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Big Blue Bus to Host Expo Community Workshop

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark

Harding Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP  law firm
Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

Pacific Park, Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau

By Daniel Larios
Special to the Lookout

Editor's note: A previous version of this article stated that the meeting was on Tuesday. The meeting is actually on Thursday. The article has been updated to reflect this information.

February 13, 2014
-- Big Blue Bus riders on Thursday will have a third chance to weigh in on how best to connect the bus system to the Expo Light Rail Line expected to reach Downtown Santa Monica by 2016.

At the last of three workshops -- which will take place at 6 p.m at the Vista Del Mar Family Services Gymnasium, 3200 Motor Avenue -- Big Blue Bus officials will gather feedback for the Expo Integration Study that assesses potential connections to station's along Expo's final stretch from Culver City to Downtown Santa Monica

Officials hope to "gain valuable community feedback and concerns" about "bus connections to Expo Line stations as well as the design of the BBB network," which will provide service to Santa Monica, the Westside, UCLA, Santa Monica College and other destinations.

"The service area of Big Blue Bus is changing in ways that promise to have significant impact on public transportation," said Suja Lowenthal, the BBB's Government and Community Relations Manager. "Further expansion of the Exposition Light Rail Line in 2016 will increase the number of stations served from four to eleven, and bring rail from the fringes of the BBB service area into its center."

The Expo Line in Santa Monica will include three stations, a maintenance facility, a bike path and approximately three miles of trackway, officials said.

The Downtown Expo station, which will sit on the former Sears Automotive building site and is currently under construction, will be the final stop for the 15-mile-long light rail line extending from Downtown Los Angeles to Downtown Santa Monica, an approximately 46-minute commute by rail.

Projected weekday ridership for the Exposition Line is estimated at 64,000 boardings per weekday by 2030, according to Lowenthal.

Phase 2 will extend from the Metro Expo Line Culver City Station to Santa Monica and run along the old Pacific Electric Exposition right-of-way to 4th Street and Colorado Avenue in Downtown Santa Monica.

The 6.6 mile second phase will connect Santa Monica by rail to Downtown LA and from there to Pasadena, San Fernando Valley, South Bay, Long Beach and dozens of points in between. With seven new stations serving diverse LA neighborhoods such as Century City, West Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, the Metro Rail system will expand to 87 stations and more than 93 miles of rail to destinations across L.A. County.

"This is a significant change of conditions for a bus system that has served rail only at the periphery until now," said Lowenthal.

The Big Blue Bus' service area spans more than 51 square miles of greater Los Angeles and serves more than 20 million riders each year. Farebox revenues and a variety of county, state and federal subsidies help pay for the service, which is provided by the City of Santa Monica.

"No monies from the City’s general fund are used by the Big Blue Bus," reads the agency's website.

For more information about the Expo Line project, visit or call (213) 922-EXPO (3976).

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