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Public Hearing on BBB Proposed Fare Adjustments
September 03, 2015

SANTA MONICA, CA – Big Blue Bus (BBB) will hold a Public Hearing about the proposed fare adjustment on Thursday, September 10th from 6-7:30pm at the Santa Monica Main Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.


Throughout the past five years, BBB has held the line on fare increases while maintaining high quality services and implementing new customer amenities such as NextBus, TAP cards and 3-position bike racks.

 BBB will be adding 11% more service over the next 12 months as part of the Evolution of Blue campaign to provide connections to the upcoming Expo Light Rail Line. In order to ensure a balanced operating budget and encourage customers to use new fare media, BBB is proposing several revisions to its current fare policy, including an increase in the regular base fare cash price from $1.00 to $1.25, the creation of a new 7-Day Pass for a sale price of $14.00, and an adjustment to pass prices such that in many cases prices are reduced. Senior, Disabled and Medicare cash fares, including the $0.50 reduced cash base fare, and all other reduced rate pass prices will remain the same. See full details at

 A major objective for BBB in 2016 is to speed up bus boarding and improve travel speed. This can be achieved by encouraging more customers to use prepaid fare media. Cash customers require almost six times as long to complete payment, compared to customers using a magnetic stripe card or TAP card. This difference in boarding speed of cash customers produces a drag on system efficiency, as all passengers must wait for each transaction to complete before the bus can move forward. Increasing the percent of customers using prepaid fares through discounted pass prices increases the attractiveness of pass use, while simultaneously lowering the cost of operating the routes. The fare restructure as proposed, will encourage greater use of prepaid fare media and is expected to contribute to the reduction of cash payment customers from 48% to 35%.

A peer analysis was also conducted comparing fares on other transit agencies and the results indicate that the average one-way fare in the region is $1.25. Peer agencies included Long Beach Transit, Foothill Transit, Los Angeles Metro, Omnitrans, Culver City Bus, and Torrance Transit. In October BBB will take feedback from the September 10th Public Hearing, and staff will prepare a detailed Consent Calendar report summarizing community/customer feedback to the above referenced proposals and seek Council approval for the changes.

BBB fares are currently $1 per ride on all routes with a $1 surcharge on the Rapid 10 Express to Downtown Los Angeles. Day-passes are available for $4 that allow unlimited rides in a calendar day and regular priced monthly passes are $60. All passes are available on TAP cards and can be purchased online at

 About Big Blue Bus

Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of nearly 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 renewable natural gas (RNG) a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps to cut emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety and efficiency.