What's New!

Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP)

Artistic canopies, seating and real-time arrival information coming to a bus stop near you.

Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP)

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.

Shortcuts

Check out the proposed new seat

>>The seat prototype tour is now complete and the survey for soliciting the input of people who sat in the seats is now closed. Thank you for sharing your feedback. We will be announcing the winner of the 30-Day Pass soon.

Throughout February, Big Blue Bus customers and community members will be able to view and sit on the two prototypes of BBB's proposed seat redesign at one of six locations around the City. Customers are asked to provide their feedback on the functionality of the seat through a survey posted online (www.bigbluebus.com/BSIPseatsurvey).

Customers may view and sit on the two prototype seats at the following locations starting on the following dates:

  • 1/29      Ken Edward Center- street level drop off plaza.
  • 2/2        Montana and 17th 
  • 2/5        Lincoln Blvd & Ashland Ave (northbound) 
  • 2/9        Lincoln Blvd & Montana Ave (northbound)
  • 2/12     Wilshire & 16th Street/Santa Monica UCLA Hospital (eastbound) 
  • 2/16     Santa Monica & 22nd /St John's Hospital (westbound)
  • 2/19     Tour Complete
The process included developing a way to involve rider advocates and the general public in the final seat redesign. There were two prior prototypes, and they were critiqued by members of the City of Santa Monica's Commission for Senior Community and Disabilities Commission, as well as a group of frequent riders of varying ages and physical health. Now we invite your input, and ask that you comment on the functionality of the seat.
For more information about our methodology, please click here.

This section will be archived on March 1, 2015.

 

What stops are closed or reopening?

Reopening Friday, February 27:

  • Olympic & 26th (westbound): Board instead at Colorado or Stewart. Update 2/25: Reopening March 2.   Never mind, it is opening February 27 as planned.
  • 14th & Colorado (northbound)* Update 2/25: Reopening March 2.  Never mind; it is opening Friday, February 27 as planned. The stop will be opening in its original pre-Expo construction location on the southeast corner of 14th & Colorado.

Closed between February 23 and March 20:

  • 4th & Civic Center Drive (northbound): Board instead at 4th & Colorado.
  • 4th & Wilshire (southbound): Board instead at our temporary stop at 4th and the north side of Arizona Avenue.
  • 4th & Wilshire (northbound):
    • Routes 2 & 3M: Board instead at 4th & Santa Monica or at Wilshire & 6th (westbound).
    • Route 4: Board instead at 4th & Santa Monica or at 4th & California.
    • Route 9: Board instead at 4th & Santa Monica or at 6th & Wilshire.
     
  • Ocean & Broadway (southbound): Board instead at Broadway & 3rd street or at Ocean & Colorado.
  • Pico & Main (eastbound):
    • Route 7: Board instead at Pico & 4th or at Ocean & Pico.
    • Rapid 7: Board instead at Pico & Lincoln or at Ocean & Colorado Avenue.

Closed between February 17-March 13:

  • 4th at Santa Monica Place:
    • Route 2: Board instead at 4th & Broadway or at City Hall
    • Routes 3, 3M, 4, & 9: Board instead at 4th & Broadway or at 4th & Civic Center Driveway
    • Rapid 3: Board instead at 4th & Santa Monica or at Pico & Lincoln
    • Rapid 20: Board instead at 4th & Broadway
  • 6th at Santa Monica (southbound): Board instead at Santa Monica at Lincoln Bl or at Broadway at 4th.
  • Main at Pico (southbound): Board instead at Main & Bay Street
  • Pico at 4th St (westbound): Board instead at 7th or Main
Construction is on hold.
  • Colorado & 17th (eastbound)*
  • Olympic & 26th (eastbound)*
  • Colorado & 17th (westbound)*
  • 17th & Colorado (southbound)*
* = This stop is not currently in service; Big Blue Bus anticipates serving this location with the opening of Expo into Santa Monica.

Now Open

  • 14th & Wilshire (northbound)
  • Lincoln at Montana (southbound)
  • Lincoln at Washington (southbound)
  • Santa Monica at 14th (eastbound): 
  • Wilshire at 11th (westbound)

    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.

    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
    • Seating
    • 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.

    Link to top

    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. 
    • 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.
      Link to top

      I have questions or comments.

      • Construction-related 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.
      Link to top

      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.

      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
      • 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. 

        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 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.

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        BBB Projects & Initiatives

        Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP)
        Bus Stop Improvement Project (BSIP)
        Through BSIP, we are upgrading our stops to create a safe, secure and welcoming place to wait for transit.