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Santa Monica Buses to See Major Route Changes Starting Sunday

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By Lookout Staff

August 21, 2015 -- With the Expo train fast approaching, the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus will begin rolling out major service and stop changes on several routes starting Sunday to better integrate them with the coming light rail service, transit officials annouced.

As part of the service changes, a new route will be launched, two routes will be modified, two others will be extended to weekends and three routes will be dropped, Big Blue Bus (BBB) officials said Wednesday.

The bayside city's bus system also will unveil a new schedules and maps and improve its technology to better serve customers, said Transit Director Ed King

“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 said. “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,” King said. “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.”

The service changes, which will take place over the next twelve months, will begin with the launch of the new Route 15 along the Barrington Avenue corridor, officials said.

In addition, Route 5, which runs along Olympic Boulevard, and Route 14, which runs down Bundy Drive and Centinela Avenue, will be modified, with the later providing new service to Playa Vista.

Weekend service will be added to the Rapid 3, which runs along Lincoln Boulevard, and Rapid 7, which runs down Pico Boulevard , in addition to regular bus stop changes, officials said. Routes 6, the Santa Monica College Commuter; Route 13, to Cheviot Hills, and Rapid 20 to Culver City will be discontinued.

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In addition to the route changes, the award winning “Little Blue Book,” a system-wide schedule  that includes a large foldout system map, is being made available on board, at the Transit Store and at local libraries and senior centers, as well as at other strategic locations.

BBB also 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,” officials said.

Last month, the BBB launched the NextBus Real Time Mobile Application, which gives customers access to real time data.

“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,” King said.

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