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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

Wheelchair Securement

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. 

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.   

Personal Care Attendants

If an Access certified customer cannot travel alone due to a disability, a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) may ride Big Blue Bus with the customer at no cost. The PCA must accompany the customer at all times, including boarding and exiting at the same location and traveling in the same bus. PCA's traveling on Big Blue Bus without an Access certified customer present must pay a fare. A PCA is defined as an individual designated or employed to help a person with disabilities meet his or her personal needs.

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 Santa Monica 311 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 Please write "Reasonable Modification Request" in the subject line.
  • Fax the form to: 310-581-2526
  • Mail the form to:
    Planning Division
    Reasonable Modification
    Big Blue Bus
    1660 7th Street
    Santa Monica, CA 90401

Hard copies of the form are available at Blue: The Transit Store. We are 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 Santa Monica 311, by email to, or by mail to:

    Bridget Cade
    Administrative Services Officer
    Big Blue Bus
    1660 7th St.
    Santa Monica, CA 90401