Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP)
Artistic canopies, seating and real-time arrival information coming to a bus stop near you.
Big Blue Bus has begun the improvement of about 200 bus stops around the City of Santa Monica. This process is expected to take up to two years.
What should I expect?
BBB is installing the new amenities in waves of 6 to 12 stops at a time. For routine construction, stops are expected to be closed for three to four weeks.
During this time, we apologize for the inconvenience, but in general, we ask that customers board and exit at the nearest alternative stop. Based on what we have observed first hand and rider feedback, we have decided to open temporary stops at critical high-volume stops where the distance between stops or passenger boardings warrants doing so. We will continue to evaluate whether to open temporary boarding locations for low-volume stops under construction on a case-by-case basis.
At your new ADA-compliant bus stop, you will notice the following:
- Artistic canopies
- Route information
- Trash and recycling containers
- A no smoking sign
At heavily utilized bus stops, you will also find additional seating, lighting and/or signage that provides real-time bus arrival times.
Opening soon/Now Open
Reopened for service (we updated the signs):
- Wilshire at 26th (both directions)
- Lincoln at Ashland (northbound)
At a Glance: Bus stop construction status map
This map shows the status of construction at the following kinds of stops:
- Green = Stop has been built and is now open
- Yellow = Stop is closing soon for construction
- Red = Stop currently closed
- Purple = Stop under construction; there is a temporary boarding location nearby.
Which stops are closed?
The following stops are closed (as of August 25, 2014):
- At Ocean Park toward Santa Monica*; reopen
8/19 8/21 9/5 (estimated)
- The temporary boarding location is adjacent to the construction site, in front of Albertsons effective July 17, 2014
- At Pico toward LAX* - reopening 9/5
- The temporary boarding location is adjacent to the construction site, up the street, in front of the former Tommy's/future Starbucks under construction; temporary boarding will move one block south, to Lincoln between Bay and Grant Street, on Thursday, July 24.
Along Main Street
- At Ashland toward downtown Santa Monica (board instead at Marine or Hill) - reopen
8/19 8.21 9/5
- At Ocean Park toward downtown Santa Monica (board instead at Hill or Hollister) - reopen
8/19 8.21 9/5 timated)
- At 18th toward Wilshire/Western; temporary boarding area just west of existing stop. Follow signs. Reopening estimated 8/28.
- At 18th toward Santa Monica; board instead at 17th St (both Route 7 and Rapid 7) or 20th (Route 7) and Stewart (Rapid 7). Reopen estimated
How will I know if/when my stop is closing?
Ten to 14 days prior to the start of construction, we will install a temporary sign that tells you when your stop is closing and reopening, and alternative locations to board the bus. You may also subscribe to our BSIP-only email list.
What if I am unable to walk to the stop prior or after my usual bus stop?
The Big Blue Bus will not allow passengers to board or alight at bus stops currently closed for construction. As in any construction zone,
there are safety issues that are unpredictable. In consideration for our riders who may not be able to travel to a
further to a different bus stop, please review the following about
additional mobility options
Dial-A-Ride for Santa Monica Residents: The City of Santa Monica and WISE & Healthy Living, offers a shared-ride service with curb-to-curb transportation to destinations within Santa Monica. The program is intended for adults over the age of 60 and for disabled individuals over the age of 18.
Dial-A-Ride for riders traveling in Los Angeles County: Access Services provides a curb-to-curb shared ride service for eligible riders. The evaluation includes criteria such as a person's ability, without the help of another person, to get to and from a bus; get on or off an accessible bus; or understand which bus to get on and when to get off. Please note, you will complete Access Services's application process for eligibility.
- Volunteer Driver Programs: These are community-based transportation services in which friends and neighbors volunteer their time and car to help riders travel to places they need to go.
- iTN Greater LA serves people 65 years and older, and adults with visual impairments, in the communities of Brentwood, Culver City, Mar Vista, Pacific Palisades, Palms, Santa Monica, Venice and West LA.
- Jewish Family Services serves mobility-impaired adults 65 and older who live in West Los Angeles.
Other Transportation Options.
- Access Customer Service provides riders with information on public and private providers of accessible transportation. Phone: 800-827-0829 (TDD: 800-827-1359)
RIDEINFO (the Local Transit Services Directory) provides a referral service that matches an individual's transportation needs with available resources like Dial-A-Ride, Lift Van/Shuttle, and Taxi services.
