Santa Monica Directions | Santa Monica Transportation
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Directions to Santa Monica & Santa Monica Transportation

How Do You Get Around Santa Monica?

Santa Monica is located within the greater Los Angeles area, making access to the city easy by public transportation, air travel, or car. Find directions to Santa Monica, California, as well as Santa Monica transportation information below.

Airports in the Area

Only eight non-freeway miles from Santa Monica, Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) is the closest airport, and with direct bus service, shuttles and more, makes transportation from LAX to Santa Monica easy to find. Rates for shuttles between LAX and Santa Monica start at approximately $18 per person one-way, or $40 - $60 round-trip per person, not including tip. Shuttles are located on the lower level of the airport.

LAX
BUR
SNA
LGB
ONT
Los Angeles International Airport Hollywood Burbank Airport John Wayne Airport Long Beach Airport Ontario International Airport
8 mi / 13 km 23 mi / 37 km 52 mi / 83 km 32 mi / 51 km 56 mi / 90 km

 

For up-to-date information on the projects taking place at LAX, click here.

Public Transportation in Santa Monica

big blue bus santa monica

Many public transportation services and routes have stops in Santa Monica, making access throughout Santa Monica and great Los Angeles easier than ever. The most popular forms of public transportation in Santa Monica are below:

The Big Blue Bus in Santa Monica, CA

The Santa Monica Bus system is a great way to get around town. You can also take the Big Blue Bus from the Los Angeles airport (LAX) to Santa Monica, all with the Transit App on your phone or a simple TAP card you load with fare ahead of time. TAP cards can be loaded either online at taptogo.net, or in person at a transit station or The Transit Store on 4th Street in Santa Monica.

The Metro Expo Line

Santa Monica’s Metro Expo Line makes getting around Santa Monica and Los Angeles quick and efficient, and you can also use your TAP card! You can take the Expo Line from Downtown Los Angeles all the way to Ocean Avenue to see the iconic Santa Monica Pier. There are three Santa Monica stops on the metro line:

  • 26th Street, near Bergamot Station
  • 17th Street, near Santa Monica College
  • Downtown Santa Monica, near Third Street Promenade
OPTIONS
TRAIN
LIGHT RAIL
BUS
Operator Amtrak Metro Expo Line Big Blue Bus
Schedule Daily service from San Diego and San Francisco. Daily service with operating hours varying from approximately 4am until 2am 24-hour service.
Route Name Coast Starlight

Pacific Surfliner

Southwest Chief

Sunset Limited

EXPO LRT Rapid 10 (#10 Express)
Connections Stop at Union Station

Connection required (Light rail or Big Blue Bus).

Direct route from Downtown LA (Union Station) to Downtown Santa Monica. Direct route from Downtown LA (Union Station) to Downtown Santa Monica.
Travel Time n/a 46 min 45 min – 90 min

 

Car

Greater Los Angeles is a large metropolitan area with heavy traffic levels at certain times of day. Numerous routes are available to reach Santa Monica, with the Interstate system (I-10 / I-5) and the Pacific Coast Highway (US-1) being the most popular routes.

Once in Santa Monica, directions and a downloadable app are available through the City of Santa Monica.

COMING FROM
DOWNTOWN LA
ANAHEIM
SAN DIEGO
SANTA BARBARA
MALIBU
Main Road I-10 I-5 I-5 US-1 US-1
Type Interstate Highway Interstate Highway Interstate Highway Scenic Highway Scenic Highway
Avg. Travel Time 20 – 45 min 45 min – 1:15 hrs 2:00 – 2:30 hrs 1:45 – 2:00 hrs 30 min

WHERE TO PARK

Get real-time parking information for Santa Monica, and learn more about Santa Monica parking, including beach parking, street meter parking and options for electric vehicles.

GETTING A RIDE IN SANTA MONICA

Taxi Cab Services

Santa Monica offers a number of franchised taxi companies available for your travel needs, all of which offer a flat rate fare from Santa Monica to LAX, depending on your location in the city and not including tip (approximately 15% of fare). A $4 surcharge is levied on trips originating from LAX.

Rideshare

On-demand ridesharing companies, Lyft and Uber, are available for transportation to Santa Monica and can pick-up at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), as well as transportation from Santa Monica to LAX when it’s time to go home. Fare estimates from LAX to Santa Monica may vary. To leave LAX with a rideshare-based app, head to the LAX-it lot next to terminal 1, via shuttle or walking.

ECO-FRIENDLY TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS IN SANTA MONICA

santa monica transportation on bikes

BIKING IN SANTA MONICA

Biking in Santa Monica is popular, fun, and easy to do! There are bike trails, bike paths and multiple options for renting bikes while you visit Santa Monica.

SCOOTERS IN SANTA MONICA

Scootering in Santa Monica is a fun and convenient way of getting around town, and all it requires is downloading an app, entering payment, locating a scooter, and safely enjoying the ride.

WALKING IN SANTA MONICA

Because Santa Monica is just about 8 square miles, walking is often the most efficient form of transportation within the city.

Santa Monica Circuit

santa monica transportation circuit shuttle

Catching the Santa Monica Circuit is a great way to hitch a ride in the area between Wilshire Blvd. and Marine Street, from the ocean to 5th. This local shuttle service is 100% electric, and inexpensive to ride with a download of their shuttle app. It’s also available to access at the Shutters on the Beach Hotel, DoubleTree Hilton Santa Monica Hotel & Suites, and Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel.

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