The Metro Expo Line extension to downtown Santa Monica is coming soon, so soon that the official schedule announcing train times for the new light rail line is now out. The schedule includes a map of the extended line, in case riders aren't quite sure where those seven new stations are.
Looking at the schedule, a train during morning rush hour going eastbound from Santa Monica will have a slightly shorter ride into Downtown LA than a commuter heading west. An 8:30 a.m. train from the downtown SaMo station would arrive at Seventh/Metro Center at 9:17 a.m.—a 47-minute ride.
A passenger leaving Seventh/Metro a 8:01 a.m. would get to the end of the line in Santa Monica in 50 minutes, arriving at 8:51 a.m. Those trip times are the same at the end of the workday for evening rush hour too. Trains are running every 12 minutes, according to the schedule.
If you're trying to get to the beach without a car, a 50-minute ride sounds really good compared to the other options (bus, rapid bus, paying for a taxi/Uber from the other side of town). And they'll let you bring your surfboard.
The Expo Line's new leg opens on May 20, a Friday, and Metro's giving away rides on that day and on May 21. Santa Monica Next says that on that Saturday, Big Blue Bus and SaMo's Breeze Bike share will also be free, and six of the stations on the extension will be holding their own festivals to commemorate the day.