The following press release was received from the Big Blue
Beginning Sunday, August 28, the Big Blue Bus (BBB) will launch changes to nine of its 20 services. The changes are necessary to increase passenger capacity, travel times along high-volume corridors, and eliminate duplicative service while working within BBB’s current fares and budget.
“Based on months of ridership research and system analysis, along with some suggestions from neighbors and community leaders, the changes coming at the end of August should move more people faster across Big Blue Bus’ system, while laying the groundwork needed to connect with EXPO” said Dan Dawson, Customer Relations Manager for the Big Blue Bus. The changes were approved by City Council on May 10, 2011 after an extensive public outreach process.
The changes, some of the broadest in the past decade, will affect routes 1, 2, 6, 7, Rapid 7, 10, 11 and 12. A new service called the Downtown Ride will also be launched. Previews of new maps and schedules are currently available via a “service changes” booklet downloadable at BigBlueBus.com and on-board all Big Blue Buses. Schedules effective August 28 will be placed in racks across the service area several days prior.
The changes to Routes 1 and 2 will result in the truncation of Route 2 on Main St. at Hill St. South of that intersection, Route 1 will replace Route 2 as the primary Big Blue Bus service headed to Venice Beach and the Walgrove Ave./Venice High School neighborhood.
To increase passenger capacity along the transit system’s most traveled corridor, Pico Blvd., Big Blue Bus will introduce 60’ articulated buses to the Rapid 7 fleet and increase this service’s frequency and hours of operation. Rapid 7 will now operate all day from 6:00 a.m. through 10:00 p.m. on weekdays with an eight minute frequency during peak periods. With these changes, Big Blue Bus will be able to transport more riders along Pico Blvd. eighteen percent faster and at a lower cost per ride mile.
In addition to a faster trip, Rapid 7 riders will also be able to travel farther since the service will be extended east of the Rimpau Transit Center via Crenshaw Blvd. to Metro’s Purple Line Subway Station on Wilshire Blvd. at Western Ave. This extended service supports the City’s LUCE goal of “no net new trips” by increasing transit options between eastern Los Angeles, served by the Purple Line, to Santa Monica.
Big Blue Bus will also be improving regional connectivity by converting the Route 10 Freeway Express to the Rapid 10. Rapid Blue services are routes designed to connect commuter destinations that make fewer stops, whereby transporting longer distance riders from point-to-point faster. By eliminating ten of the least used stops that are within 0.25 of a mile or less from another more traveled stop, the new Rapid 10 service should experience improved travel times.
Finally, Big Blue Bus will be introducing the new Downtown Ride service on Monday, August 29. This service was designed as an incentive for drivers to use the Civic Center Structure or outdoor parking lot instead of circling around the Third St. area hunting for limited – and often pricier – parking.
The next round of changes, under consideration for implementation in February 2012, would be to make adjustments to Routes 5, 12 and Super 12. While changes to Routes 3 and 14 had been under consideration, those plans have been tabled for now.
Big Blue Bus will present proposals to the public for comment via BigBlueBus.com and at community meetings (listed below). Then public feedback and research will be used to generate a staff report for City Council, which will be considered at one of their regularly scheduled meetings in early November.
“Everyone – residents, students, employers, riders, non-riders – are encouraged to attend a Big Blue Bus community meeting regarding service change proposals,” encourages Dawson. “It’s not public transit without public input.”
Meetings to discuss proposed changes to Big Blue Bus routes 5, 12 and Super 12 will be held in ADA-accessible venues. Disability and translation requests should be made at least three days prior to the meeting by calling Teri Plummer at (310) 458-1975, ext. 5854 or using TTY (310) 395-6024. * = Service closest to venue.
August 27 (Saturday) 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Main Library, Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd floor, 601 Santa Monica Blvd. (served by Big Blue Bus Routes 1*, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7*, 8, 9 and 10*)
August 30 (Tuesday) 12:00 noon – 2:00 p.m. UCLA (Ackerman Union, Room AU 240), Westwood Plaza (served by Big Blue Bus Routes 1, 2, 3, 8, 11 and 12; drivers coming from the south should park at structure 6 and from the north in structure 4)
August 31 (Wednesday) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Ken Edwards Center, Room 100A, 1527 4th Street, Santa Monica (served by Big Blue Bus Routes 1, 2*, 3*, 5*, 7, 8 or 9*)
September 6 (Tuesday) 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Main Library, Multi-Purpose Room, 2nd floor, 601 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica (served by Big Blue Bus Routes 1*, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7*, 8, 9 and 10*)