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
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
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
At your new ADA-compliant bus stop, you will notice the
- Artistic canopies
- Route information
- Trash and recycling containers
- A no smoking
At heavily utilized bus stops, you will also find
additional seating, lighting and/or signage that provides real-time bus
Link to top
At A Glance: Bus stop construction status map
This map shows the status of construction at the following kinds of
- Green = Stop has been built and is now open
= Stop is closing soon for construction
- Red = Stop currently
- Purple = Stop under construction; there is a temporary boarding
Which stops are closed?
BBB has finished construction of the last batch of stops for 2014. See you in 2015.
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.Link to top
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.
Link to top
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.
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.
Customer Service provides riders with information on public and private
providers of accessible transportation. Phone: 800-827-0829 (TDD:
(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.
Link to top
questions: Contact our construction project manager at (213) 820-5889.
BBB customer service and project media inquiries: Contact us through GO (use this link) 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
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.Link to top
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
physical constraints of the streets
- Allow for maximum visibility
to businesses and signage located around it
- Feature the use of
Be as impervious to vandalism
and loitering as possible
readable and aesthetically pleasing transit information
Be simple and cost effective to maintain and
Adhere to ADA
Adapt to current & future
chosen met the criteria above. Called "The Blue Spots", the shelters and
information signs have flexibility, offer visibility, and information to
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
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. Link to top
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
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
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.Link to top
Bus Stop Improvement (BSIP) Links