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Big Blue Bus Announces Plans to Modify New Bus Stop Design
July 09, 2014

SANTA MONICA, CA – The City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus (BBB), in response to customer feedback, announced plans to modify elements of its new Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP) design improving seating capacity and functionality. 


BSIP What's New Header


In 2009, Big Blue Bus engaged an architectural design firm to work with BBB, city staff, and stakeholders to come up with a Santa Monica-inspired design that would also incorporate real-time information, solar lighting, updated maps and other desired amenities for riders. The final design, called "The Blue Spots," is clean and unobtrusive, and was designed to enhance the city's coastal look and feel. The new bus stop structures utilize a modular system flexible enough to adapt to various sized locations and rider volumes and the three stop configurations are designed to accommodate different passenger ridership volumes for designated “low”, “medium” and “high volume” stops. The design is the result of extensive outreach to a great number of stakeholders, including; riders, City Council officials, business owners with storefronts behind bus stops, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations, and the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau.

All 302 bus stops throughout Santa Monica will be updated. New features at each stop will include:

  • A route map of lines stopping at that location.
  • An ID number that allows for real time bus arrivals via cell phone.
  • A canopy providing shade during peak travel times.
  • Seating (space permitting).
  • Trash and recycling containers.
Before & After: Main at Marine (northbound)

Medium and high volume stops will also receive:

  • Signs that broadcast real time bus arrival information at 35 boarding locations.
  • Additional seating and canopies.
  • Select areas will receive solar LED lighting that illuminates the structure and waiting area.
Rendering of a Medium-Volume Blue Spot bus shelter

  Rendering of a High Volume Blue Spot bus shelter

 Rendering of a High Volume  Blue Spot shelter at 4th and Broadway


Installation, Design Modification and Next Steps

BBB planned the construction to take place six to twelve stops at a time over a two-year period. Construction of the first six stops began Monday, March 31. Almost 40 of the low volume stops have been completed to date and BBB has heard customer and constituent concerns about seating capacity, shade, rider and driver line of site visibility, and functionality of the seats for elderly riders and riders with physical challenges. BBB researched and vetted these concerns and true to the iterative community engagement process, BBB is modifying the design of the new bus stops to address these concerns.

 “We have received numerous customer requests for additional seating, shade, and comfort and are working with the City’s architect, Public Works Department and project contractors to accommodate these requests as possible,” says Ed King, Director of Transit for the Big Blue Bus. “While BBB and the City underwent an extensive public engagement process during the design phase for the Bus Stop Improvement Project, making adjustments once the design is built and installed based on customer experience is the mark of a dynamic public engagement effort."

Bus stop design modifications will include installing additional seating, and additional or expanded canopies at low volume stops on a space permitting basis, seating features allowing greater ease of use for riders requiring support to lift themselves up from a seated position, and when necessary, repositioning the seating such that the sightline for riders and drivers alike is not obstructed. Where feasible, BBB will convert “low volume” stops currently designed to host two seats and a single canopy to “medium volume” stops, adding seating as well as canopies. In addition, BBB is investigating modifying the existing seat design to improve the seating comfort and support, potentially through wider seats and higher backs.

Proposed modifications will go into effect over the next few months. BBB will also construct a few “high-volume” stops over the next several weeks so that customers can see the full mix of stop configurations sooner than previously scheduled.

“We believe when customers see the full scope of the project installed, there will be a greater understanding of seat and canopy configurations at each stop based on the volume of ridership,” continued Ed King. “We appreciate the customer feedback as it has contributed to improving the design.”

To receive regular updates about the project, please subscribe to the Big Blue Bus’s dedicated Bus Stop Improvement Project email list here.


About the Big Blue Bus

The Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of over 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 passengers 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 liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps to cut emissions by over 80 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, the Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its customer service, safety and efficiency.