SANTA MONICA—Big Blue Bus (BBB), the transit service governed by the city of Santa Monica, will host a public hearing on Tuesday, August 1 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Santa Monica Main Library’s Multi-Purpose Room, according to a press release from the city on Tuesday, July 25. The hearing is being held to present and discuss adjustments to existing fares and fare media.
BBB initiated a strategic campaign in 2015 to reduce cash boardings by encouraging customers to utilize prepaid fare media, TAP cards, and mobile ticketing, the press release indicated. The campaign aimed to speed up travel time and reduce stop dwell time; provide customers more flexibility in how they pay fares; and provide efficiencies for counting cash revenue.
The next phase of BBB’s strategy includes a proposal to adjust fares. Revisions include reduction of the regular one-way cash fare from $1.25 to $1.10 when a customer uses TAP to pay; introduction of an Annual Pass for a price of $500, with $100 savings; introduction of “Blue to Business,” BBB’s Employer Annual Pass Program; and discontinuation of single-use tokens, with new TAP-enabled 1-Ride Passes as replacements. Personal care assistants traveling with ACCESS-certified riders will be required to pay a fare, to improve fare equity for riders. No changes will be made to Senior, Disabled, and Medicare cash fares and passes, and all other pass prices will remain unchanged.
“Continuing our efforts to understand customer needs and attracting new customers will be critical to our success in providing outstanding service to the City and the Westside,” said Ed King, Director of Transit Services. “Introducing ‘Blue to Business’ and the affordability of an Annual Pass, in addition to discounting our cash fare when prepaid on TAP, provides more options to our customers to purchase and pay their fares and further enhance the travel experience on our system.”
Those who are unable to attend the meeting but would like to submit feedback are asked to do so by visiting www.smgov.net/go and selecting the “Fare Adjustment Feedback” category. All submitted comments will be reviewed by BBB until Saturday, August 12. Adjustments to the proposal may be made according to public feedback before submitting to the City Council for approval.
Customers can ride BBB routes 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 18, Rapid 3, Rapid 7, Rapid 10, or Metro Expo Line or Metro bus routes 4, 20, 33, 534, 704, 720, 733 to the hearing. Those driving to the venue may enter on 7th Street, just north of Santa Monica Boulevard, and park in the library garage. The venue is ADA-accssible, and disability and translation accommodation requests should be made at least three days before the meeting by calling (310) 458-1975, ext. 5541. Written materials are available in other formats on request.
Big Blue Bus, which spans more than 58 square miles of service area, operates 200 vehicles transporting at least 54,000 customers each day. The fleet operates on alternative fuels, such as renewable natural gas (RNG), a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG) that can help reduce emissions by up to 90 percent. BBB has won multiple awards for marketing, customer service, safety, and efficiency since its launch in 1928.
For more information, visit www.bigblueblus.com.