SANTA MONICA—The number of people opting for Big Blue Bus (BBB) for their travel in the Santa Monica region has decreased and is down 12 percent with 14.98 million passengers every year, per the city of Santa Monica’s annual mobility report.
According to the Santa Monica Daily Press, a common complaint from the riders is the inconvenience caused by the overhaul of BBB transit routes to provide greater access to the Metro Expo Line. Most of the BBB commuters are locals travelling within the city and this overhaul affects them and thus few of them end up walking to their destination.
“Everybody is frustrated. People taking the Blue Bus to the 720 – they have to get off and walk an extra two and a half blocks to catch a Metro bus,” said Frieda Dubin, a BBB rider, during the public comment portion of a recent Planning Commission meeting. “If you want to know why ridership is down, it’s because it’s not convenient. If it were, more people would take the bus.”
BBB transit routes overhaul includes the reinstatement of service to downtown Santa Monica on Route 5, seven days per week. The route will serve Santa Monica via Colorado Boulevard, and Palms Expo Line Station all day on weekdays creating more service connections to Century City. Weekend service will also improve to every 40 minutes.
Route 43 will connect to 17th St./SMC Expo Line Station, Santa Monica College’s Main Campus, and both Route 7 and Rapid 7 service on Pico Boulevard. Route 7 weekday service will increase to every 15 minutes all day, to help meet customer demand for more local service on Pico Boulevard. The Rapid 10 service will be discontinued west of Broadway and 4th Street in downtown Santa Monica and offer 20-minute weekday service during peak hours.
Results from the city of Santa Monica’s latest transportation survey indicate that only 1.6 percent of the trips within Santa Monica are taken by BBB. With 60 percent, people still prefer cars as their primary mode of transport within the city followed by walking with 30 percent. Travelling by bike within the city stands at 6.5 percent.