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Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus Shakes Up Schedules

Santa Monica Real Estate Company, Roque and Mark


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Harding, Larmore Kutcher & Kozal, LLP

By Lookout Staff

June 21, 2013 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus will adjust schedules to better suit riders' itineraries over the summer, City transit officials announced Thursday.

The schedule changes, which went into effect last weekend, would impact almost every bus line in the beachside city until the next scheduled change on August 25 and 26.

“At the start of each summer, the Big Blue Bus takes advantage of shifts in riders' travel patterns from taking more school and work trips to more leisure trips by making relevant route and schedule adjustments,” officials said.

Big Blue Bus will cancel its SMC Commuter -- Route 6 -- for the summer. The Commuter takes travelers from National and Venice Boulevards to SMC's Bundy and Main campuses.

With the cancellation of Route 6 for the summer, another major route that connects Santa Monica to the Wilshire Boulevard and Western Avenue subway station -- the Rapid 7 -- will get a boost.

“Weekday schedule will now operate every 12 minutes from approximately 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. instead of current schedule of every 15 minutes to increase frequency and reduce overcrowding,” officials said.

The Rapid 7 connects Koreatown and Downtown Los Angeles to Santa Monica via Pico Boulevard and is one of the City's most-used bus lines.

The local Route 7, which operates on a similar route but makes more frequent stops, will also see a similar change in schedule.

Big Blue Bus will remove one stop from its other major commuter line -- the Rapid 3 -- while opening up a new stop.

“Stop on northbound 4th St. at Civic Center Way (mid-block) will no longer be in service,” officials said. “Instead, customers will board/alight at 4th St. at Pico Blvd.”

Instead, customers riding the Rapid 3 can alight at Lincoln Boulevard and Mindinao Way in both directions.

The Rapid 3 and local Route 3 connect Santa Monica to LAX and the Metro Green Line via Lincoln Boulevard.

The Rapid 10, which connects Santa Monica to Downtown Los Angeles via the 10 Freeway, will not have a 6:30 a.m. trip -- also known as the SMC Express trip -- from Union Station.

The Sunset Ride will also operate every 30 minutes from 7:30 a.m. To 3:30 p.m.

Other routes impacted by the schedule change include the Rapid 12, Route 4, Route 9, Route 1 and Route 2.

“The June service change is the first step toward the transformation to a more simplified, memory-based scheduling system,” officials said.

The memory-based system depends on repeating service at the same times each hour. For example, a Rapid 7 bus would be scheduled to leave Wilshire and Western at 6 p.m., 6:12 p.m., 6:24 p.m. and every 12 minutes until that schedule starts again at 7 p.m.

That way, travelers can predict bus arrivals and departures more easily, officials said.

“The June service changes are relatively minor and incremental, but together they substantiate a significant increase in passenger comfort and convenience,” officials said.

For more details about specific changes, visit

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