Though the BBB does not stretch itself out quite like the main L.A. public transit option, MTA, the SM line covers a vast part of the places you want to see, including Santa Monica State Beach, Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade, UCLA, Venice Beach, Westwood and LAX.
One route that I would recommend for visitors is the #3 (Montana Ave. & Lincoln Blvd. From LAX, go from the L.A. Airport Bus Terminal to UCLA, with great stops along the way like downtown Marina Del Rey and Third Street Promenade of course. One time on this route, I sat next to a reality star, the first hottie of ABC's The Bachelor. Well, he wasn't so hot to me but he did wear a very good cologne! Perhaps another celebrity who's modest enough to take the bus will ride this route after leaving the airport.
I have had no problems with this line. The buses are mostly clean and air-conditioned. The regular fare is only $1 one-way ticket. Pay $2 for a Rapid 10 bus. Also, there is a day pass option for $4. Other fares are mentioned on website.
This is just only one line, but its the one that services the pier area. Please look at the web link below for more information. They had lots of buses running and they were not just blue..lol.
The address for the main bus station is 612 Colorado Avenue · Santa Monica, California.
LINE 1 stops at this destinations:
Public Service Buildings
Big Blue Bus
Department of Motor Vehicles
Ken Edwards Center
Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce
Santa Monica City Hall
Santa Monica Civic Center
Santa Monica Courthouse
Santa Monica Library - Main Branch
Santa Monica Post Office - Main Branch
Santa Monica Public Safety Building
West Los Angeles Civic Center *
Tourist & Recreational Attractions
Santa Monica Civic Auditorium *
Santa Monica Pier & Aquarium (3 blocks) *
Santa Monica Pier (3 blocks) *
Santa Monica Senior Recreation Center *
Santa Monica State Beach *
Santa Monica Walk-In Visitor Information Center *
Third St. Promenade *
Venice Beach *
West Los Angeles Felicia Mahood Senior Center *
Parks & Pools
Schools & Colleges
Emerson Middle School
Santa Monica High School
SMC Performing Arts Campus *
University High School
University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) *
Hospitals & Medical
Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center
Commercial & Shopping Centers
Santa Monica Place *
Westwood Village *
The city of Santa Monica has its own public transportation system called the Big Blue bus. Besides Line10 (Freeway Express) that quickly connects downtown Los Angeles and Santa Monica, once you are here you can also take the "Tide" local shuttle for 25 cents to get around town. The "Tide" shuttle circles the most popular attractions Santa Monica has to offer, including the Third Street Promenade, the Pier, and south to Venice Beach. Since I got the monthly pass I ride everything for free.
Best of all, the "Tide" is environmentally friendly as it's powered by electricity, not gasoline. The attached photo was taken from Big Blue Bus website.
Santa Monica BBB Route 10 is a very convenient way to enjoy the finest parts of greater LA by relying on public transport. It's most easy to catch if staying in downtown Santa Monica (by the beach) or in downtown LA, especially by Pershing Square or Union Station. This is one of a dozen or so freeway buses that cut down on route travel. I have used the 10 many times to go to Santa Monica happenings and love to fly down the 10 freeway, after dealing with some street lights stop in downtown LA. See route info on website!
Santa Monica offers plenty of fun and entertainment. A good majority of SM city venues are reachable by bus, including the forementioned Big Blue Bus (BBB). What's nice is that Santa Monica realizes that she is not the only place for fun, proving this by adding bus transportation from the city to other fun and touristic places of interest on the BBB. Often, places include museums, casinos and fairs. Look especially in the summertime for many special excursion trips but they occur during the year. Many of these are to somewhat or way out of town, past 40 miles away. For example, in winter 2006, there are plans to go up north, about 100 miles away to the Danish village replication town of Solvang, near Santa Barbara. These special out of city trip costs usually between $20-$50 roundtrip, depending on location and misc trip costs. The Solvang trip is only priced at $35- a very good deal especially when thinking about high gas costs and having incentive of someone else driving to the destination!
All the info you need for the Big Blue Bus is on the website. Affordable and easy. Just take the LAX Airport shuttle to the LAX Transit Center and wait at the Big Blue Bus sign. The trip to Santa Monica is about 25-30 minutes.
