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Pilot Big Blue Bus Route Takes Passengers to Major Santa Monica Destinations This Summer
By Lookout Staff
June 24, 2019 -- This summer, Big Blue Bus (BBB) passengers can ride between Santa Monica's top destinations using a new pilot route that launches July 1, transit officials announced Monday.
Route 45 will serve the Santa Monica Pier and Beach, Ocean Avenue, Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica Place and the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line Station, among other destinations.
The service -- which makes stops every 12 to 15 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. -- runs through Labor Day on Monday, September 2, transit officials said.
“This summer, we plan to continue to enhance our services and customer experience by providing easy connections to major Santa Monica destinations with more options for site-seeing, dining and shopping," said Ed King, BBB's director of transit services.
"Route 45 is designed to be a convenient, eco-friendly, and economical way for residents, tourists, and visitors to get around Downtown Santa Monica," King said.
The 2-month pilot route is being launched nine years after Santa Monica eliminated the free "Tide Ride" that shuttled passengers around the Downtown ("Turning the Tide on Shuttle Proposal," February 18, 2009).
An attempt by Downtown businesses to halt the Tide Ride ax failed. BBB officials had warned routes with bigger and increasing ridership would suffer service cuts if the Tide Shuttle wasn’t sacrificed.
But the Expo line's arrival in Santa Monica is expected to draw rail passengers hoping to catch Santa Monica's top sites ("All Aboard Santa Monica’s New Light Rail Line," May 20, 2016).
Rail customers can hop a ride across the street from the Downtown Santa Monica Expo Line Station at 4th Street and Colorado Avenue, transit officials said.
The Big Blue Bus is offering one free ride on Route 45 to customers at bigbluebus.com/hello45.
"We would like everyone in our community to give Route 45 a try, so the first ride will be on us,” King said.
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