On Tuesday, I attended one of the Big Blue Bus's community meetings in downtown Santa Monica with the director of the Graduate Student Association's Sustainable Resource Center. Check out this link to read a summary of the proposed bus route changes. The only one which directly affects service to UCLA is the addition of another bus on the 1 Line, and that's so that BBB can continue maintaining service on 10-minute headways.

The SRC director and I learned a lot more about the fiscal challenges facing the BBB, due in part to the economic downturn and rising costs.

We also learned about BBB's ongoing efforts to implement Intelligent Transportation System technology (ITS). You may be familiar with the signs by the Hilgard Terminal which tell you when the next bus is coming. Well, BBB is working on a project which would assign all the bus stops in their system a number so that riders can call or log in, plug in that bus stop number, and find out the arrival time of the next bus. The SRC director offered to be a beta tester. There is no exact timeline so I'd call into BBB in order to find out more. Another idea under consideration is implementing technology that allows riders to point bluetooth devices at a bus stop sign in order to receive information such as the arrival time of the next bus.

During the public comment section of the meeting, individuals asked about pending cuts to routes, offered suggestions for consolidating routes to save money; complained about how they didn't want articulated buses because they thought they were uncomfortable (she refused to understand that those buses were uncomfortable often due to the poor roads they were traveling on); and questioned the rerouting of buses terminating at UCLA from Hilgard to Ackerman Terminal on weekends.

It's not too late to make comments to the BBB. BBB invites you to connect with Dan Dawson, Customer Relations Manager, at Dan.Dawson@smgov.net or 1660 7th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401.

-Sirinya the Intern