Dear Valued Customers:
As we approach the end of 2017, I wanted to thank all of our customers and our community for their tremendous support and patronage during the year. It has been a memorable year, one that we look back upon with pride. We are honored to serve you as a vital transportation resource, by providing significant value and enhancing the wellbeing of our community, by improving mobility options in Santa Monica and on the Westside.
With that framework in mind, below are some of our major accomplishments in 2017:
Technology innovations for greater safety - The Mobileye collision-avoidance sensor system was installed on a portion of our fleet in July, to help our bus operators further reduce incidents with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles.
New programs and technology solutions to improve your experience on Big Blue Bus -
- Introduction of our mobile fare payment app, Token Transit - BBB's mobile phone app launched in early April, providing customers the convenience of paying their fares using their smartphones.
- Launched the Lincoln Bus-Only Lane, LiNC, on November 20 to help improve travel time and bus speeds on Lincoln Boulevard. We anticipate travel times on Route 3 and Rapid 3 to improve by 6-8 minutes per trip, saving customers more than 60-hours per year, when riding in both directions. This means faster service to and from LAX, and improved connection to Metro Rail's Green and Expo Lines. Los Angeles Magazine recently commended the Lincoln project in its article on how bus-only lanes can help move more people around Los Angeles County.
New fares and passes that make Big Blue Bus a great option -
- Santa Monica's City Council approved a two-year pilot Youth Pass Program reducing the price of BBB's 30-Day Youth Pass to $19. The reduced price became effective January 2017 and provides unlimited rides during a consecutive 30-day period to all riders between five and eighteen years of age.
- In November, we launched a discount for customers paying with Stored Value on TAP ($1.10 fare) instead of cash and an annual unlimited-ride pass for $500.
Regional and local partnerships that improve the way we move -
- Continuing to work with our regional colleagues at Long Beach, Culver City, Norwalk and LA Metro to address ridership trends and to provide creative solutions and recommendations on how to improve mobility in the entire region.
- Launch of Blue to Business Pass Program, which aims to establish partnerships with employers in our service area and to motivate their employees to ride Big Blue Bus by providing discounted passes.
Continued leadership in fleet sustainability to ensure efficiency and environmentally responsible practices - Replaced 25 LNG buses with new CNG Near-Zero Emissions 40-foot Gillig buses in January and February; and we will add seven new 30-foot buses between February and March of 2018 to operate on some of our North-South service corridors. The new fleet will be fueled with Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) - a conversion that took place in 2016.
The BBB team is focused on continuing to provide you more mobility options, while improving quality of life and customer value through reliable and creative service.
We wish you and your loved ones a warm holiday season. Thank you and we look forward to serving you in 2018 as we reach our 90-year service milestone.
Director of Transit Services