Monday, December 9

Graduate students oppose proposed cancellation of Big Blue Bus line

The graduate student government unanimously voted Wednesday to urge UCLA Transportation to ask the Big Blue Bus to halt the cancellation of one of its major bus routes.

Route 12, which goes from Palms to UCLA and stops near several graduate student apartment complexes, is tentatively set to close in the summer of 2015 if the Santa Monica City Council approves proposed changes to the bus network at its Dec. 16 meeting.

The Big Blue Bus is changing several routes, including Route 12, as part of a plan to integrate its service with the expansion of the Expo Line from Culver City to Santa Monica in 2015.

The Graduate Students Association resolution calls for UCLA Transportation to advocate against the change because the bus line is popular among graduate students.

The new route would no longer pass through the Palms neighborhood or UCLA University Apartments South on Sepulveda Boulevard. This area occupies about 3,000 units of housing rented by graduate students, many of whom could be affected by the change.

“This line runs through graduate student housing,” said Abdallah Daboussi, a member of the UCLA Transportation Services Advisory Board, which reviews campus transportation policies and plans. “Deleting this would create an inconvenience to graduate students by adding a 20-minute walk.”

He added that he thinks the resolution could be effective if the Big Blue Bus planners listen to university officials.

“UCLA Transportation has a huge influence, and they can use that influence,” Daboussi said.

Several graduate students said the route’s cancellation could negatively impact their commute to campus.

“This change is not convenient, especially when most of us work on the weekends,” said Eric Gschweng, a graduate student in biological sciences.

Saken Sherkhanov, president of the University Apartments South Residents Association, which is made up of thousands of graduate students living near the bus line, said he thinks moving the route farther away from these apartments would be inconvenient because students would have to walk 20 to 30 minutes to get to the new stops.

“This is a high ridership area, and everyone there goes to UCLA,” Sherkhanov said.

GSA President Michael Hirshman suggested the resolution be mailed to the city council of Santa Monica and Big Blue Bus management. He added that GSA will send it to the Transportation Services Advisory Board, which will meet Thursday.

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News senior staff

Roberto Luna Jr. is currently a senior staffer covering Westwood, crime and transportation. He was previously an assistant News editor from 2015-2016 and a News contributor from 2014-2015.

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