February 16, 2016 12:00 AM
SANTA MONICA, CA – Big Blue Bus (BBB) is embarking upon the second phase of major service and stop changes as part of the Evolution of Blue campaign, which is BBB’s service integration with the upcoming Expo light rail launch. The first phase of the Evolution of Blue plan to integrate BBB’s service with the Expo Light Rail Line rolled out in August 23, 2015, and the second phase, which will include changes on several routes, will begin on February 21, 2016.
Route 16, which is a new route, will provide service from West Los Angeles (Wilshire Blvd. and Bundy Dr.) to Marina del Rey serving the 26th Street/Bergamot Metro Rail Station along its route. Route 3M will become the new Route 18 with extended southern service from Downtown Santa Monica to Venice’s Abbot Kinney. Route 1 routing will change from Ocean Ave. to 4th St. to provide convenient connections to the Expo terminus at the Downtown Santa Monica Metro Rail Station, and provide new service to Marina del Rey. Weekend service will be added on Route 41 along with direct connections to the 17th Street/SMC Metro Rail Station, and new stops adjacent to Santa Monica College. The new Route 42 will provide counterclockwise service to Route 41, seven days a week beginning the first day of Metro Rail service. Additional modifications include regular bus stop changes and schedule changes to Routes 3, Rapid 3, 5, 7, Rapid 7, Rapid 10, 14, and 15. See full details at bigbluebus.com/servicechange.
Transit Director, Ed King says, “The Evolution of Blue continues this February with expanded service to key destinations such as Venice’s Abbot Kinney and Marina Del Rey, and more regional service connections to the Exposition Light Rail Stations. We know that Big Blue Bus service making first-last mile linkages to a major light rail line are critical connections for regional mobility. With the imminent opening of Expo Line Phase II, this is a phenomenal opportunity to attract new riders if it is connected seamlessly and in as many convenient locations as possible. Big Blue Bus has positioned itself as one critical piece of the mobility solution by providing north-south connectors approximately every half mile to seven new rail stations along the Expo Line, with origins/destinations to high density areas and job centers. We expect that these phased service changes will increase system-wide ridership, providing true mobility freedom, flexibility and choice.”
To stay on top of these service changes, BBB has updated its entire suite of customer information products. The award winning “Little Blue Book” transit guide, which includes schedules for each BBB route and a large foldout System Map, is now available on board, at the Transit Store and at public counters such as local libraries and senior centers. To ensure they get the new version, customers can look for the lime green band showing the new effective date of February 21, 2016.
Customers can also find a comprehensive bilingual brochure onboard all buses summarizing the changes they can expect on February 21. Additionally, customers may now preview new schedules and interactive maps by selecting the route of their choice at bigbluebus.com/servicechange. The new maps show the full complement of bus stops on each route, which is especially useful with the many changes taking place over Evolution of Blue. The NextBus real-time mobile application and GTFS-realtime data will reflect new changes so that customers have access to the most up-to-date data informing them of bus locations, arrival and departure times. Lastly, BBB provides regional seamless fare payment as customers can now pay with TAP cards.
Big Blue Bus fares are $1.25 per ride on all routes with a $1.25 upgrade fee on the Rapid 10 Express to Downtown Los Angeles. Regularly-priced monthly passes are $50. All BBB passes are available on TAP cards and can be purchased online at taptogo.net.
About Big Blue Bus
Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of over 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 customers daily across a 51-square mile service area. 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), which helps cut emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety and efficiency.
Senior Advisor for Airport Affairs