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Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus to Hold Hearing Next Week
By Lookout Staff
July 26, 2017 -- Santa Monica's Big Blue Bus (BBB) will hold a public hearing Tuesday to present and discuss modifications to its fares and the methods used to pay them, transit officials announced.
The meeting, which will be held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Santa Monica Main Library’s Multi-Purpose Room, offers details in what is an important step in a two-year-old campaign aimed at improving services.
The changes include reducing the regular one-way cash fare from $1.25 to $1.10 when a customer uses a Transit Access Pass (TAP) to pay their fares and introducing a new $500 annual pass that represents a $100 savings and a "Blue to Business" Employer Annual Pass Program.
Under the changes, single-use tokens would be discontinued and replaced with a new TAP-enabled 1-Ride Pass, officials said. There would be no changes to Senior, Disabled and Medicare cash fares and passes, but Personal Care Assistants traveling with ACCESS certified riders would be required to pay a fare.
The campaign aims to reduce cash boardings by encouraging more customers to use prepaid fare media, TAP cards and mobile ticketing, BBB officials said.
The measures should speed up travel time by reducing the amount of time a bus spends at a scheduled stop to board passengers, officials said. The new payment methods are also expected to cut down the time staff spends counting cash revenue.
“Introducing Blue to Business and the affordability of an Annual Pass, in addition to discounting our cash fare when prepaid on TAP, provides more options to our customers to purchase and pay their fares and further enhance the travel experience on our system,” said Ed King, BBB's director of Transit Services.
Customers who are unable to attend the meeting and would like to submit feedback can visit www.smgov.net/go and select the “Fare Adjustment Feedback” category.
BBB officials will review all comments submitted during the comment period until August 12. After the public hearing, adjustments to the proposal may be made based on public feedback prior to submitting to the City Council for consideration and approval.
The Main Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, is served by Big Blue Bus routes 1, 7, R7, R10 and 18 and provides bicycle parking racks.
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