The Big Blue Bus Rolls Out New High- Volume Stops at Santa Monica College

On. Aug. 29, the Big Blue Bus opened the first stops with real-time signage as part of its two-year Bus Stop Improvement Project. The previous 50 stops already completed had the project’s low-volume design, intended to enhance locations with fewer than 50 daily passenger boardings with new seating and an identifying canopy.

The first two stops to open with the high-volume treatment will be on both sides of Pico and 18th Street, which is utilized heavily by students from Santa Monica College (SMC). At these stops, BBB has installed a larger sign unit for the display of route maps and real time signage which will show the predicted real-time arrival information for the next three buses, along with their route number and destination.

The stops at SMC are also the first of the medium and high-volume stops to open since BBB announced the changes it was making to the project design. The redesign of the double seat is not complete, so the SMC stops will receive single seats in the interim.
BBB plans to open an additional group of medium and high-volume stops early in September:

  • Lincoln at Pico (southbound, toward LAX)
  • Lincoln at Ocean Park (northbound, toward downtown Santa Monica)
  • Main and Ocean Park (northbound, toward downtown Santa Monica)
  • Main and Ashland (northbound, toward downtown Santa Monica)

BBB will be installing solar-powered lighting at these locations, and a real-time sign at Lincoln at Pico (southbound).

Project Updates

The redesign of the double-seat unit is underway with anticipated modifications to the seat size, spacing, and the arm/back configurations. Redesigned double-seats will be installed at bus stop locations and positioned to maximize driver and rider sight lines. Updated double-seats will also replace most of the single and original double-seats installed at stops constructed to-date. To accommodate more riders, high volume stops may receive the full range of seating units which will include the original and updated double-seats as well as single seats.

Additionally, the refuse bins will be redesigned with enlarged openings to facilitate deposits of to-go boxes and other larger items. All new locations will receive the new bins, while previously installed bins will be updated with the larger openings.

BBB has already announced that in response to feedback from the community, the design of low volume stops will be modified where feasible to include shade structures, more accommodating seat design and placement of refuse bins so that sight lines are not blocked. While the low volume stops were not originally intended to include shade structures, Public Works and BBB staff are reviewing locations to determine if a shade structure can fit in the sidewalk without obstructing local businesses and disrupting existing infrastructure. Shade structures include two 6-foot diameter discs mounted on a pole, whereas the canopy structures originally designed for lower volume stops include one 5-foot diameter disc. Three low-volume locations already identified to receive additional shade structures are:

  • Wilshire at 26th in both directions
  • Lincoln at Ashland (northbound)

Other modifications under consideration include using 6-foot discs in lieu of the 5-foot discs to match the medium and high volume stops.
The BBB Bus Stop Improvement Project was launched to enhance the bus rider experience and encourage the use of mass transit.