Cars traveling the famed Route 66 may have helped put Santa Monica on the map, but these days you don’t need your own four wheels to cruise around town. Here are easy ways to go car-free on your next trip. By Elizabeth Jenkins
In Santa Monica, which measures just 8.3 square miles, many destinations can be reached by a short walk. Many streets feature large, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks. Walking the streets is often noted the best way to experience the local neighborhoods.
Santa Monica's Breeze Bike Share program is a citywide, public bike share program that boaste 500 bikes available at 75 locations around town. Along with a bright- green paint job, each ride is equipped with a load of cushy features like chainless transmission. a “smart bike” system lets users use GPS software to locate the nearest set of wheels and download a mobile app to pay fares. Miles of bike lanes around town add to the ease of pedal-powered travel.
The Metro Expo Line (323-466-3876) makes travel even easier, connecting Santa Monica by light rail to Downtown Los Angeles in under 50 minutes. With three stations located throughout Santa Monica - from the downtown neighborhood to Mid-City - the Metro Expo Line is a great way to travel within the destination. Additionally, with the ability to connect to Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Long Beach and dozens of points in between, visitors can travel to and from Santa Monica easily.
The Big Blue Bus departs the LAX City Bus Center and features two lines to town, Route 3 or Rapid 3. Better still, tickets are just $1.25. Once in Santa Monica, the Big Blue Santa Monica bus is also a very efficient way to get around.
Pedestrians can also hail the Santa Monica Free Ride (646-504-FREE), golf cart–style cabs that offer a complimentary lift anywhere in their service area between Wilshire Boulevard and Marine Street, and from the ocean to Fifth Street. (Carts operate from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., with later hours on weekends.) Many local hotels also offer car service around town.