- Taxis. The City of Santa Monica operates a taxicab franchise system. A listing of companies authorized to pick up passengers in Santa Monica, along with rates, is here.
I have questions or comments.
- Bus stop construction-related questions: Contact our project managers at (213) 820-5889 or (310) 740-6277.
BBB customer service and media inquiries: Email us directly at email@example.com or dial 310-451-5444 to speak with a customer service representative.
Social Media: You may contact us on Twitter (use @smbsip or #smbsip), but please note that our response time may be shorter through email or phone.
How much does this project cost? Who is the funder?
The project is funded primarily by the federal government. Construction is approximately $7 million dollars to improve bus stops within the City of Santa Monica only. The funds were earmarked specifically for this project. In general, federal funds are awarded for specific capital projects and cannot be reallocated elsewhere.
In addition to providing shade at locations where the City had not provided any beforehand, this project affords Big Blue Bus the opportunity to install real-time signs and lighting at the City's busiest stops; they did not have these amenities before. This project provides Big Blue Bus and the City of Santa Monica with the financial resources to bring many more stops into compliance with the Americans for Disabilities Act (ADA). The applicable sections of the ADA concern ensuring that riders in mobility devices or riders with visual impairments are able to navigate bus stops safely and in allowing adequate space for a bus to deploy a wheelchair ramp. Many existing bus stops in Santa Monica are not in compliance with the ADA; they were grandfathered as furniture such as benches and trash cans were installed prior to 2010, when the latest regulations were adopted. In practice, this means that these locations are very challenging for wheelchair users and the blind to navigate. This project will rectify that for a critical group of our customers.
Tell me more about the design.
Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) was chosen to work with City staff to design the new stop amenities. LOHA was directed to develop designs that would
- Enhance the streetscape
- Consider physical constraints of the streets
- Allow for maximum visibility to businesses and signage located around it
- Feature the use of alternative energy
Be as impervious to vandalism and loitering as possible
Offer easily readable and aesthetically pleasing transit information
Be simple and cost effective to maintain and service
Adhere to ADA regulations
Adapt to current & future transit technologies
The design chosen met the criteria above. Called "The Blue Spots", the shelters and information signs have flexibility, offer visibility, and information to transit riders.
The project design was a result of extensive outreach to a great number of stakeholders, including riders, City Council officials, business owners with storefronts behind bus stops, and more.
True to the iterative community engagement process, BBB has been making ongoing adjustments to the design of the new bus stops although construction is already underway. These changes include the design of the seats
and their placement (so as to avoid blocking the sightline of the bus for both
drivers and riders); it will also address customer demand for additional shade
from the sun at low-volume bus stops.
Can you bring back the benches?
We have heard from many riders and constituents directly and via the grapevine regarding the new seat design and their request for the reinstatement of the aluminum benches. When the comments began coming in, BBB staff deliberated and considered the feasibility of reinstalling the benches. We regret to share with the public that we are not bringing back the benches.
The benches were installed in bunches over the span of three years as an interim measure.. The inclusion of the benches in a new design was never in the plans nor was a requirement given to the BBB by the City Council and stakeholders we consulted. In the seven to ten years since the benches were installed, BBB and the Santa Monica Police Department received many complaints about loitering on the benches; they were filed by riders and owners of businesses. As such, BBB was assigned criteria for evaluating design proposals (see above) that included imperviousness to loitering by non-riders and vandalism, as difficult and uncomfortable as that may be to disclose. The aluminum benches do not comport with the new design and its requirements.
In addition, we must also consider location and placement. With the new location of the target sign unit, which is intended to allow wheelchair users to be able to view the rider information we have displayed, the benches may not fit on the sidewalk in an appropriate fashion given the requirements for ADA compliance. In addition, some locations have very narrow sidewalks and the seating is very close to private residence or commercial frontage. In these situations, the new seating is much more compatible to the adjacent residents, businesses, and property owners.
We really have taken the constructive feedback we have gotten about the seats' functionality, including the difficulty some riders have with standing up to catch the bus, to heart. Although the ADA does not require transit agencies to provide seating at bus shelters, we are revising the double-seat configuration to satisfy the public's concerns, per our announcement on July 9, 2014. We will be sharing renderings of the revised seat design when they become available.
Updated August 12, 2014.
Bus Stop Improvement (BSIP) Links