SANTA MONICA—The Big Blue Bus (BBB) has announced service changes that will be implemented on Sunday, August 23, in an effort to coexist with the long-awaited light rail, which is set to cut its way through LA from Downtown to the shores of Santa Monica.
The Big Blue Bus, which has been Santa Monica’s independent bus service since 1928, will introduce changes to the municipal transit agency’s routes, stops and schedule over a 12-month span as part of the Expo Integration Plan.
The first phase of “Evolution of Blue” kicks off August 23 with the following changes: Route 15, which is a new route, with service along the Barrington Avenue corridor, will be added. Routes 5 and 14 will be modified, including new service to Playa Vista on the Route 14. There will be more service, including on weekends that will be added on the Rapid 3 and Rapid 7, in addition to regular bus stop changes. Three routes will be discontinued – Routes 6, 13 and Rapid 20.
Transit Director, Ed King says in a press release, “These changes were vetted over an 18-month period with stakeholders, the community and customers. Sometimes change is challenging, especially for customers who will be asked to change their travel patterns. Our goal is to maintain service locally and provide regional access to and from Santa Monica using public transit and trains that are convenient and reliable for even more customers. More people on buses and trains translates to fewer cars on the road, a tremendous benefit to everyone in the region with improved quality of life.”
In addition to route changes, King states that seven new stops have been added to ensure the best form of transportation to and from the metro line due to the limited parking available at stations.
To help better navigate the forthcoming changes in the transportation services, BBB has recently released a new website featuring Google Maps on each route page. The NextBus Real Time Mobile Application was also launched this past July, providing customers access to real-time data and up-to-date information about bus delays, service changes and more.
The award-winning “Little Blue Book” will provide a system-wide schedule, as well us updated schedules signaled by a red band beginning August 23. The pamphlet-map will be available at the Transit Store, local libraries and other accessible locations such as senior centers.
The “Evolution of Blue” program represents the most drastic service changes in the history of the public transportation service, which has 18 million riders every year and spans 51-square-miles of the West side.
For further information regarding bus fares and route changes visit bigbluebus.com/servicechange.