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Tag Archives: Big Blue Bus

New Big Blue Bus Route from UCLA to Sawtelle Boulevard


bbbThe Big Blue Bus system will be adding a first-ever direct bus route from UCLA to Sawtelle Boulevard. The change was approved by the Santa Monica City Council on April 28 as part of the Big Blue Bus Expo Line Integration Plan, which also includes the consolidation of the Line 12 and Rapid 12 routes on Westwood Boulevard.

The new proposal will create more north-south bus services to complement the east-west route of the Expo Light Rail Line slated to open next year. A 25-cent fare increase will be implemented to fund the plan. However, UCLA Transportation will continue to offer a reduced 50-cent fare to ride, as well as quarterly passes at a 50% discount.

The new Sawtelle Boulevard route will be Line 17, starting at UCLA and ending at the Expo Line’s Culver City station. Other changes outlined in the plan include additional service times for the Rapid 12 line—which would end at Venice Boulevard and Overland Avenue instead of the Culver City station.

The first phase of the Big Blue Bus Expo Line Integration Plan will be implemented in August, but adjustments to Line 12 will not take effect until summer 2016.

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus moves to TAP

Tap Blog copy


Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) will be switching to TAP starting in March 2015. On Tuesday, Jan. 27, BBB held their first Reddit AMA (ask me anything), where they answered questions about their services and in particular about the upcoming move to TAP.

BBB is the last major transit line to make the switch to TAP, a durable, eco-friendly, plastic card that contains smart chip technology designed to improve your transit experience. TAP will allow BBB to expedite boarding times with the use of TAP. Customers will now be able to use their preloaded TAP cards to tap and go.

During the online Q&A, Suja Lowenthal and Eric Sink from BBB answered 20 questions in the allotted time frame, with over half in regards to TAP. Customers' biggest concern was, and still is, the issue of transfers between transit agencies.

This is BBB’s explanation of Interagency Transfers:

This aspect of TAP service is a little confusing and it depends on which bus you begin and end your trip on:

  • When you board a BBB bus first:You will need to pay the appropriate transfer fee in cash ($0.50 regular or $0.25 discounted) at the farebox and ask the BBB driver for either a paper transfer to present to the Metro bus operator OR a special TAP transfer to enter the automatic gates at Metro rail stations.
  • When you board a Metro Bus or Rail line first, you may use stored value (if you have it on your TAP card) or use cash to purchase your interagency transfer. Confirm with your Metro bus operator that the transfer has been loaded to your TAP card and then simply "tap" your card when you board your next leg of travel on Big Blue Bus.

In other words:

Transfer Rules Graphic

UCLA Transportation will not be making the switch to TAP immediately and students, staff and faculty will still need their BruinGO! Flash Pass and ID to board BBB buses. The UCLA community can expect the switch to take place by fall of 2015.

For more information on TAP and BBB, please click here.

Big Blue Bus Community Meeting: Recap


IMG_5227Yesterday, UCLA students, staff and faculty were able to give Big Blue Bus (BBB) their feedback on the carrier’s upcoming proposed service changes. During the community meeting, the audience learned that Line 8, which original proposed changes would’ve caused a disturbance in service to the UCLA campus, will remain unchanged, and will continue to serve the UCLA community.

This past summer, BBB collected feedback via a survey, where bus riders were able to voice their opinions and concerns on the proposed changes. If you haven't had the chance to participate yet, the survey will officially close in one week, so give your input as soon as possible.

A few important dates are coming up. The next big workshop will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014. At that time, BBB will take all the information they have been collecting and present it to the Santa Monica City Council.

Timeline of Next Main Events:
February/March: Final plan proposal
September/October 2015: First minor changes will take place
February 16, 2016: BBB Expo line opening

If you are dissatisfied with the proposed service changes and want to make an impact, you are welcome to contact your local councilman.

The complete BBB Expo Integration Study proposed changes can be found online at

Recap of draft recommendations:

Route 1 Santa Monica Blvd

  • Adjust downtown Santa Monica routing
  • Extend to Marina del Rey
  • Remove infrequent extension to Venice High
  • Frequency and hours of service unchanged

Rider options:

  • In Venice, use Metro Route 33, Big Blue Bus Route 3, or new Big Blue Bus route on Walgrove Ave.

Route 2 Wilshire Blvd:

  • Truncate route at Westwood Blvd to reduce duplication of service and improve speed and reliability
  • Frequency and hours of service unchanged

Rider options:

  •  In Westwood/UCLA campus, use Route 1 or Rapid 12 to travel to Wilshire/Westwood to transfer to Route 2.

