Big Blue Bus Rates Dramatically Increase

Aug 31, 2010 by Lisa Newton

Monday, the beginning of the work and school week grind and if you regularly ride the Big Blue Bus to get to your destination, you were greeted with a huge surprise.

That’s right; the price to ride just went up.

Everybody knows times are tough. However, with an across the board rate increase by Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus system, the increases for individuals are 25%–an increase from 75 cents to $1.00. I think this is a good thing. Big Blue was a great value at 75 cents, and even adding 25 cents to that is fine. Running and maintaining a bus system is a huge responsibility and undertaking.

Increasing the rates from 50 cents to $1.00 is a bit too much. To encourage public transportation for the younger generation, charging them the same amount that adults pay isn’t right; their fare of 50 cents is now a dollar. If a family with 4 children take public transit, that’s $8.00 per day. For many families, that’s simply too expensive.

In addition, senior rates have increased the first time in 25 years, going from 25 cents to 50 cents, another 100% increase. Many senior citizens live on a fixed income and they have to watch ever dime to survive.

If you’ve ridden the Big Blue, you know that for many seniors, it’s their only mode of transportation other than local jaunts.

To help make the rate hikes a little more digestible, Big Blue is offering a new monthly passes that offer unlimited rides for one low price. But even these aren’t much of a savings.

For example, the Student Pass can be purchased for $40.00; but if your child only rides the bus to school, 20 days per month, you don’t save a dime.

I’m a big believer in public transportation, but this price increase seems more than a little steep to be implemented in one fell swoop.

The stated reason for this increase is that the Big Blue Bus organization has a deficit of almost $6.5 million dollars. Therefore their management hopes that over the nest several years, the rate increases will compensate for the deficit at a rate of $2.5 million a year.

For now, just make sure you have more cash in your purse before you choose to ride the Big Blue next time, or better yet, maybe it’s time to get on your bike.

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2 Responses to “Big Blue Bus Rates Dramatically Increase”

  1. Frank Levangie says:

    Lisa, Lisa, Lisa…..Senior fares going from 25 cents to 50 cents is a 100% increase…….


    Lisa Newton Reply:

    @Frank Levangie, Thanks for the head’s up, Frank. I edited the post. :)


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