The Big Blue Bus is seriously considering eliminating transfers from one bus to another as a cost-saving measure and to raise more revenue by having riders purchase $4 day passes. The transfers currently cost 50 cents. Last fiscal year, 661,000 transfers were issued, but the elimination will impact only 3.8 percent of BBB riders, transit officials said.
So, this week’s Q-Line question asked:
Do you think Big Blue Bus should eliminate transfers?
Here are your responses:
“No, I think it’s a horrendous idea for the Big Blue Bus to eliminate transfers on the San Malicious bus. There’s a lot of people of modest means, maybe po’ folk, so I think it’s a terrible idea. We gotta get them buses running. So no, I think it’s a bloody awful idea.”
“I live on the edge of Santa Monica and when I have business in Santa Monica I sometimes take the bus while my car’s in the shop. It might only be a half-hour bus trip, but I do need the transfer; I need to change directions at one point. To me, changing to a $4 day pass is really going to hurt the little people. It’s really not fair to say that only a very small percentage might be using transfers. I’d like to have them revisit that statistic. Whether it’s a small group or not, it’s so hard to have a $4-a-day pass imposed on people. The bus line is there for people who are not the high-end people, they’re not the people with a whole lot of discretionary money. Some people have to go to work on the bus, and others really depend on it for other reasons. For me this is kind of sweeping the little people to the side in the name of competing for more revenue and it’s just not right. I think they should maintain the transfers just as they are, at 50 cents.”
“Perhaps if the Big Blue Bus spent less money on marketing and improved services there would be less financial concern. No, please do not give up the transfers — we need them.”
“No, I do not think the bus transfer should be eliminated. They’re fine the way they are. On a Big Blue Bus performance-related topic, the Santa Monica Daily Press on Tuesday reported the Big Blue Buses are nearly always late. Gee, let me see if I can guess why. Could it be because of gridlock caused by overdevelopment? It can only get worse people.”
“Eliminating transfers is unfair to the riders who must use two connecting buses, and will make public transportation less affordable and less desirable. If the BBB needs more funding, charge the Santa Monica College students who now get free rides. They all have cell phones, iPods and other toys, and could afford to pay 50 cents for a bus ride. They might send fewer text messages or download fewer songs.”
“Transfers should not be eliminated because it’s the practical way people get around on public transportation. Not everyone completely relies upon the Santa Monica bus system. People also have to use the Metro system or the Culver City system. Insofar as 3.8 percent of riders who use transfers, that’s a totally fictitious number. Unlike Culver City, unlike Metro buses, people who board buses with transfers in Santa Monica have their transfers thrown away in a waste paper basket by the drivers. Those passengers are not counted. I am going to emphasize the fact that transfers are thrown away without being counted. Santa Monica has absolutely no idea how many people are on the bus and how many people are using transfers because the transfers are disposed of. L.A. County Metro and Culver City count each and every boarding passenger, no matter what kind of fare they’re using, including transfers. … This is simply a back-door fare increase. Nothing more, nothing less. And eliminating transfers just creates another financial burden on the ridership of the Big Blue Bus.”
“Paying more and getting less seems to be a disturbing pattern from the powers that be in this city. The people be damned, as long as they get theirs. No matter how much more money they take in from taxes, fees, and fares, it will never be enough. They will come back for more until this bloated, corrupt City collapses under its greedy grab for your dollars. They are on a roll folks, and nothing will stop them except the ballot box and boycotting the Big Blue Bus if transfers are eliminated.”
“No, the bus line should not eliminate the transfers. As a matter of fact, they ought to be free; and cut back on these bloated retirement pensions and their retirement plans. So, my answers is no, keep your 50-cent transfers.”
“It is a terrible idea to stop the BBB transfers. It seems every day the BBB comes up with really bad ideas that would discourage people wanting to use the buses. I am fairly sure the company has plenty of money. When the transit mall was proposed years ago, riders were promised bus shelters at every stop. (The chicken in every pot. Come on!) Right? Bus stops were to be outfitted with digital bus arrival systems. So far two have been installed at the “cutesy” bus shelters that couldn’t shelter an ant from the sun at high noon. These digital read-out systems located at these stops are not working last time I used the bus stop. I think pie charts should be printed in the local paper monthly to show where the BBB money is going.”
“I don’t agree that eliminating transfers is a good idea. I think the BBB is underestimating the number of riders who use transfers or purchase transfers. I personally cannot get to most places in Santa Monica, other than Downtown, without a transfer.”
“No to the elimination of transfers. I believe the aim of the [Transit Services] Director Ed King is to sabotage the Big Blue Bus company.”