Santa Monica, Calif.’s Big Blue Bus (BBB) was awarded the 2018 Bus Safety and Security Gold Award by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) in the category of Safety for transit agencies with more than four million but fewer than 20 million passenger trips annually.
The Gold Award honors organizations with the best overall bus safety and security program for all transit organizations throughout the U.S. Additionally, recipients play an integral part in benchmarking successful programs that can be adopted by other public transit systems aiming for similar benefits.
“I would like to thank every BBB staff member for their contributions, especially our motorcoach operators who operate our fleet of 200 buses in one of the most congested and challenging service areas in the country,” said Ed King, director, transit services. “We have invested significant resources over the last three years to launch a comprehensive employee safety program that provides intensive training and retraining programs for all BBB staff. These strategic investments are paying off with a tangible reduction in preventable accident rates and passenger injuries. We are honored to have the hard work of staff recognized by APTA with this top award.”
BBB highlighted its proactive approach to reducing preventable accidents and improving system safety by enhancing its existing programs and introducing new ones. These enhancements included:
- Rollout of a comprehensive and interactive accident review and retraining process.
- Extensive rail safety education campaign prior to the inauguration of Metro’s Expo Line in 2016.
- Relaunch of BBB’s “Hazard/Near Miss” employee safety reporting program.
- Mandatory quarterly safety meetings for all Motor Coach Operators with safety topics focused on service delivery.
As a result, BBB has steadily decreased its preventable accident rate from 2.21 accidents per 100,000 miles in fiscal year (FY) 2015 to 1.83 accidents per 100,000 miles in FY 2017. The passenger injury rate also decreased from 1.89 injuries per 100,000 miles in FY 2015 to .41 injuries per 100,000 miles in FY 2017.