Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus opened its new eco-friendly transit store and customer service center at 223 Broadway, adjacent to the Third Street Promenade, on Monday, November 12.
The unique concept store, called “Blue: The Transit Store,” serves as the new home for the Big Blue Bus customer service team and offers trip planning, maps, schedules, and a large variety of bus products – including Day Passes, Little Blue Cards, EZ Transit Passes, Student Punch Cards, and Metro EZ Passes.
Customer service hours for the new transit store are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Although the store is now open to the public, a grand opening event with city officials, local environmental groups, and other VIP guests is planned for December 5 at 11 a.m. on the Third Street Promenade at Broadway to officially welcome the transit store to the community.
“The Third Street Promenade is a busy place, and we hope that people will be curious about the store and come in to see what we have to offer,” said Big Blue Bus Customer Relations Manager Dan Dawson, who noted that the store is located within two blocks of almost every Big Blue Bus line. “One of our main goals is to draw as much attention as possible to the benefits of using public transit, so we’re hoping that the customer-friendly location, all the different fare choices, and the eco-friendly products will inspire people to give transit a try.”
The earth-friendly products include clothing, transit-related items, and Santa Monica-branded merchandise. A highlight of the store’s merchandise is special limited edition antique token jewelry handcrafted by local Santa Monica artisans.
The new 900-square-foot store was designed by well-known Santa Monica architect Warren Wagner of W3 Architects. Wagner, who specializes in creating environmentally friendly designs, incorporated many cutting-edge sustainable materials, energy-efficient fixtures, and other eco-features into the new facility, including:
– Floors made of recycled rubber tires
– Counters made of recycled paper
– Walls made of renewable strawboard
– Formaldehyde-free cabinetry
– Low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paint
– Unique window designs that allow the store to be lit by natural daylight
– Solar panels to provide additional power