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BBB is Proposing Fare Adjustments – Public Hearing
June 30, 2017

Please review the proposal and attend the Public Hearing on Tuesday, August 1.

Hearing takes place from 6pm to 7:30pm
Santa Monica Main Library
2nd Floor, Multi-Purpose Room
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, 90401

Big Blue Bus proposes:

  • A reduction for a Regular one-way trip from $1.25 to $1.10 for customers who opt to use a TAP card instead of cash.
  • An introduction of a new Annual Pass for a sale price of $500, a $100 savings.
  • An introduction of Blue to Business - BBB's Employer Annual Pass Program.
  • A discontinuation of single-use tokens and introduction of a new 1-Ride Pass that is TAP enabled as its replacement.
  • No changes to Senior, Disabled and Medicare cash fares and passes.
  • Requirement for Personal Care Assistants travelling with ACCESS certified riders to pay a fare, creating greater fare equity among all riders. 
  • All other pass prices remain the same.

Fare Media

Current Fare

Proposed Fare

Proposed Change

Regular Base Cash Fare



(- $0.15)

Annual Pass


$500 annually


A public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, August 1 from 6pm-7:30pm at the Santa Monica Main Library. The hearing will allow for questions beginning at 6pm, followed by a short presentation from 6:30pm-7pm and more questions until 7:30pm.

After the public hearing, adjustments to the proposal may be made based on public feedback. Big Blue Bus will review all public comments submitted during the comment period until August 12, 2017. Based on feedback received, Big Blue Bus may make adjustments to the draft proposals as necessary, before submitting a Staff Report for City Council review in September. If approved by City Council in September, fare adjustments would become effective November 1, 2017.

If you cannot make it to this hearing and would like to submit feedback in advance, please submit your comments here. You may also submit written comments prior to the hearing:

Big Blue Bus
Attn: Community and Government Engagement
1660 7th St.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Getting to the Hearing

Ride Big Blue Bus Routes 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 918, Rapid 3, Rapid 7, or Rapid 10, or Metro Expo Line or Metro bus lines 4, 20, 33, 534, 704, 720, 733 to the meeting. If you must drive, parking is available in the library garage (enter on 7th St. just north of Santa Monica Blvd.).


This venue is ADA-accessible. Disability and translation accommodation requests should be made at least three days prior to the meeting by calling 310.458.1975, ext. 5541. All written materials are available in alternate formats upon request.


Beginning in 2015, Big Blue Bus initiated a strategic campaign aimed at reducing cash boardings across our system by encouraging more customers to use prepaid fare media, TAP cards, and mobile payment using smartphones in an effort to reduce:

  • Dwell time
  • Average travel time for all our customers
  • Amount of time staff spends counting revenue

At the end of fiscal year 2014, cash consisted of 48% of all boardings. Since then, we have steadily moved towards a goal of reducing cash boardings through various campaigns, including the implementation of TAP (March 2015), a Fare Change that dropped monthly pass pricing and all pass pricing relative to cash (January 2016), the Santa Monica City Council's subsidy of the monthly Youth Pass (January 2016), the Buy One Get One Free promotion (May - October 2016), and the launch of mobile ticketing (April 2017). In May 2017, Big Blue Bus reached a significant milestone; cash comprised 39% of all boardings. This is a significant reduction over a two-year period.

The next phase of our cashless boarding strategy includes incentivizing cashless boardings, replacing metal tokens with a TAP-enabled 1-Ride Pass, and introducing a new employer program as well as an annual pass. Our new employer program, Blue to Business, will introduce new discounted products to employers throughout our service area. Finally, Big Blue Bus will also introduce a new Annual Pass for sale to all customers.

Discounting the single-ride fare on TAP and eliminating the metal tokens will encourage greater use of prepaid fare media and reduce the ratio of cash payment customers from the current 39% down to as low as 20%.