Service improvements have been implemented along several bus routes to make it easier for all types of commuters — from college students to seniors and downtown professionals — “to get out of their cars and onto a bus,” Santa Monica Big Blue Bus officials said.

SANTA MONICA COLLEGE COMMUTER LINE — In response to increases in enrollment at Santa Monica College (SMC) and the recent addition of its Bundy Campus, the Big Blue Bus has started a new SMC/ Palms/Mar Vista Commuter Line to help alleviate traffic and campus parking.

“The Big Blue Bus recognizes that Santa Monica College is a major educational center in our city and we want to ensure that all of its students and employees have an easy way to get to the school using public transportation,” said Big Blue Bus director of transit service Stephanie Negriff.

The new line — which is not limited to students — runs three times in the morning starting at 8:10 a.m. at Pico and Westwood Boulevards and twice in the afternoon starting at 1:36 p.m. at Santa Monica College’s main campus at 20th and Pearl Streets.

Passengers can also use this route to access destinations such as the Westside Pavilion, Ocean View Community Garden, Santa Monica Airport and Santa Monica College’s Corsair Field.

The Santa Monica College Commuter Line connects with Line 13 at the Westside Pavilion. Currently, Line 13 runs from Pico and Rimpau Boulevards in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles and ends at Pico and Westwood Boulevards, where the Westside Pavilion is located.

With a new route and Line 13 connection, the Santa Monica Commuter Line heads south on Westwood Boulevard and Overland Avenue, west on Palms Boulevard and Charnock Avenue, south on Sepulveda Boulevard, west on Venice Boulevard, north on Centinela Avenue/Bundy Drive (including a stop at the Santa Monica College Bundy Campus) and west on Ocean Park Boulevard to the main campus.

An incentive for Santa Monica College students and employees to choose the bus instead of a car to get to campus is that they can ride the Santa Monica College Commuter Line and Line 11 at no cost by presenting valid identification when boarding buses on either of these routes.

Big Blue Bus riders can also continue to take Line 7 from Westwood and Pico Boulevards to the main campus. This line runs along Pico Boulevard. The fare is 75 cents and no discounts are available.

“Santa Monica College is proud to be partnering with the award-winning Big Blue Bus to improve service to our students, employees and the larger Santa Monica-Westside community,” said Santa Monica College president Chui L. Tsang.

“The Santa Monica College Commuter Line is the first in a series of bus service improvements and additions that will help reduce traffic, congestion, demand for scarce parking spaces, and air and noise pollution.”

The new services are part of a transportation initiative currently being developed jointly by Santa Monica College and the Big Blue Bus.

Other plans will be discussed at community meetings to be held by Big Blue Bus officials beginning in March.

BUS LINE 11 — The frequency of the well-traveled Line 11 has also increased, said Big Blue Bus spokesman Dan Dawson.

The increase in trips makes it easier for seniors to get to medical appointments at Saint John’s Hospital and Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, Dawson said.

Also served on this route are John Adams and Lincoln middle schools, as well as Santa Monica’s Montana Avenue retail district.

Line 11’s weekday (Monday through Friday) service has increased to every 15 minutes between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

When Santa Monica College is in session, Line 11 weeknight service (Monday through Thursday) operates every 30 minutes between 6:30 and 10 p.m.

BUS LINE 10 — Between downtown Santa Monica and downtown Los Angeles, the Big Blue Bus has increased service on Line 10 by adding six additional weekday trips to its schedule.

One additional trip is available for morning commuters traveling from downtown Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

Commuters traveling from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica have three new morning trips available to them and two new afternoon trips.

Weekday service from Union Station/Pats Plaza to downtown Santa Monica now begins at 5:36 a.m.

Line 10 riders are asked to share their opinions on a downtown Los Angeles “demonstration route” that the Big Blue Bus will be testing between Monday and Friday, February 12th to 17th.

From Santa Monica toward downtown Los Angeles, the Line 10 test route will turn from Olive Street onto Seventh Street in Los Angeles rather than Eighth Street and right on Figueroa Street.

The temporary stops that will be used for the test along Seventh Street include one at Olive Street, one at Flower Street and one at Figueroa Street.

From downtown Los Angeles towards Santa Monica, the Line 10 test route will use Ninth Street rather than Sixth Street in Los Angeles.

The temporary stops that will be used for the test in this direction include Flower Street at Wilshire Boulevard, Flower Street at Eighth Street and Ninth Street at Hope Street.

Big Blue Bus service to stops regularly serviced by Line 10 will resume on Saturday, February 17th.

Line 10 riders who want to recommend whether the new demonstration stops should be adopted permanently can complete a survey that will be available from Line 10 bus drivers or at www.BigBlueBus.com

New line schedules, timetables and routes are available on the Web site.

Big Blue Bus officials ask riders and Santa Monica and Los Angeles residents to share feedback about the service enhancements by sending e-mail to Bus-info@BigBlueBus.com or calling Big Blue Bus customer service at (310) 451-5444 or the telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) line at (310) 395-6024.

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