John F. “Jack” Hutchison a long-time leader of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus and Santa Monica resident has passed away at age 85.

Hutchison served as director of transportation of the Big Blue Bus from 1967 to 1995. During that time he worked to make the agency a national model for high quality fixed route transit. Hutchison prided himself on making the Big Blue Bus efficient, reliable and affordable. Twice during his tenure the Big Blue Bus was named national transit operator of the year for its size by the American Public Transit Association (APTA).

Hutchison’s ability to establish a financial reserve in the 1980’s allowed the Big Blue Bus to accrue funds which paid for the Downtown Santa Monica and 26th/Bergamont Station Expo Rail stations which will open next year. Director of transit services, Edward F. King stated, “Jack’s vision for the City of Santa Monica is still being felt today.”

Some of Hutchison’s operational accomplishments while in Santa Monica include the extension of bus service to Marina Del Rey and Los Angeles World Airport; establishing two crosstown routes; and initiating freeway express service from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles.

Hutchison served on local, state and federal transit advisory and technical committees, chairing the California Transit Association and serving as an APTA regional director. Specifically, Jack helped write the landmark State of California Transportation Development Act, which allocates transit operating, and capital dollars. In addition, he worked to establish funding procedures which fairly allocated Los Angeles County sales tax dollars to Santa Monica and other municipal operators.

After his long career in public transit Hutchison was inducted into the APTA Hall of Fame.

Hutchison was born and raised in Scotland and came to Santa Monica in 1967 after working for the Omaha and Council Bluffs Street Railway. It was during his time in Omaha where he earned his certified public accountant status.

Hutchison is survived by his wife, Dolores, his three children and six grandchildren.

– Submitted by Aimee Wyatt, Transit Community Relations Officer

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