The popular FlyAway bus service between
The buses will pick up and drop off passengers at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, just three blocks from the beach.
Buses will operate hourly from 5:45 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. every day, including weekends and holidays. One-way fare is $8, and children 5 years old and younger are free.
"I'm thrilled to see FlyAway expand to Santa Monica, because it means more cars off the road on the Westside," said Los Angeles City Councilman Mike Bonin, who also serves on the Metro board. "Los Angeles is making progress every day toward improving the way we get to and from LAX, which is a huge win for our neighborhoods."
Santa Monica Mayor Pam O'Connor said the expansion will allow residents a convenient way to get to LAX, and make it easier for tourists to travel directly to the seaside resort city.
Airport officials estimate that more than 100,000 LAX passengers will use the Santa Monica bus connector during its first year based on the number of passengers who fly out of LAX from Santa Monica.
The new service begins just as Angelenos are bracing for the so-called "Century Crunch," during which Century Boulevard, a major thoroughfare near the airport, will be closed for a weekend as construction gets underway for the new Crenshaw rail line.
Between July 25 and July 28, workers will demolish a defunct railroad bridge at Century and Aviation boulevards to make way for the new light-rail station.
The Board of Airport Commissioners last month approved the service expansion, which also includes a Hollywood segment due to launch in September. Buses will pick up Hollywood passengers on Vine Street, a half block south of Hollywood Boulevard, and will also make stops at the La Brea station on the Metro Expo light-rail line.
Officials project it will cost $1.4 million to operate both locations for the first year.
FlyAway buses already operate routes between LAX and Union Station, Van Nuys, Westwood and the Expo/La Brea Metro station.
Additional service between LAX and the South Bay is planned for some time next year, said Los Angeles World Airports spokesman Marshall Lowe.