January 27, 2022 9:48 a.m.
Big Blue Bus (BBB) will hold a public hearing on Thursday, February 10 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium at the Santa Monica Main Library to present and discuss a new fare structure .
Since 2015, BBB has sought to reduce cash boarding in its system and encourage more customers to use contactless fare media (i.e. a TAP card or mobile ticket) with the aim of:
- Speed up travel time and reduce the time customers spend waiting to board the bus
- Invest savings from reduced travel time in more frequent service
- Provide customers with greater choice and convenience in fare payment options
- Identify efficiencies for fare box maintenance and cash handling
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of BBB customers switched from using cash and/or magnetic stripe paper cards to pay for their journey, to using a TAP card or mobile tickets to pay for their journey. To mitigate the health risks associated with the pandemic, BBB suspended fare collection on March 20, 2020 and required customers to board and exit through the back door. When fare collection and gate boarding resumed in February 2021, BBB piloted several fare changes. First, BBB stopped selling paper passes. At the same time, BBB introduced a promotional single-ride fare ($1.00 – regular; $0.40 – senior/disabled/medicare) for TAP and mobile ticket payments to promote greater adoption of contactless tariffs. BBB also stopped accepting paper passes in April 2021. In July 2021, BBB switched to contactless-only fare payment, as part of the pilot project to help staff assess customer and operational impacts of a cashless system. BBB is now offering a new pricing structure which includes the following changes:
- Reduce the price of some existing fare products and introduce two (2) new fare products
- Introduce free transfers from BBB to BBB
- Dropping six (6) underutilized fare products to make fare options easier to understand
- Increase the age at which children travel free
- Limit onboard fare payment to contactless (i.e. TAP card and mobile ticket) thanks to the success of the contactless fare payment pilot program which has been in place since July 12, 2021
See the details of this proposal on bigbluebus.com/meetings.
“As our community continues to experience the effects of the pandemic, providing safe, reliable, fast and affordable transportation options will be critical to our recovery. The ease and simplicity of contactless fare payments allow us to expand access to free and reduced transit fares, continue to protect the health of customers and staff, and transport passengers more efficiently on our system. said Ed King, director of the Santa Monica Department of Transportation. .
Customers who cannot attend the meeting and wish to submit feedback are encouraged to complete an online survey at bigbluebus.com/meetings. The inquiry will remain open until February 17, 2022. After the public hearing, adjustments to the proposal may be made based on public feedback before submitting it to City Council for review and approval.
Go to the public hearing
BBB routes 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 18, Rapid 3, Rapid 7, or Rapid 10 serve the Santa Monica Main Library. If you must drive, parking is available in the library garage (enter on 7th St. just north of Santa Monica Blvd.).
Health and Safety Requirements
Please refrain from attending the public hearing if you have recognized signs of COVID-19 or another similar illness. With the exception of children 2 and under, participants must wear a face covering at all times over their nose and mouth, inside the library. All participants will be required to pass a medical examination before entering the Auditorium. Once inside the Auditorium, please maintain a physical distance of 6 feet from other people outside of your household.
The place is accessible to ADAs. Requests for disability accommodation and translation must be made at least three (3) days prior to the meeting by calling 310.458.1975 ext. 2386. All written materials are available in alternate formats upon request.
About Big Blue Bus
Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of 189 vehicles carrying passengers daily over a 58 square mile service area. Recognized nationally for its longstanding commitment to a cleaner environment, the agency plans to convert its entire fleet from natural gas to zero emissions by 2030. Currently, 10% of the fleet is battery electric. The rest of the fleet runs on other alternative fuels, including renewable natural gas (RNG), a form of liquefied and compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG), which can reduce emissions by up to 90%. Serving Santa Monica and the Los Angeles area since 1928, Big Blue Bus has won numerous awards for its marketing, customer service, safety and efficiency.
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