With the Big Blue Bus Route 2 now being discontinued south of Pico Boulevard, along Fourth Street in the Ocean Park area, it is important for people to know just how much of a hardship it will now be for many of that area‚Äôs bus riders, including a good number of senior citizens.
It will be very difficult and unsafe for many of that area‚Äôs Route 2 riders, including those residents on Fourth and Fifth streets, to traverse up and down the very steep hill to Main Street to catch Route 1 or Route 8.
It will be equally hard for that area‚Äôs residents to walk to Fourth and a long block north of Pico, since the 2, at the start of its northbound trip, will not be stopping at Pico. Of course it will be difficult for many to even have to hike to Pico to catch the 3 or 7 buses.
Obviously it will also cost those riders more bus transfer money for people needing to get to points along Wilshire Boulevard between Lincoln and Westwood boulevards.
And for those who do walk to Pico (day or night) to catch the 3 or 7, simply to transfer to the 2, they might find themselves waiting quite awhile since the more frequently run 3 and 7 Rapid routes do not even stop at Fourth and Pico.
As good a service as Dial-A-Ride is, it is extremely unfair to simply tell that area‚Äôs seniors to rely on that service, since it mostly requires many days advance notice and does not operate at night.
It should also be pointed out that when the Big Blue Bus reported the 2 route ridership was down along Fourth Street between Pico and Hill Street, and that it was costing them money this past year, they never included in their financial analysis that many former 2 riders switched to the 1 to get to points south of Hill, including Venice, which was to be expected, and which money still went to the Big Blue Bus.
And to those who kept complaining to City Hall and the Big Blue Bus because they couldn‚Äôt stand the bus “noise” coming past their residences, the truth is there are louder trucks, SUVs, motorcycles and traffic in general all the time along that Ocean Park area of Fourth Street. But virtually no one else anywhere in the city complains about bus “noise.” Perhaps that is because most everyone understands just how important Big Blue Bus service is to so very many people.
Hopefully the Big Blue Bus will now more comprehensively analyze re-routing the 8 bus to ride along Fourth Street between Ocean Park and Pico boulevards instead of duplicating Route 1 along Main Street.
Finally, isn‚Äôt it long overdue for the Big Blue Bus and City Hall to initiate a comprehensive, citywide educational outreach campaign that urges people to consider driving less and taking the bus and other alternative transportation more? Isn‚Äôt that the real answer for increasing Big Blue Bus funds, as well as helping our environment and our traffic and parking problems?
Jerry and Marissa Rubin