On Monday, August 27, Santa Monica’s Blue Bus will introduce another “Mini Blue” route in the Sunset Park neighborhood. Like the four Mini Blue routes that began service June 24 (Santa Monica Mirror, June 28-July 4, 2007), the new Sunset Ride will use buses 30 feet or shorter powered by biodiesel or other alternative fuels and charge a reduced fare of 50 cents regular and student and 25 cents for senior/disabled/Medicare passengers.
The Sunset Ride is also designed to connect SMC’s new Olympic Shuttle parking lot (actually on Stewart Street and Exposition Boulevard just off Olympic Boulevard) with the SMC main campus and two of its satellites – the Academy of Entertainment and Technology on Stewart and the Bundy Campus adjacent to Santa Monica Airport. SMC students and employees with valid SMC I.D. can ride at no cost.
The route will run every 15 to 20 minutes Mondays through Fridays from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m., traversing Ocean Park Boulevard between Bundy Drive and 17th Street and connecting that area with Colorado Avenue to the north. It will effectively serve the Colorado/Cloverfield office developments, the Ocean Park Boulevard office and commercial areas, Stewart, Virginia Avenue and Clover parks, Edison, Grant and Will Rogers elementary schools, John Adams Middle School and Fairview Library, as well as the SMC facilities.
In addition, the Blue Bus is revamping its Line 6, the “SMC Commuter,” which was started in February and currently runs three times in the morning and twice in the afternoon, making its way from the Westside Pavilion to Bundy and the main campus. The bus travels through Palms and Mar Vista, where a high number of students and employees live. After testing the route in the spring semester and summer session, the college and Blue Bus agreed to changes such that starting August 27, the first day of the fall semester, the bus will run more frequently – from early morning to evening – and its schedule will be coordinated more closely with peak class times. The route is being modified to get closer to clusters of apartment houses where students tend to live. The new route will start at Venice and Culver boulevards and wind its way through new portions of Palms and Mar Vista with stops at Bundy and the main campus.
The SMC Commuter, Line 6, will continue to be available at no cost to SMC students and employees with valid SMC I.D. Although this route is primarily designed to serve SMC, it is available to the public as well, with full size fares on full size buses.