Getting Around Santa Monica

The Big Blue Bus is based in Santa Monica and primarily serves the beach city and west Los Angeles. However, express bus service is also provided from downtown Los Angeles. The Rapid 10 route transports passengers from Los Angeles to Santa Monica's beaches. The Rapid 3 line travels from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), located 10 miles to the south, to the city's beaches.

Metro operates bus lines throughout Los Angeles County, including to and from Santa Monica. The 720 and 704 buses are express routes that travel from downtown to Santa Monica Pier. The 704 route also makes a stop at Union Station, California's primary rail station. The R3 route transports visitors from LAX to downtown Santa Monica near the city's beaches.

Metro also operates the Expo Line, a light-rail line from downtown Los Angeles to about seven miles from Santa Monica's beaches. Until the Expo Line extension to within a half-mile of the Pacific Ocean is finished, bus transportation is available to complete the journey from Los Angeles to Santa Monica's beaches. This may be done on the Metro Local 33, Metro Rapid 733, Big Blue Bus 5, and Big Blue Bus Rapid 20 routes.

Travelers visiting the beaches by car have a variety of options available. The western terminus of Interstate 10 is within walking distance of Santa Monica Pier. This highway travels through cities such as Los Angeles and Phoenix before terminating in Jacksonville, Fla. The portion between the beaches and downtown Los Angeles is one of the busiest in the United States. The famous Pacific Coast Highway also makes its way along the beaches of Santa Monica.

Those looking to travel via train to the area will make a stop at the historic Union Station in Los Angeles. Amtrak arrives here from places such as New Orleans, Seattle, and Chicago. Metrolink delivers passengers from locations throughout the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. Metro Rail and Metro Liner serve Union Station from places near Los Angeles. After arriving, travelers may take a Metro or Big Blue Bus route to downtown Santa Monica.

Air travelers will most likely land at LAX. It is the sixth-busiest airport in the world and the third busiest in the United States behind Atlanta and Chicago. The busiest routes serving LAX are, in order, from San Francisco, New York, London, Chicago, Las Vegas, Dallas, Tokyo, and Sydney, Australia.