Big Blue Bus is launching a new on-demand cab service to provide late-night rides to and from the 17th Street/SMC Expo Station.

The service, called Blue at Night, will offer cab rides from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights for $3 beginning June 17. Riders can request a cab during service hours by dialing (877) 611-8294 or boarding an unoccupied cab at the Blue at Night kiosk at the 17th Street/SMC Station, located on eastbound Colorado Avenue and 17th Street near the Breeze bikeshare station.

Rides must begin or end at the Expo station with the other end of the trip occurring between San Vicente/Rose and Centinela/Ocean. There is no Blue at Night service between Olympic/Arizona and 7th/Ocean due to the availability of late night BBB and Metro buses.

Each one-way trip will cost $3 for up to four passengers. Riders are not required to share a cab with strangers but multiple passengers will fit in a single vehicle and up to four can ride for $3. An additional $3 fee will be applied for additional stops within the service area or if more than four people share the ride.

Drivers will take cash or credit for the ride but will only carry $5 in change.

Riders who call a cab should be prompt because drivers will only wait 5 minutes from time of arrival for late passengers. The last pickup will be at 2:40 a.m. from the last Expo train to arrive at the station. Wheelchair-accessible cabs are available on request but cabs will not provide car seats. Parents should bring their own car or booster seats for children that require them. No pets are allowed on the service.

The service does not take advance reservations or provide recurring service.

BBB said the service was designed to provide late-night first- and last-mile connectivity throughout the city and the 17th Street/SMC station was chosen because it’s the halfway point between the three Santa Monica stations.

First- and last-mile connectivity refers to the short distances most riders need to cover to access a mass transit hub. Providing solutions to the connectivity puzzle is a priority for transit officials.

“All transportation agencies in the country, including Big Blue Bus, have been working to forge collective solutions to transportation problems and nothing is more universal than the first/last mile problem,” said Metro spokesperson Paul Gonzales. “Metro has provided options such as Zipcar at a 10 Metro park and ride locations. Already, riders are using sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. We’ve seen along the Gold Line extension from Pasadena to Azusa that as many as 30 percent of the riders are walking or bicycling to catch the train at the Arcadia, Duarte and APU/Citrus stations.”

He said providing transit solutions to and from the stations is the next phase of a successful transit opening.

“Extending the Expo Line to Santa Monica opens modern, efficient and economical rail transit to an entirely new population,” he said. “Building the system was the initial challenge. Now, making it work for the most people possible is the work going forward.”

Santa Monica has invested in transit options such as bikeshare, car share and revised public transit schedules.

The Blue at Night service is part of a series of changes for the BBB system.

“The summer Service Change marks another exciting step in the major redesign of Big Blue Bus routes that began last August,” transit director Edward F. King said in a statement. “The launch of Expo light rail on May 20 ushered the return of rail to the Westside after 63 years, energizing an eager public considering new ways of getting around town. Big Blue Bus’ goal is to tap into this new market of customers by providing innovative service options like Blue at Night and easy connections to Expo Line stations. On June 12, every Big Blue Bus route will connect to one or more Expo stations, thereby opening up the region to more people and places.”

View a service area map and more details at bigbluebus.com/blueatnight.

editor@www.smdp.com