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BBB is Proposing Program and Fare Adjustments for MODE - April 10, 2019 Public Hearing
March 21, 2019

Fare & Program Changes Begin September 1, 2019

On June 25, 2019, the Santa Monica City Council approved changes to the Mobility On-Demand Every Day (MODE) program, to ensure it remains financially and operationally sustainable.

Program Changes

The following changes will go into effect on September 1, 2019:

Fare Changes

Member Types

Sep 1, 2019 - Dec 31, 2020

Jan 1, 2021 - Dec 31, 2021

Jan 1, 2022 - Ongoing

Regular Fare 




NEW Low-Income Fare* 




Personal Care Attendant (PCA) or Any Companion 


* Members receiving low-income fares on MODE must also enroll in the LIFE program. See below for details.

Monthly Trip Cap

MODE members are limited to 30 one-way trips per month.

Enrollment Age

The minimum enrollment age for seniors is now 65, and current members under 65 will remain in the program. The minimum enrollment age for persons with disabilities will remain at 18.

Out of Santa Monica Medical Trips

There are no changes to the rules governing travel outside Santa Monica. However, Big Blue Bus is encouraging members to schedule these trips between 10am and 3pm, to ease the challenge of traveling during rush hour.

Service Area and Service Hours

There are no changes to the service area, service hours, and days the program is available.

Eligibility Guidelines for Low-Income Fare

To qualify for the Low-Income fare, members must meet the following income requirements:

Household Size

Annual Income


$36,550 or less  


$41,800 or less  


$47,000 or less  


$52,200 or less  


$56,400 or less  


$60,600 or less  

How to Qualify*

Eligible MODE members who wish to qualify for the Low-Income fare must provide proof of income (e.g. CalFresh, EBT Card, Federal Tax Return (page 1), Medi-Cal Card, Proof of Lifeline, Recent Pay Stub, SNAP, W-2).

Members may submit proof of income in three (3) convenient ways:

  1. Online
    Members may submit proof of income via email to:

  2. By Mail
    Members may submit proof of income by mail to:

    Attn: MODE Program Manager
    1660 7th Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90401

  3. In-Person
    Members may submit proof of income in-person at an upcoming enrollment workshop, or during MODE office hours:

    Enrollment Workshop

    WISE and Healthy Aging will host an upcoming workshop to enroll members for Low-Income fares.

    When: August 21, 2019 | 1pm – 3pm

    Where:  Ken Edwards Center
                 1527 4th St.
                 Santa Monica, CA 90401

    MODE Office Hours

    Bring documentation verifying low-income status to MODE office hours, hosted by WISE and Healthy Aging.

    When: Every Friday | 10am – 12pm

    Where:  Ken Edwards Center
                 1527 4th St.
                 Santa Monica, CA 90401

Eligible members must provide proof of income before August 26, 2019, in order to receive the Low-Income Fare on September 1, 2019.

Members may provide proof of income after August 26, 2019, but it may take up to 30 days to receive the Low-Income fare, following verification of low-income status.

For more details, please contact Wise and Healthy Aging at: 310-394-9871.

NOTE: Members who previously attended a workshop, or submitted documentation verifying eligibility for the Low-Income fare, do not need to re-enroll. 
NOTE: Access Services customers who wish to qualify for the Low-Income fare must provide proof of income and a copy of their Access Services Rider ID Card. 
* Members receiving low-income fares on MODE must also enroll in the LIFE program. See below for details.


Members receiving low-income fares on MODE must also enroll in the Low Income Fare is Easy (LIFE) program; LIFE is a regional transit fare subsidy program.

Once enrolled in LIFE, members will receive the following benefits:

  1. Low-Income fares on MODE.

  2. A free monthly 20-Ride Regional Pass on TAP, which can be used on 25 transit agencies in Los Angeles County, including Big Blue Bus, and Metro Bus & Rail. Or, you can opt for LIFE monthly reduced-cost transit passes on TAP.

Members will be notified of opportunities to enroll in the LIFE program, as they become available.

Update: The following revised proposal for MODE program and fare adjustments was presented at the Santa Monica City Council meeting on June 25, 2019 at 5:30pm:

Click here for more details.

Big Blue Bus is hosting the following public hearing in April for its Mobility On-Demand Every Day (MODE) program, on proposed program and fare adjustments that are scheduled to take effect September 2019:

Wednesday, April 10, 2019 | 10am - 12pm

Santa Monica Main Library
2nd Floor, Multi-Purpose Room
601 Santa Monica Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401

Proposed Program & Fare Adjustments

Big Blue Bus is proposing adjustments to MODE in four (4) areas:

  1. Fare Adjustments: Fare increases beginning September 2019. Low-income members may qualify for reduced fares, using income verification. Companions and Personal Care Attendants (PCAs) traveling with a MODE member ride for free.
  2. Monthly Trip Cap: Reduce the number of eligible MODE rides per member from 40 to 36 rides per month.
  3. Minimum Age Requirement: Increase the minimum age required for older adults to enroll in the program from 60-years-old to 62-years-old.
  4. Medical Appointment Trips: MODE members encouraged to travel to/from medical appointments outside of Santa Monica on weekdays between 10am and 3pm.

Proposed Fare Adjustments


Current Fare

Proposed Fares

Sept. 2019 - Dec. 2020








Low Income*





Companion & PCA



* Low-income status will be verified through enrollment in Metro's LIFE program for transit discounts.

Proposed Program Adjustments




Monthly Trip Cap



Minimum Age Requirement

Senior: 60
Disabled: 18

Senior: 62
Disabled: 18

Medical Appointment Trips outside of Santa Monica

Trips can be taken any time during service hours.

Encourage weekday trips to be taken between 10am and 3pm.

Why are these proposed adjustments necessary?

Since the MODE program launched in July 2018, members have taken nearly 30,000 trips to medical appointments, shopping destinations, social events and services, and more. In fact, MODE is carrying more than twice as many riders per day than the former Dial-a-Ride program carried, while operating under the same budget. The success of MODE thus far, reflects how essential on-demand, curb-to-curb transportation is to Santa Monica residents. Big Blue Bus is proposing changes to MODE to help control costs, and ensure that the program remains sustainable and accessible to all eligible members of the community.

Getting to the Public Hearing

Ride Big Blue Bus routes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 18, Rapid 3, or Rapid 7 to the Santa Monica Main Library. Parking is available in the library garage (enter on 7th St. just north of Santa Monica Blvd.).

For MODE members requiring a wheelchair accessible vehicle, please reserve your trip in advance by calling the MODE Call Center at: 310-458-MODE (6633).

Special Needs

The venue is ADA-accessible. Disability and translation accommodation requests should be made at least three (3) days prior to the hearing by calling: 310-458-1975 ext. 5130.