The much talked about Big Blue Bus fare adjustments will go into effect on Sunday, Jan. 10. Among the changes BBB is making are: the adjustment of the base fare cash price from $1 to $1.25, offer a new 7-day pass for $14, and reduce the prices of many passes, like the drop of a Youth 30-day pass from $40 to $28, and the reduction of a regular 30-day pass from $60 to $50. Senior, disabled and medicare cash fares, including the $0.50 reduced base cash fare, and all other reduced rate pass prices will remain the same. For the full list of fare details, visit BigBlueBus.com/fares.

Manager of planning and community engagement, Suja Lowenthal, said that BBB has done its best to make the public aware of the implementation of the new fare structure, which was approved in October by City Council.

“Our fares have been at this same rate since 2010 and we wanna be sure that our customers had as much advance notice as possible,” Lowenthal said. “We presented to the public during a community hearing what the proposal was before it went to the council. And have been really putting out as much information as possible across media types. We want to capture as many people’s attention as possible.”

However, Lowenthal said that even if you post something at a bus stop that is in a different color than anything else that has been posted there, people still may not notice it.

“So we’ve tried to communicate through prints, through social media, with the above head messages that you’ll see on the bus. We have the onboard announcements that have been playing. We think with all of these points of contact, one of them will grab someone’s attention.”

While the fare rates may not have changed over the past five years, BBB has implemented other changes, such as NextBus, TAP card system and 3-position bike racks.

In addition to the fare changes, BBB will be adding 11-percent more service over the next 12 months as part of the Evolution of Blue campaign to provide connections to the upcoming Expo Light Rail Line. The additional operating revenue is meant to ensure a balanced operating budget.

According to a BBB press release, a major objective for BBB in 2016 is to speed up bus boarding and improve travel speed.

“Reducing pass prices will increase the attractiveness of pass use, improving the speed of boarding and subsequent travel times. This offers the combined benefit of reducing the cost of operating the routes and getting customers to their destinations more quickly,” the press release states.

When the changes take effect, regular fares will be $1.25 per ride on all routes, plus a $1.25 surcharge on the Rapid 10 Express to Downtown Los Angeles. Regular priced day-passes that allow unlimited rides in a calendar day will remain at $4 and will require an upgrade fee of $1.25 on the Rapid 10.

All passes are available on TAP cards and can be purchased online at taptogo.net, as well as at BBB’s Transit Store and other locations in Santa Monica.

jennifer@www.smdp.com