Resources being shifted based on rider demand and construction at local colleges
SANTA MONICA, CA – It’s that time again: students head back to school, drivers head to the office instead of the beach, Big Blue Bus (BBB) adjusts its schedules and routes to serve the most customers possible. This year’s fall service change will begin Sunday, August 25. In response to passenger requests and crowded buses, BBB is increasing service on Route 3 and Rapid 3 (serving Lincoln Blvd.) and Route 7 and Rapid 7 (serving Pico Blvd.). Rapid 3 will offer new midday service to accommodate heavy demand from increases in development along the Playa Vista/Marina del Rey portion of Lincoln Blvd. and in Santa Monica tourism.
To make this possible, a variety of BBB trips with low ridership will be cancelled or run less frequently. While BBB has no funds available to add new service, small reductions are spread across multiple existing services in order to fund additional service on routes due to overcrowding or poor schedule reliability, with the intention of these reductions being almost invisible to most passengers. The result, beginning on Sunday, August 25, will be adjustments to service on Route 1, 2, 3, and 5 with the discontinuation of unproductive morning trips and some Rapid 12 afternoon trips. Due to lower ridership on midday Route 8 service, frequency will be reduced to every 20 minutes from 9:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and Route 6 service will be reduced by two afternoon trips during the school year and will only operate during Santa Monica College’s fall and spring semesters.
Edward F. King, Director of Transit Services explains, “At Big Blue Bus, we continually review routes and schedules based on travel patterns, changes in ridership, new markets and on-time performance challenges due to road conditions to determine how we can best support the majority of our customers while optimizing efficiencies. These precision changes will be accomplished by employing the same zero-sum service improvement model BBB has been applying for the last two years.”
Passengers to UCLA and Santa Monica College’s Academy of Entertainment and Technology should also note changes to BBB services due to construction at both campuses. UCLA’s Ackerman Terminal is closed for construction, so BBB will be using a new transit hub located on UCLA’s north campus at Charles E. Young Drive across from Parking Structure 2 on weeknights and weekends. BBB will still use Hilgard Terminal on weekdays from 7:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.
For SMC riders, BBB’s Sunset Ride will be on long-term detour due to construction at Santa Monica College’s (SMC) Academy of Entertainment and Technology. Buses will continue to serve the current route between SMC’s Bundy and Main campuses, but the Sunset Ride will no longer provide service north of Pico Blvd. BBB is recommending that this detour be approved as a permanent route change at a community meeting to be held this Wednesday, August 21 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Santa Monica’s Main Library on the second floor in the multi-purpose meeting room.
BBB has posted details about the community meeting and the “Fall Service Change” on www.BigBlueBus.com.
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 nearly 52-square mile service area and has been serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928.