The Santa Monica (Calif.) Big Blue Bus system has announced that it will add a new bus rapid transit (BRT) service in late June.
Called “Rapid Blue,” the new service will transport passengers up to 30% faster than regular buses along a densely populated 8-mile corridor, which currently carries thousands of daily passengers on regular bus service.
The route will begin in downtown Santa Monica and end at Los Angeles International Airport, taking riders through the beach cities of Santa Monica, Venice, Playa Vista and Marina del Rey.
The current regular route along this same stretch also connects more than 800 riders a day with Metro’s Green Line rail station.
The bus line will operate with buses manufactured by North American Bus Industries. Routes will utilize the follow BRT features:
Low-floor buses with LNG propulsion
Luggage racks and reading lights
New logo and branding on buses and shelters
“We’re finding that the public is becom-ing very open to new commuting alternatives, especially now that gas prices are higher and owning a vehicle is becoming so expensive,” said Stephanie Negriff, director of transit services for the Big Blue Bus. “When this new rapid line launches in June, we’ll have the ability to quickly transport thousands of commuters and visitors along one of the area’s busiest thoroughfares to other major transportation hubs around the county.”
City officials have said that it’s hoped the Rapid Blue line will help to improve the public’s perception of transit in Los Angeles. The city is planning to open additional BRT lines in the future.