Special Needs

All Big Blue Buses offer riders many accessibility features and services, including: 

  • Ramp boarding for mobility devices
  • LED screens that display information for riders with hearing challenges
  • Audio announcements at bus entry and on-board for riders with sight challenges
  • Large print schedules via request at (310) 451-5444
  • ¡Se habla español! 

Trip tip: When considering a wheelchair purchase, a WC19-compliant model is the most easily secured on transit buses. 

For riders with mobility devices:

Whenever possible, wheelchairs/mobility devices should be backed onto the bus. Next, you’ll be required to power down your device and/or set your brakes. The Operator is then required to secure it.

Big Blue Bus requires devices to be secured using a four-point or two-point securement system (Americans with Disabilities Act, Title 49, CFR 37.165).

Every wheelchair or mobility device that can be secured is required to be secured. Until 11/17/15, customers had the option of requesting a sticker allowing a securement exemption. For safety reasons, the securement exemption sticker program has been discontinued.

Riders with devices that can be secured but who prefer not to use the securements will not be transported. Mobility devices that can’t be secured may still be transported after the brakes are locked, the device is powered down, and the Operator receives approval from Dispatch to move the bus.

For your own safety, all customers using a wheelchair or mobility device are encouraged to wear the shoulder belt and/or lap belt.   

Service Animal Policy: 

Big Blue Bus welcomes service animals onto all our buses. Service animals must be trained to do work or tasks directly related to the individual’s disability. 

If you meet the outlined requirements, no license is required, but you will be asked to confirm that your animal is a service animal and you may be asked what duty the service animal is trained to perform.  

A few things to keep in mind when bringing your service animal on board a Big Blue Bus: 

  • You are responsible for the supervision and actions of your animal(s) while on board. 
  • The animal must be in a harness, a leash, or be secured in some way; or the individual must maintain effective control by voice, signals or some other effective means. 
  • The animal must not be disruptive and/or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others. 
  •  The animal is expected to remain on the floor or on your lap.  
  • The animal must be housebroken.

 Reasonable Modification Requests:

The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) has updated its rules for transit providers in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As part of the updated regulations, transit agencies are allowed to provide reasonable modifications to existing policies and procedures so that those with disabilities are able to access transit services and are not subject to discrimination.

Customers with disabilities have the ability to request that Big Blue Bus (BBB) provide them with a reasonable modification so that they can utilize its service. These requests should be made ahead of time using any of the options available below.

What requests will be honored?

In keeping with the spirit of the law and definition of "reasonable modification", BBB will grant requests that meet each of the following criteria:

  • The requested modification must not constitute a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
  • The requested modification must be necessary for the individual in question to have full access to BBB's transit service.
  • The requested modification must not constitute an undue administrative and financial burden.
  • The requested modification must not fundamentally alter the existing service that BBB provides.

How can customers with disabilities request reasonable modifications?

Customers with Internet access can submit requests by filling out a ticket in the City of Santa Monica's Government Outreach (GO) online system. Please click here to fill out a ticket.  

Alternatively, customers can make requests ahead of time by downloading BBB's Reasonable Modification Request Form. After completing the form out in its entirety, please submit it using one of the following options:

  • Email the form to specialrequest@smgov.net. Please write "Reasonable Modification Request" in the subject line.
  • Fax the form to 310-581-2526
  • Mail the form to:

Planning and Community Engagement

Reasonable Modification

Big Blue Bus

1660 7th Street

Santa Monica, CA 90401

  • Call 310-451-5444

Hard copies of the form are available at the Transit Store, located at 1444 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

How long will it take to know if my request for a modification has been granted?

Customers who have filed requests will generally receive a response within ten (10) days of submission describing BBB's decision, as well as the justification for the decision.

How can I appeal a request for a reasonable modification that was denied?

Appeals can be submitted through the GO system, by email to bridget.cade@smgov.net, or by mail to:

Bridget Cade

Administrative Services Officer

Big Blue Bus

1660 7th St.

Santa Monica, CA 90401 

bus and two boys sitting on bus
Customer Service:
310 451-5444

1660 7th Street, Santa Monica, California 90401
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