Big Blue Bus (BBB) operator and SMART TD member Rochelle Beamon (Local 1785) has been honored by Santa Monica, California’s city manager with the city’s “Elaine” award. Beamon has been labeled a hero after she managed to miss hitting a man on an electric scooter who swerved into her lane. “I saw him, looked left and felt very grateful that it turned out the way it did. It feels great to know that I saved someone’s life,” Beamon said when she received the award. Each week, City Manager Rick Cole honors someone with an “Elaine” award to a city employee who exemplifies the city’s commitment to excellent service. SMART TD congratulates Beamon on her excellent driving skills and on a job well done. Click here to read more from the Santa Monica Daily Press.
SMART TD represents bus operators who work for BBB in Santa Monica, Calif. BBB service area spans more than 58 square miles of greater Los Angeles and its buses provide over 16.5 million rides for customers each year.
With public transportation usage growing around the nation, many agencies are looking at ways to attract millennials, who are looking for more options and driving less and less, according to respondents of METRO’s Top 100 Bus Fleets survey.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s (MTA) New York City Transit/MTA Bus Co. tops this year’s list with 5,759 total vehicles. Showing some movement this year, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2,378), New Jersey Transit (2,233), Seattle’s King County Metro Transit (1,882) and the Toronto Transit Commission (1,869) round out this year’s top five, which collectively totals 14,121 vehicles, or 21 percent of this year’s overall 66,056 total vehicles — down slightly compared to 2014, although last year’s list ranked the Top 110 bus fleets.
Click here to read the full results of the survey.
SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Big Blue Bus (BBB) is preparing to meet the train, embarking upon major service and stop changes over the next twelve months as part of the Evolution of Blue campaign. The first phase of the Evolution of Blue plan to integrate BBB’s service with the Expo Light Rail Line will begin on August 23, 2015 as BBB rolls out major changes on several routes. Route 15, which is a new route, with service along the Barrington Avenue corridor, will be added. Routes 5 and 14 will be modified, including new service to Playa Vista on the Route 14. More service, including during weekends, will be added on the Rapid 3 and Rapid 7, in addition to regular bus stop changes. Three routes will be discontinued – Routes 6, 13 and Rapid 20. See full details at bigbluebus.com/servicechange.
In addition to the route changes, riders will see further improvements in customer serving tools available to them. The award winning “Little Blue Book” system-wide schedule for BBB routes that includes a large foldout System Map is now available on board, at the Transit Store and strategic locations such as local libraries and senior centers. To ensure they get the new version, customers can look for the red band showing the new effective date of August 23, 2015.
In an effort to expand customer communication tools and technology improvements, BBB has recently launched a new website feature with a Google Maps insert on each of its route pages. The new maps show the full complement of bus stops on each route, which is especially useful with the many changes taking place over the next year. BBB launched the NextBus Real Time Mobile Application in July so that customers have access to real time data. Lastly, BBB provides regional seamless fare payment as customers can now pay with TAP cards.
Transit Director, Ed King says, “BBB is in an incredible time of opportunity for our community and our customers, a time of change as our team works to transform all of our routes over the next year.” King adds, “These changes were vetted over an 18-month period with stakeholders, the community and customers. Sometimes change is challenging, especially for customers who will be asked to change their travel patterns. Our goal is to maintain service locally and provide regional access to and from Santa Monica using public transit and trains that are convenient and reliable for even more customers. More people on buses and trains translates to fewer cars on the road, a tremendous benefit to everyone in the region with improved quality of life.”
Big Blue Bus fares are $1 per ride on all routes with a $1 surcharge on the Rapid 10 Express to Downtown Los Angeles. Day-passes are available for $4 that allow unlimited rides in a calendar day and regular priced monthly passes are $60. All passes are available on TAP cards and can be purchased online at taptogo.net.
About the Big Blue Bus Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of nearly 200 vehicles transporting more than 61,000 passengers 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 liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which helps to cut emissions by over 80 percent. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its customer service, safety and efficiency.