Big Blue Bus (BBB) introduced major route and schedule changes as part of the final phase of the Evolution of Blue campaign, which is BBB’s service integration with the new Expo Light-Rail Line as of Aug. 21.
The Evolution of Blue plan’s roll out began last August and aims to provide easy first-last mile connections to the Expo Line. The final phase will include changes on several routes and schedules.
Major changes include the truncation of the Route 1 in Venice. The Marina del Rey segment of the route will be discontinued and will be replaced by service on the updated Route 18. Service to downtown Santa Monica will begin on Main St. and Market St. just north of Windward Circle providing critical connections to the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line Station.
The Route 18 will be extended from Venice’s Abbot Kinney south to Marina del Rey via Abbot Kinney and Washington boulevards. Service from Marina del Rey to Santa Monica and UCLA will begin on Via Marina and Admiralty Way. Weekday service will increase to every 20 minutes during peak hours and weekend schedules have also been updated. The Route 5 will also see changes when service is discontinued west of Olympic Blvd. and 26th St. Customers are advised to use Metro’s Expo Line or Route 1 via Santa Monica Blvd. for east/west service. Beginning Sunday, Route 5 will operate between 26th St./Bergamot Station and Palms Station via Century City. Lastly, the Rapid 10 will see the discontinuation of weekend service. Alternate service to and from Downtown Santa Monica and Downtown Los Angeles is available via the Expo Line.
Santa Monica College students will see better frequencies on Routes 41, 42 and 44 which all connect with the 17th St./SMC Expo Line Station and more late night trips departing after 10:30pm going to Koreatown/Purple Line Station. And, UCLA students will enjoy an increase in service on Rapid 12 during peak hours. Additional modifications include regular bus stop and/or schedule changes to Rapid 3 and Routes 2 and 44. See full details at bigbluebus.com/servicechange.
Santa Monica locals are encouraged to try Blue at Night which provides first-last mile connections from Expo. The on-demand service is available Friday and Saturday nights from 8pm to 3am, providing late- night connections to or from the 17th St./SMC Expo Station for only $3. Residents can easily request a Blue at Night cab during service hours by dialing 877-611-8294. View a service area map and more details at bigbluebus.com/blueatnight.
“The August Service Change, marks the final milestone in the major redesign of Big Blue Bus routes that began last August,” said Transit Director Edward F. King. “In the last year, we increased service by 11%, launched an on-demand late evening service, introduced six new routes, hired almost 20 new motor coach operators, purchased new vehicles, and added 200 new bus stops to our system. These combined efforts have resulted in greater service and connectivity with the Expo Line thereby providing more convenient transportation options throughout BBB’s service area,” continued King.
Details of the August service changes along with system-wide timetables and maps are available in the “Little Blue Book” transit guide, which is now available on board, at the Transit Store and at local public counters such as local libraries and senior centers. In addition, bus arrival information is available on the NextBus real-time mobile application and Google Transit. The GTFS-realtime data which drives both applications are reflected in the Aug. 21 changes, so that customers have access to the most up- to-date data informing them of bus locations, arrival and departure times.
About Big Blue Bus
Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 customers daily across a 51-square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG) a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps cut emissions by up to 90 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety and efficiency.