THE BIG BLUE BUS: Runs on 12 routes throughout Santa Monica & West L.A.
No. 3 route plies along L.A. LAX Transit Center to downtown Santa Monica & stops along Arizona Avenue. It then proceeds to UCLA campus. It takes about 35 mins from LAX to Santa Monica.
No. 14 route stops at Getty Center.
Fare = 50 cents.
For schedules & routes, please proceed to the official website at http://www.bigbluebus.com/bus.
Tel: (310) 451 5444.
THE TIDE SHUTTLE: An electronic bus that serves a loop with 18 stops along Main Street & the Pier.
Fare = 25 cents.
You can take a public bus from/to Universal Studios at only $1.5 (maybe $2.0?), and it takes about 40 minutes. Don't say 'wow it takes so long time!' As far as you are a tourist, you can enjoy the public bus ride and talk with the local people of Los Angeles.
The Big Blue Bus, reliable and cheap transportation within the city without the hassles of parking. Lots of buses ply frquently in all kinds of different routes. For more info call (310) 451-5444 or look up the website www.bigbluebus.com
Of course you fly into LAX. It's about a 45 min. to 1 hr cab ride. There is a way to take a couple buses to reach Santa Monica cheaply, but since I was unfamiliar with the area I opted for the cab.
Santa Monica has an excellent system called the 'Big Blue Bus' which travels all around the city really cheap.
Busses are cheap to get around in Santa Monica. I believe they're only 50 cents per trip. Cabs are little bit more expensive than busses of course, but they best way to travel is definitely a car of your own.
the Big Blue Bus's website: -> http://www.bigbluebus.com/home/index.asp
Parking may be a problem. The parking attendants are like sharks lurking for prey. So make sure you read the signs posted before parking else you'll get ticket. *That's how the city makes so much $$$ :) Keep in mind 'YOU ARE BEING WATCHED!'
There's a bus from the airport into Santa Monica.
The Big Blue bus system is pretty good. Around Santa Monica itself, the Tide Shuttle runs in a full circle all day and most of the night for only 25 cents. Once here, rollerblades, bicycles, and walking is a great way around. Parking is hell!
Bus service within the cities of Los Angeles and Santa Monica are provided by the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Los Angeles (MTA), the Santa Monica Blue Bus and The Tide Shuttle. Taxis are available at all hotels and at marked taxi stands in the downtown Santa Monica area. You may also telephone a taxi company for pick-up.
All major Santa Monica and Los Angeles area visitor attractions are accessible with public transportation. While bus service is frequent and inexpensive, it can require more time. Routes should be planned in advance to allow for travel time. Bus schedules and maps are available at the Visitors Center in Palisades Park or by calling the MTA (213) 626-4455 www.mta.net or the Santa Monica Blue Bus (310) 451-5444 www.bigbluebus.com for specific route information.
The Tide Shuttle operates year round between selected Santa Monica hotels and local attractions. Fares are 25 cents for adults, 10 cents for seniors or those with disabilities. The Tide Shuttle run makes a loop every 15 minutes between Main Street, Santa Monica Pier, Third Street Promenade and stops near many beach front hotels. Route maps and schedules are available at The Visitor Center. Check with your hotel concierge or front desk for information about shuttle stops and departure times.
One of the greatest advantages for the visitor to Santa Monica, is its closeness to the Los Angeles Intl. airport, which is within 15 to 20 minutes, and you can use Los Angeles airport shuttle service for around $12 to $15. Once you have established yourself at your hotel, you will find the Santa Monica bus system will get you around the city fairly easy and conveniently. Taxis will not cost you over $10.00 within the city itself. You could also take regular tours to the near by attractions, such as, Universal Studios, Disneyland.
Another way of getting around is bycicling, and you can rent bycicles in several locations, especially down by the beach. For a very reasonable amount you also could use the regular Los Angeles bus service to get you to Beverly Hills, Westwood, West Los Angeles, Hollywood and Downtown Los Angeles. So Santa Monica is definetely the city to stay at, if you do not like to drive.