Monday, April 6

Proposed changes to Big Blue Bus routes would decrease stops at UCLA

Big Blue Bus officials are seeking public input on proposed changes that would stop several bus lines from extending to the UCLA campus.

Here are some of the proposed changes:

  • Shortening Route 2 so that it ends at Wilshire and Westwood boulevards instead of at UCLA
  • Removing the half of Route 3 that reaches UCLA
  • Redrawing Route 8 so it connects Santa Monica to the new Culver City Expo Line station instead of Westwood and UCLA
  • Changing portions of the southern end of Rapid 12 so it connects with the Expo Line

The changes were proposed in anticipation of the 2016 opening of second phase of the Expo Line light-rail service, said Edward King, director of transit services for Big Blue Bus. The new service will extend the Expo Line, which currently connects downtown Los Angeles and Culver City, west to downtown Santa Monica.

Thomas Wittmann, a project manager for Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates who helped create the proposals, said the earliest changes would take place next summer and the majority of them would follow in February 2016 when the second phase of the Expo Line opens.

Officials proposed changes to every line in the Big Blue Bus system. Some lines were given new stops at Expo Line stations, while others were reconfigured with the hope of better accommodating passengers, Wittmann said.

Only two lines, Route 1 and Rapid 12, would continue to stop at UCLA under the proposed changes.

At a community meeting in Santa Monica on Wednesday, Wittmann said none of the proposed changes are set in stone, and they could be altered based on public input.

“There’s already been a tremendous amount of feedback about the strengths and the weaknesses of some of the recommendations that we’ve made,” he said.

In audience polls throughout the meeting, community members expressed mixed feelings about the proposals. Some route changes received near-complete support, like increasing the frequency of service on Route 41 in Santa Monica. However, more community members disagreed with rather than supported the proposed change to Route 2.

If the recommendations are approved, the new Rapid 12 route would have the second- or third-highest ridership in the Big Blue Bus system because it would be the quickest connection from the Expo Line to UCLA, Wittmann said.

King said officials plan to make a final draft of their recommendations in the coming weeks before holding more public forums in the fall to discuss the revised proposals.

An online survey on the proposals will be available to the public until early October, King said. It can be found here.

Compiled by Sam Hoff, Bruin senior staff.

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