January 25, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City Hopes New Bus Signs Will Increase Ridership

$700,000 will be spent to revamp the signage with real-time displays. 

By Tor Marom

At last week’s Santa Monica City Council meeting, the Council awarded a contract for new Big Blue Bus real-time signage and solar lighting to Hawaii-based company Way Sine LLC. The City Manager is now authorized to negotiate a contract not exceeding the amount of $764,125 for the first three years.

According to City Staff, this is an attempt to raise ridership numbers by improving the experience of waiting for the bus. The staff report cites Big Blue Bus research which states that bus stops with less amenities and those that “feel unsafe” cause riders to imagine their wait to be longer than it is.

“Bus stops that feel unsafe, and with no amenities, result in perceived waiting times that are two to three times longer than the actual observed waiting time,” the report states.

Under this proposal, 200 bus stops will be receiving these upgrades, despite about half of them not meeting the established Big Blue Bus standards for real-time signage. According to BBB, only stops with “high volume” ridership are to be provided with real-time signs, meaning stops with 100-999 average daily boardings.

The staff report states that while only about 100 of the stops meet the standards, the signs and solar lights are packaged into a single unit.

“A bus stop that was eligible for, and warranted, a light would also receive a real-time display,” BBB said when reached for comment. By this criteria, all stops with five or more average daily boardings during the “off-peak” period between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.

This move follows the 2015 Bus Stop Improvement Project, in which BBB installed about 35 real-time signs at bus stops within the City. The Santa Monica Mirror reached out to the City and Big Blue Bus regarding the comparative costs of those signs to the ones included in this proposal.

“The real-time signs deployed in 2015 were manufacturer by Trapeze Group and cost $20,751.15 per sign,” BBB said.

Those costs include licensing, software integration, production, installation and three-year support. The Way Sine project is being funded exclusively through grant funding for safety & security (Prop 1B) and bus stop amenities,” a Big Blue Bus spokesperson said.

With a total cost of about $764,000 for the first three years of this project, each of the 200 stops will cost about $3,820 to upgrade. That is about $380,000 in improvements for stops with fewer than 100 daily riders. That said, the staff report states that while these 200 stops represent 22 percent of BBB’s total stops, they represent about 66 percent of BBB’s total ridership (44,040 average riders per weekday). The costs also include tools for diagnostic testing as well as a warranty for repairs, including parts and labor.

According to the proposal, the City Manager will be authorized to make up to two one-year renewals after the first three years, with a maximum additional cost of $24,000 per year.

According to the staff report, Way Sine LLC has been recommended as the contractor due to their low bid of $706,195 as well as the features included in their real-time signage.

The only other bid listed on the staff report was from CHK America, Inc. While CHK’s signage was stated to have more extensive graphics capability as well as other features, their bid of over $2,000,000 was not selected.

“The Way Sine proposal, while not as feature- and service-heavy as the CHK proposal,” the report reads, “fully satisfied the needs identified in the technical requirements of the request for proposal.”

According to the report, other transit systems such as the Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) rated Way Sine’s equipment highly.

Which specific stops will receive these upgrades has not yet been decided.

“Big Blue Bus is conducting a customer survey to gain feedback on desired stop locations for these improvements,” said a BBB spokesperson.

The proposed costs for this project will be split between the city’s Prop 1B and Bus Stop Amenities funds.

in News
Related Posts

City Breaks Ground on Water Self-Sufficiency Project

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

City Representative Sunny Wang explains what the new improvements to the Arcadia Water Treatment Plant will mean for local residents..Video...

Euro Investment Firm Buys Santa Monica Whole Foods Property for Over $50 Million

January 24, 2022

January 24, 2022

Whole Foods Santa Monica property sold to Deka Group By Dolores Quintana One of Europe’s largest investment firms has purchased...

Preliminary Injunction Granted to Halt Demolition Of Parking Structure 3

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

January 24 hearing set following LA Superior Court Judge ruling By Dolores Quintana The Santa Monica Bayside Owners Association’s (SMBOA)...

Westside Home Prices Rising?

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

Redfin report shows 11.1 percent increase in median home prices By Dolores Quintana Are Westside home prices rising?  On the...

Film Review: “Don’t Look Up”

January 21, 2022

January 21, 2022

FILM REVIEWDON’T LOOK UPRated R138 MinutesReleased December 24th As with other Adam McKay movies, such as Vice and The Big...

Anti-Vaccine and Mask Rally Coming to Santa Monica This Weekend

January 20, 2022

January 20, 2022

Ocean Avenue protest will draw 300-400 people Saturday By Sam Catanzaro 300-400 people are expected to attend an anti-vaccine and...

Popular Taco Spot Coming to Santa Monica

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Tacos Tu Made opening in former Obica space By Dolores Quintana A popular taco spot is opening its first Santa...

Arrest Made in Murder of Brianna Kupfer

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Shawn Laval Smith in police custody By Sam Catanzaro Police have arrested a man suspected of the murder of Brianna...

Police Say Suspect in Brianna Kupfer Murder Case Has Been Seen in Santa Monica

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

UPDATE: Shawn Laval Smith, the suspect responsible for the murder of Brianna Kupfer is in custody, after being located and...

160 Santa Monica City Employees Have Confirmed COVID Infections

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Public Works employees record most cases among workforce By Dolores Quintana Among Santa Monica city employees there are a total...

Effort to Recall LA City Councilmember Mike Bonin Falls Short

January 19, 2022

January 19, 2022

Final tally 1,350 signatures short of required amount  By Dolores Quintana The group that attempted to recall Los Angeles City...

World’s Largest Wildlife Crossing Set to Break Ground

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

Crossing over the 101 Freeway set to break ground this spring By Sam Catanzaro The world’s largest wildlife crossing will...

Santa Monica Unified Among Top School Districts in California

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

SMMUSD earns high marks in Niche survey By Sam Catanzaro The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) is among the...

Los Angeles Homeless Count Postponed Amid COVID-19 Surge

January 18, 2022

January 18, 2022

LAHSA count to take place February 23 for Westside By Sam Catanzaro On Friday, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority...

Anti-Semitic Fliers Linking Jewish People to Anti-Vaxx Movement Posted at Santa Monica Schools

January 17, 2022

January 17, 2022

Police investigation incidents at Eddison, Will Rogers, McKinley and Grant elementary schools By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica police are investigating...