May 27, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Big Blue Bus Route Shake-Up To Align With Expo:

In light of the opening of the Expo line in Santa Monica and the subsequent duplication of public transit options, Santa Monica City Council gave the go-ahead Tuesday to move forward with work on a totally revised Big Blue Bus transit integration plan.

Discussing City work on the local service at a special City Council meeting, council members disseminated lengthy alterations to current services while contemplating new route suggestions.

The Expo Integration Plan seeks to capitalize on the opening of seven new rail stations in the Big Blue Bus (BBB) service area, according to City staff.

All BBB operations have been examined in the service’s entirety while drafting the report said Edward King, Director of Transit Services for the City.

“I think it’s an opportunity for us to make the most significant changes in our 80 year history,” King said.

The transit director said that after nine months of public outreach, the options put forward in the Integration Plan will best service the community as a whole, while keeping a reasonable budget and personnel constraints.

“This is a significant change of conditions for a system that has served rail only at the periphery until now,” City staff stated.

Alterations of bus routes to attract new rail to bus transfers have the potential to increase ridership, make more efficient use of transit resources, and reduce overall levels of congestion, according to the report.

Plan Objectives

The revised Expo Integration Plan includes an increase of approximately nine percent in revenue service hours and associated costs.

Stated objectives are: creating first-and-last mile connectivity; more north-south corridor service to serve the stations; reducing redundancy with other transit providers; eliminating inefficient routing; improving speed and reliability; and maximizing resources; and acknowledging that current BBB service must continue to serve markets and customers that do not interface with Expo.

Annual revenue service hours are expected to increase from the current 507,000 to 553,000 annual revenue service hours, according to the report.

Proposed Changes

The revised plan creates access to the new Expo Stations from areas to the north and south on six new routes, or new corridors on existing routes:

• 4th Street south from Downtown Station to Rose Ave. commercial area and Abbott Kinney Blvd.

• 23rd Street south from Bergamot Station to Walgrove, Costco on Venice Blvd., and Marina del Rey

• 26th Street north from Bergamot Station to San Vicente

• Stewart to Colorado to Centinela north from Bergamot Station to Wilshire

• Barrington Ave. north from Bundy Station to Sunset Blvd.

• Bi-directional service on 14th and 20th between Pico Blvd. and Montana Ave. serving Memorial Park Station both ways

• Continuation of the Main Street corridor southward to Marina del Rey

• Extension of Centinela Ave. corridor to Playa del Rey from Bundy Station

• Sawtelle Blvd. to Sepulveda Station both north and south

Increased access for key destinations beyond walk distance from closest stations:

• North end of downtown Santa Monica

• Venice east

• Venice west

• Marina del Rey

• Playa Vista

• Sony Studios


• Santa Monica College

• Saint John’s Hospital

• UCLA Medical Center

• Brentwood Village

• Several high schools and middle schools

BBB held 18 meetings with other transit providers to discuss duplication and coordination of service resulting in agreements to reduce LA Metro trips to downtown Santa Monica by 15 percent and eliminating over 42,000 miles of LA Metro bus operation from downtown Santa Monica.

An extensive public outreach program was part of the new plan. The City received over 4,600 survey responses and over 12,300 individual written and verbal comments through email, survey, public meeting, letters and workshops.

“We did a lot of survey work to gauge the interests of our customers, residents, and stakeholders here and in Los Angeles,” King explained, “what they would like to see as far as Big Blue Bus’ service, especially with the integration of Expo light rail line.”

Much was discussed during the Council meeting Tuesday, with the main concerns arising including the operation specifics of suggested new services and the removal of several lines that could result in commuters faced with an extensive walk between stations and stops and hence their reliance on cars instead.

One of the major issues of the plan is the limited times of some of the newly-proposed services Councilwoman Gleam Davis said, especially Route 43, connecting 26th Street/San Vincente with Bergamot Station and scheduled to operate from 6 am – 9 am and 3 pm – 6 pm weekdays.

“I’m afraid that we might be setting this line up to fail,” Davis said. “These hours may work well for some people, but if the service is only going to work until 5 pm, then I need to leave my office building in downtown L.A. at 4 pm, and the people who live in this area that the line is going to service, are not people who leave the office at 4 pm.”

Councilwoman Pam O’Connor echoed Davis’ concern but in regards to Line 18, which is a proposal to link Abbot Kinney/ Montana/UCLA from 6 am – 7 pm weekdays only.

She also stressed the need to keep focus on Santa Monica’s business hubs.

“We really need to be conscious and look at how we are serving Downtown Santa Monica and not as just as this is the place where people will connect to Expo but Downtown Santa Monica being a destination in and of itself,” O’Connor said.

Projected weekday ridership for the Exposition line is 64,000 boardings per weekday as of 2030, and over 5,000 projected daily boardings at the 4th Street Terminus, according to City staff.

Public hearings and requests for Council adoption of the proposed BBB route structure changes are planned for spring 2015 with implementation of the proposed changes planned for late summer or early fall 2015 and spring 2016 in order to be ready for Expo opening in 2016.

Staff will also return to Council during the financial years 2015 – 2017 Biennial Budget process with specific capital and staffing needs to support the projected increases.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Pier to Feature High-Flying Waving American Flag on  Ferris Wheel During Memorial Day Weekend

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Pacific Park on the Santa Monica Pier’s Ferris wheel will feature a high-flying 130-feet tall, animated waving American flag throughout...

Message From Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Ben Drati

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff and Community Members, Sadly, we have learned of another horrific school shooting, this time in the...

Three Juveniles in Hosptial Following Overdose in Santa Monica

May 26, 2022

May 26, 2022

Two females in critical but stable condition, third victim “alert and recovering” By Sam Catanzaro Three juveniles suffered an overdose...

John Adams Middle School Student Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

JAMS Student Grayson Fitzgerald named junior finalist for the 2022 middle school honors performance series at Carnegie Hall By Staff...

SMC Student Film “The War Within” Accepted into 2022 American Pavilion at Cannes

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Three Santa Monica College Films Will Screen at In-Person Festival, including 2021 Best Student Film Winner “Broken Layers” and 2020’s...

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...