Four specially-designed Big Blue Bus shuttles are “getting wrapped up like big, beautiful packages for the holidays, and will soon be in service to Santa Monica’s most popular shopping, dining and entertainment destinations,” says a Big Blue Bus spokesman.
Called the Holiday Shoppers’ Shuttle, the new service will operate from Friday, November 24th, through Sunday, December 24th. Hours of operation will be noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays and noon to 10 p.m. on weekends.
The cost for two boardings (or one round-trip ticket) is $1, and multiple tickets can be bought to allow passengers to get on and off at any one of the 28 stops.
The shuttles will run every 15 minutes along Main Street from Marine Avenue to Wilshire Boulevard, and Ocean Avenue from Marine Avenue to Broadway.
They will service major shopping and destination areas in Santa Monica, including the Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place, Main Street boutiques, the Farmers’ Market, major hotels and the Santa Monica Pier.
The service will include stops at major parking structures, including the recently opened parking garage at the new city library on Seventh Street near Wilshire Boulevard.
The smaller, easy to board shuttles will also operate in the neighborhoods around the downtown farmers markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and the Sunday Pico market at Pico and Cloverfield Boulevards. Service on market days will run from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
“We wanted to make getting around the city as easy as possible during the holidays, and also provide non-polluting vehicles to help keep the environment clean,” said Dan Dawson, Big Blue Bus customer relations manager. “People can park in any parking structure, or just board a shuttle in one of the neighborhood areas, and then shop the boutiques along Main Street, run errands, dine out or stroll around to take in the beautiful holiday sights.”
Dawson noted that the low cost of the shuttle and the variety of pickup locations should make the shuttles a very attractive option during the holidays, when streets are more crowded than usual.
Besides being a convenient way to get around town, the new shuttles operate on environmentally friendly biodiesel fuel, Dawson said.
The Shoppers’ Shuttle is the first in a new series of services being developed for local residents, according to Dawson.
“We’ve received great feedback from the community about their interest in smaller, clean-fuel shuttles for quick trips around town, such as going to the market, keeping appointments, or visiting other businesses.”
Dawson said that if they receive a positive response to the Shoppers’ Shuttle during the holidays, they might make it a permanent service.
“We think everyone is really going to like the convenience of these shuttles,” he said.
Community sponsors for this year’s Shoppers’ Shuttle are the Geffen Playhouse’s production of Seed the Plow, Fatburger, and the UCLA Live production of Slava’s Snow Show.
In addition to the launch of the Shoppers’ Shuttle, the Big Blue Bus will also roll out its annual, colorfully-decorated Holiday Bus Friday, November 24th.
This once-a-year happening offers a fully-wrapped bus showcasing whimsical holiday decorations along the entire length — and both sides — of the bus.
The Holiday Bus will service a different route each day through Sunday, December 24th, and will be seen by tens of thousands of people all around the Los Angeles area during the holiday season.
This year’s Holiday Bus is being sponsored by K-MZT FM.
Information on the Big Blue Bus Shoppers’ Shuttle or the Holiday Bus, www.bigbluebus.com