SANTA MONICA—The Big Blue Bus (BBB) received the 2018 Bus Safety and Security Gold Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in Safety for transit agencies with over 4 million, but fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually.

According to the city of Santa Monica website, the Gold Award highlights organizations with the greatest overall bus safety and security program for all transit organizations throughout the United States. Recipients play an vital role in benchmarking successful programs that can be adopted by other public transit systems aiming for similar benefits.

Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 200 vehicles transporting over 54,000 customers daily across a 58 square mile service area. It is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG), a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG) that assists with cutting emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has received numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety, and efficiency.

“I would like to thank every BBB staff member for their contributions, especially our Motor Coach Operators who operate our fleet of 200 buses in one of the most congested and challenging service areas in the country. We have invested significant resources over the last three years to launch a comprehensive employee safety program that provides intensive training and retraining programs for all BBB staff. These strategic investments are paying off with a tangible reduction in preventable accident rates and passenger injuries. We are honored to have the hard work of staff recognized by APTA with this top award,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services.

The Big Blue Bus proactive approach to reducing preventable accidents and improving system safety started by elevating its existing programs and introducing new ones that included:

-Rollout of a comprehensive and interactive accident review and retraining process

-Extensive rail safety education campaign prior to the inauguration of Metro’s Expo Line in 2016

-Relaunch of BBB’s “Hazard/Near Miss” employee safety reporting program

-Mandatory quarterly safety meetings for all Motor Coach Operators with safety topics focused on service delivery

BBB steadily decreased its preventable accident rate from 2.21 accidents per 100,000 miles in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to 1.83 accidents per 100,000 miles in FY 2017. The passenger injury rate also decreased from 1.89 injuries per 100,000 miles in FY 2015 to .41 injuries per 100,000 miles in FY 2017.