BBB HDQTRS — Shade canopies, seating and real-time arrival information are coming to a bus stop near you.

On Monday the Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica’s public transportation company, will start replacing more than 300 bus stops, a process that is expected to take up to two years to complete and cost roughly $7 million, officials said.

A rendering of one of the new bus stops coming soon to a street corner near you. (Rendering courtesy City of Santa Monica)

A rendering of one of the new bus stops coming soon to a street corner near you. (Rendering courtesy City of Santa Monica)

The work will be done in waves of six to 10 stops at a time. Affected bus stops will be closed for three to four weeks, but passengers will be able to board and alight at the stop before or after their usual spot.

The following stops will be the first to close.

• Along Lincoln Boulevard:

At Ashland Avenue heading to UCLA; board at Marine Street or Ocean Park Boulevard

At Ashland heading toward LAX; board at Ocean Park or Navy Street.

• Along Main Street:

At Hollister Avenue heading to Downtown Santa  Monica; board at Pacific or Ocean Park

At Hollister heading toward LAX; board at Ocean Park or Pacific

At Marine heading toward Downtown; board at Ashland or Rose avenues

At Marine heading toward LAX; board at Rose or Ashland

Riders will notice the following at new ADA-compliant bus stop: shade canopies; route information; trash and recycling containers; no smoking sign.

At heavily utilized bus stops, passengers will also find seating, lighting and/or signage that provides real-time bus arrival times.

Ten to 14 days prior to the start of construction, BBB promises to install a temporary sign that tells riders when their stop is closing and reopening, and alternative locations to board the bus. Riders may also subscribe to an e-mail list. Construction of a stop will always begin on a Monday.

Sign up to get updates by e-mail at www.bigbluebus.com. BBB will inform you of all stop closings and reopenings. Or follow the bus company on Twitter — www.twitter.com/smbsip/

The project is funded primarily by the federal government. Twenty percent of the cost is covered by City Hall, BBB officials said.

Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects (LOHA) was chosen in 2009 by the City Council to work with BBB to design the new stop amenities. LOHA was directed to develop designs that would:

• Enhance the streetscape

• Take into account physical constraints of the streets

• Allow for maximum visibility to businesses and signage located around it

• Feature the use of alternative energy

• Be as impervious to vandalism as possible

• Offer easily readable and aesthetically pleasing transit information

• Be simple and cost effective to maintain and service

• Adhere to ADA regulations

• Allow for the most current and future transit technologies

LOHA did a comprehensive site survey of all bus stops across the city and conducted focus groups with riders, residents, business groups and city staff to develop a list of key attributes to consider in the design process. Some of these key issues identified included a design that:

• Was unique and representative to the image of Santa Monica

• Offered shade protection

• Was safe and offered lighting

• Offered visibility to others and the environment

• Offered seating

• Was easy to use offering clear transit information

• Promoted alternate forms of transportation

• Was modular in design for easy replacement and to fit within various site conditions

• Offered trash and recycling cans

The design chosen met the criteria above. Called “Big Blue Dots,” the sustainably forward shelters and information signs have great flexibility, offer maximum visibility and information to transit riders, while providing shade throughout the day, BBB officials said.

For questions about BBB service, dial (310) 451-5444.

 

kevinh@smdp.com

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