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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. 

 

On this page you will find the following information:

 

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.


Access Services:

Access Services, a  local public entity, is the Los Angeles County Consolidated Transportation Services Agency ("CTSA") and administers the Los Angeles County Coordinated Paratransit Plan ("Plan") on behalf of Santa Monica's BBB and the County's 44 public fixed route operators (i.e., bus and rail). Access facilitates the provision of complementary ADA paratransit services to certain persons with disabilities as required by 42 U.S.C. §12143 under the name "Access Paratransit."  

Access Paratransit service is available for any ADA paratransit eligible individual for any purpose and to or from any location within ¾ of a mile of any fixed route bus operated by the Los Angeles County public fixed route bus operators and within ¾ of a mile around METRO Rail stations during the hours that the systems are operational. The service area is divided into regions and extends into portions of the surrounding counties of San Bernardino, Orange and Ventura that are served by Los Angeles County Fixed-route bus lines. 

If you wish to apply for service, please call Access Services at 1-800-827-0829 or visit their website at www.accessla.org to request an application. 


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. We are now located in a temporary trailer space at: 1334 5th 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