Route 3 Lincoln Blvd & Montana Ave

  • Consolidate operations of Route 3 and Rapid 3
  • Add stops to Rapid 3
  • Operate Rapid 3 more frequently
  • Replace Route 3 service between Downtown Santa Monica and UCLA with service to key destinations along the route using new or adjusted services
  • Approximate time between buses: 8 min during peak hours and midday, 15-30 min in the evening

Rider options:

  • On Montana Ave corridor, use Big Blue Bus Routes 8, 9, 41, or 14, or new Big Blue Bus routes serving 26th St. and Barrington Ave
  • In Westwood/UCLA campus, use Routes 1, 2, or Rapid 12
  • On Sepulveda, use Culver City Bus Routes 6 or Rapid 6
  • On Manchester Ave, use LA Metro Route 115Expo

Route 4 San Vicente Blvd & Carlyle Ave

  • Eliminate this route and provide service to key destinations along the route using other new or adjusted services
  • Service to the VA Hospital will be provided by the new Route S
  •  Approximate time between buses: TBD

Rider options:

  • On 4th St between Downtown and San Vicente Blvd, use Route 8
  • On San Vicente Blvd between 14th St and 26th St, use new Route T
  • On San Vicente Blvd near Bundy Dr, use Route 14
  • On San Vicente Blvd near Barrington Ave, use new Route B
  • Route S will connect Wilshire Blvd, the VA Hospital, and Sawtelle Blvd with the Sepulveda Expo Line station
  • On Olympic Blvd, use Route 5
  • On Pico Blvd, use Route 7

Route 5 Olympic Blvd

  • Reduce duplication with Metro and Expo Line
    • Delete service east of Century City
    • Delete service between Bergamot and downtown Santa Monica
  • Extend route south from Century City to Palms Expo Line Station
  • Weekday frequency decreased from every 20 minutes to every 30 minutes
  • Hours of service will remain the same

Rider options:

  • On Pico Blvd, use Big Blue Bus Route 7 or Rapid 7
  • On Robertson Blvd, use LA Metro Route 220
  • Between Bergamot and downtown Santa Monica, use Expo Line or Big Blue Bus Route 1 on Santa Monica Blvd

Route 8 Ocean Park Blvd (This line will now remain unchanged)
Previous proposed changes:

  • Extend to North Santa Monica
  • Adjust downtown Santa Monica alignment
  • Extend to Culver City Expo Line Station instead of serving UCLA
  • Frequency and hours of service remain the same

Rider options:

  • On Westwood Blvd and UCLA campus, use Rapid 12.

Route 12/Rapid 12 UCLA/Westwood to EXPO

  • Consolidate Route 8, 12, and Rapid 12 service on Westwood Blvd on a restructured Rapid 12
  • Create limited stop, high-frequency corridor serving Westwood and Overland
  •  End route at Motor Ave & Washington Blvd

Rider options:

  • In Palms and Culver City, use Big Blue Bus Routes 8 or S.


Big Blue Bus Community Meeting


Big Blue Bus (BBB) next meeting to be held in Viewpoint Lounge at Ackerman Union on Monday, Oct. 6. (Photo by Big Blue Bus)

UCLA and Santa Monica Big Blue Bus (BBB) are inviting the UCLA community to attend a meeting in Viewpoint Lounge at Ackerman Union on Monday, Oct. 6 (noon-2pm) regarding the proposed changes to take place to the BBB lines in early 2016.

The Expo line extension, which is expected to open early 2016, will have a major impact on public transit on the Westside. As part of this change, BBB is currently evaluating its system, which could result in some significant service changes that will impact the UCLA community.

BBB staff members will be hosting a community meeting at UCLA as an opportunity for students, employees and members of the community to share their feedback and concerns on the proposed changes.

If you cannot attend the meeting, share your thoughts on this BBB survey, which will remain open until Wednesday, Oct. 8. The meeting and survey will be your only chance for your voice to be heard before decisions are made on the upcoming service changes.

Please see BBB for more information regarding the proposed changes.

Meeting Details
Date: Monday, Oct. 6th
Time: Noon to 2 p.m.
Location: Ackerman Union, Viewpoint Conference Room (2nd Floor)

Big Blue Bus fall service changes


Big Blue Bus fall service changes

Big Blue Bus fall service changes are now in effect, including a major service modification on Route 3 and many other smaller changes to other routes including new schedules on Route 1 and increased service on the Rapid 7 (serving Pico Blvd.).

The biggest change is to BBB’s Route 3, which used to travel all the way from the Metro’s Green Line Aviation Station to UCLA through downtown Santa Monica. The ‘3’ has been split into two separate routes. The southern portion, from the Green Line Station to downtown Santa Monica will remain “Route 3” and the portion from downtown Santa Monica to UCLA is named “Route 3M” to designate the service along Montana Ave.

According to Edward F. King, Director of Transit Services, “Eighty percent of customers for Route 3 will experience positive changes, but customers currently traveling through downtown Santa Monica will have to connect to a second bus and cash paying customers will have to pay a second fare.”

For more information, please visit Big Blue Bus’ website.