The Metro Expo Line provides a quick and easy way to experience Santa Monica and beyond. Here are three easy steps to help you get your trip started, as well as a few ideas on where to visit.

Step 1 – Get a TAP card

Your TAP card is your ticket to ride. Buy a TAP card at a TAP vending machine located at Metro Rail stations, or order one online at The card is reloadable, so make sure not to lose it! You can even use it on Big Blue Bus.

Once you have your card, all you have to do is load it with fare and then TAP at the validators before boarding.

Metro Expo Line - Tap Card

Step 2 – Plan your trip

There are three Expo Line stations in Santa Monica: 26th St/Bergamot, 17th St/SMC and Downtown Santa Monica. You can connect with any of these stations via bus, bike or foot. Bicycles are allowed on Metro Rail and there are designated spaces on each train car for them.

For routes, times and connections, definitely check the Trip Planner at

Metro Expo Line - Downtown Santa Monica Station

Step 3 – Have Fun!

There is no end to the food, culture, and fun available via the Expo Line. Here is just a small sample of the destinations:

  • 26th St/26th Street Art Center: consider visiting the 26th Street Art Center, located right next to the station. There are multiple gallery showrooms to explore, and you can grab a snack at the café.
  • 17th St/SMC Station: visit Memorial Park, home of The Cove skatepark, or catch a show at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage.
  • Downtown Santa Monica Station: this is the gateway to the famous 3rd Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier. If listing the iconic Ferris wheel and dining next to the ocean aren’t your thing, check out Tongva Park + Ken Genser Square — the nicest urban park in LA County.

Pacific Park

Don’t forget to explore the other end of the Expo Line! If you’re in Santa Monica and need a car-free way to get to a show at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, a game at Staples Center, or a concert at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, plus connections to all the major sites and attractions throughout Los Angeles, all you have to do is hop on board.

This article is sponsored by Metro.