Surf's up! Yes, you can take your boards on the Expo Line

When the Expo Line extension opens to Santa Monica on May 20, beachgoers will be able to take the light-rail line within a half-mile of the Pacific Ocean.

That includes surfers, Metro officials say — as long as the trains aren't too crowded. 

If people toting surfboards see that the Expo Line is already packed with passengers, they should wait for the next train, Metro officials say. (The same policy applies to bicyclists and anyone else with particularly bulky paraphernalia.)

"If the train is half-empty, and they can fit either vertically or at an angle, you're good to go," Metro spokesman Jose Ubaldo said. "But if someone tried to get on the train and push everybody — I don't even want to think about that." 

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Still, Ubaldo said, that issue shouldn't come up very much: Any surfers who are particularly fond of public transit will probably be riding in the early morning, before trains fill up with commuters, he said.

The Expo Line starts running at 5 a.m., and trains arrive every 12 minutes all day. The 15-mile ride from downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica will take about 46 minutes.

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The $1.5-billion, 6.6-mile extension will add seven stations to Metro's growing rail network: Palms, Westwood/Rancho Park, Expo/Sepulveda, Expo/Bundy, 26th Street/Bergamot, 17th Street/Santa Monica College and downtown Santa Monica.

The downtown Santa Monica stop is a block from the Third Street Promenade and about a half-mile from the sand. 

For more transportation news, follow @laura_nelson on Twitter.

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