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Santa Monica Greets Train's Arrival with Festivities, Campaign
Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark
Roque & Mark Real Estate
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Harding, Larmore
Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Jorge Casuso

May 20, 2016 -- The long-awaited arrival of the Expo Light Rail Line in Santa Monica will be one piece in a transit puzzle that officials hope will lure motorists out of their cars.

On Wednesday, the City launched a $500,000 multi-marketing campaign using the slogan GoSaMo that will educate and exite the pubic into using alternate forms of transportation.

In addition to three Expo light rail stations that will open in Santa Monica, the City will offer six new Big Blue Bus routes (in addition to its seven Rapid Bus lines) and 75 Breeze Bike Share stations, 107 miles of bikeways.

The City also has installed 12 new all-way crosswalks that allow pedestrians to cross in any direction, including diagonally, while all traffic is stopped. The system has been installed in major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland.

“It was our goal to make integration between our existing transportation networks seamless with the arrival of Expo,” Mayor Tony Vazquez said in a statement.

“To really address mobility, it had to be about so much more than Expo. We want to make Santa Monica the leading example of pedestrian and transit-oriented lifestyles in Southern California."

Numerous events are planned around the arrival of the train, which will roll into the City at 9:45 a.m. breaking a ceremonial banner just east of the Downtown Station located at Colorado and 4th Street.

After the train's arrival, Expo will host an opening ceremony attended by elected officials from Los Angeles, Metro, Expo and Santa Monica. The line will be open to the public at noon, and rides will be free.

The festivities continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with celebrations at all three Santa Monica stations -- at 26th St/Bergamot Station (at Olympic and 26th Street), at the 17th St/SMC Station (at Colorado and 17th Street) and at the Downtown Station.

Fares will be free Saturday on the Expo Line, as well as on the Big Blue Bus and Breeze Bike Share. After the free fares, one way trip will cost $1.75 and include two hour transfers.

"Each station will celebrate the opening and various locations will provide information about local transportation options, and encourage attendees to get out and about to enjoy local businesses and activities happening throughout the day," City officials said.

The GoSaMo campaign will be introduced in Santa Monica over the coming weeks digitally, at events and in outdoor advertising, officials said. The campaign also includes the use of social media and public relations ("Santa Monica Poised to Spend Nearly Half a Million on Expo Party," March 21, 2016).

"The City closely researched various audiences to understand the decision-making process that gets someone to adopt a car-light lifestyle," City officials said.

They found that "a key moment is trying transit for leisure before using it for work. Based on those findings, the City designed a multi-phase initiative and new online hub of resources to get people ready and equipped to ride."

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