a member can try the system by signing up for a Pay-as- you-go membership at breezebikeshare.com or download the Social Bicycles app, according to Breeze’s website.
Too Many Bike Week Events to Count
Bike Week is popping in Santa Monica with something to do — often multiple things to do — each day. SMSpoke.org has a comprehensive list, but here are some highlights:
- Monday, May 16: Ride & Fundraiser to the Veggie Grill – Meet at Colorado Center Park at 5:30 p.m to ride (or meet us) at Veggie Grill, 2025 Wilshire Blvd. Visit Veggie Grill anytime during Monday and 33 percent of what you spend gets donated to Santa Monica Spoke.
- Tuesday, May 17: Ladies Choice Women and Biking discussions over morning coffee at Sidecar Donuts: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 631 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica.
- Wednesday, May 18: Guided SM City Bike Tour. Tour the new Esplanade with its protected bike lanes, then ride some of the great bike facilities that earned Santa Monica its Silver Level Bike Friendly City Designation. Ride starts at 5 p.m. and concludes at 7 p.m. at a bonus Handlebar Happy Hour, check the calendar for latest updates.
- Thursday, May 19: Bike to Work Day! Sponsored by Metro Visit SMSpoke.org for a full list of Santa Monica pit stop locations. SM Spoke will be at City Hall as well as several other locations. Bike From Work Handlebar Happy Hour: two in Santa Monica, at Areal 2820 Main Street Main St and Public Bikes 2714 Main St.