Depending on public transit

Santa Monica’s new bus schedules take us in the wrong direction.

More people are relying on the bus. They are leaving their cars at home, walking more and bicycling. It’s the wrong time for the Big Blue Bus to be reducing service and trimming routes.

The new routes implemented recently show once again that the bus agency’s management and the City Council have abandoned public transportation as a priority.

Sadly, the Big Blue Bus, which for years was the best agency in the nation, has forgotten a philosophy adopted since it began in 1928, “Doing what’s best for our customers/passengers, not what’s convenient for us.”

The worst agency in the U.S. is the MTA nearby, which for more than 110 years always had the philosophy, “Do what’s convenient for us, not passengers.”

It’s time for the Santa Monica City Council to re-order public transit priorities, stop emulating the worst, and get back to being the best. More routes, more frequency and keep fares low. That’s the agenda for a municipal bus agency that recognizes the enormous role public transportation plays in reducing traffic, serving seniors, students, people who work, tourists and visitors.

Our community, businesses and our future depend on visionary public transit, not a failing public transit.

Chuck Levin, Westwood

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