To bring riders to the forthcoming Expo Light Rail station in Culver City, the will have to shake up its routes, it announced Tuesday.
Transit officials said in a press release that the agency could not afford the costs of the new service without cutting and realigning routes with low ridership.
"In challenging economic times, we need to be more creative in our approach to scheduling our service," Ed King, the agency’s new director said in the statement.
The Big Blue Bus is operated by the city of Santa Monica. It transports more than 70,000 riders daily across a nearly 52-square mile service area, mostly on the Westside.
One of the biggest changes will be the realignment of routes 5 and 12.
Starting June 17, Route 12 will only operate between a new stop on northbound Robertson, just south of Venice Boulevard—next to Expo Line’s Culver City station and UCLA.
While Route 12 will no longer travel along Robertson Boulvard north of Venice, Route 5 will take its place, connecting riders to the Culver City station, Century City and Santa Monica.
Route 5 will no longer operate to the Rimpau Transit Center.
Getting the ax is the "Downtown Ride"—which gave riders a lift every eight minutes between the and downtown Santa Monica—and the "VA Commuter"—which operated along Route 5 to the Rimpau Transit Center, Pico and Robertson, Sawtelle and Olympic, Sawtelle and Santa Monica, the VA Hospital and North Campus Building 66 (more information provided below).
Buses to UCLA and will see routes and schedule changes as well. At the request of campus officials, all UCLA serving buses (Route 1, 2, 3, 8 and 12) will use Ackerman Terminal starting at 8 p.m., Big Blue Bus officials said.
They also advised UCLA and Santa Monica students that Route 11 and the "Sunset Ride" schedules will operate with less frequency during the summer.
- New Routes for 5 and 12: Route 12 will take riders from UCLA to Robertson at Venice (Expo Line’s Culver City station) only. Route 5 will replace Route 12 on Robertson Blvd. To get to Rimpau Terminal, transfer on Pico to Rapid 7, Route 7 or Route 13.
- VA Commuter Ending: Because Route 5 is changing, this service is being discontinued. To get from Rimpau Terminal to the VA Campus, ride Rapid 7/Route 7 to Pico/Sawtelle and transfer to Route 4.
- UCLA Services: All UCLA serving buses (Route 1, 2, 3, 8 and 12) will use Ackerman Terminal starting at 8 p.m.
- Route 11: The frequency will be reduced for summer.
- Crosstown Ride: Service will be every 20 minutes all day.
- Sunset Ride: Summer schedule will be in service.
- Downtown Ride Ending: To get around downtown Santa Monica, ride Route 2 or 3 along Fourth Street or Route 8 along Second Street.
New Customer Service Hours: In-store and phone assistance is available 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday; noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays at 223 Broadway in Santa Monica or via phone at (310) 451-5444 or TDD (310) 395-6024.