Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica Proposes to Reconfigure Bus Routes for Light Rail|
By Niki Cervantes
December 15, 2014 -- The coming of the Metro Rail Expo to Santa Monica will prompt big changes for the city’s Big Blue Bus system, including a host of new or improved north-south routes, according to a proposal that will go before the City Council Tuesday.
“We’ve made significant changes,” said Edward F. King, Santa Monica’s Director of Transit Services.
King’s staff report states that “significant analysis” was conducted of the bus system’s ridership base, and that experts considered feedback on the original proposal that eliminated several routes, or parts of them.
Those routes – Routes 2, 3, Rapid 3, 8, 12 and Rapid 12 – are left unchanged or “improved upon” in many cases, the report said.
The updated plan “seeks not only to attract new riders but endeavors to retain as much of the existing ridership base as possible through the implementation of these plan revisions,” the report said.
The plan creates access to the new Expo stations from areas to the north and south on six new routes or new corridors on existing routes.
Now under construction, the light rail system is expected to be completed in about a year. Last year, the system handled 18.9 million riders, or about 70.000 a day.
The proposal on its way to the council anticipates daily ridership will be increasing between 12 percent and 14 percent. Officials are hoping the combination of light rail and buses will put a big dent in Santa Monica’s congestion.
The new bus proposal also tries to increase access to key destinations, such as the north end of downtown Santa Monica, Venice East, Venice West, Marina del Rey, Playa Vista, Sony Studios, UCLA, Santa Monica College, Saint John’s Hospital and UCLA Medical Center, Brentwood Village and several high schools and middle schools.
Also proposed is a reorganization of Downtown routing. All Downtown Santa Monica bus routes were examined for efficiency and the possibility of decreasing the number of buses going west of 4th Street in an effort to reduce congestion in the heart of the city, according to the report.
The majority of bus-to-bus transfers in Downtown occur at the Santa Monica Boulevard and Broadway stops at the Promenade and on both sides of 4th Street at Santa Monica Boulevard.
To deal with this, the revised plan shifts most of the transfers to areas closer to the Downtown Expo Station, staff said.
|copyrightCopyright 1999-2014 surfsantamonica.com. All Rights Reserved.||Disclosures|