Thursday, September 15, 2011

Has the Big Blue Bus Local #7 been thrown "under the bus"?

Has anyone else noticed a sharp decline in the Local 7 service on the Big Blue Bus since the extended and increased Rapid 7 service to the Wilshire/Western Purple Line station was instituted?

Buses come less frequently and are far more crowded. Yesterday, four #7 buses came at once. One woman stated she had waited an hour for a Local #7 bus.

This is not a criticism of the new Rapid 7 service, which seems very popular. I just wish the Rapid 7 now went all the way to the Wilshire/Vermont station so there could be a one-seat transfer to the Red Line as well.

However, as inconvenient as bus stacking is, to have FOUR buses approach Pico and Beverly around the same time last night tells me that something is off operationally. The Big Blue Bus normally runs a stellar service with clean, on-time buses, so this is not an overall criticism of them.

What is your experience on the Local 7 during the last two weeks?


Things are getting ugly on the Local 7 Big Blue Bus.

On Friday morning, I was riding the Local 7 to work, stuffed to capacity, when an angry older gentleman started saying very loudly to anyone who would hear:

- "They are treating us like animals making us stand. My rapid stop (Beverly/Pico) has been eliminated and now I am twenty minutes late for work every day. I called the Big Blue Bus and no one can tell me why. We all need to write the Mayor of Santa Monica!"

- Another woman said loudly back to him, "they've written off this corridor."

They both complained about the Rapids getting the longer buses while they were standing.

This Monday morning, the Local 7 was LATE, and stuffed to capacity. People were denied entry because the bus was so full, meaning they'd be even later having to wait for the next one. The same elder gentleman from Friday. who was pressed up against the front of the bus was shouting, "We are taxpayers! We are not animals. We don't have to be treated this way. Write a letter, make a phone call."

Now I am a big fan of the Big Blue Bus and the normally stellar service it offers, but the Big Blue Bus needs to do something. If people can no longer board a bus or get to work on time, that is their bread and butter.

Please put articulated Local 7s and/or just plain more Local 7s on Pico during rush hour.   I do not believe the Rapids are to blame and they are just as crowded as the Locals.

Maybe we should think big about this corridor and consider rush hour bus-only lanes on Pico.

If you would like to contact Big Blue Bus yourself, you may click here.


LAofAnaheim said...

To the woman who says "they've written off this corridor". NO! They've supplemented to the corridor by increasing Rapid service and extending the Rapid service. You can argue the BBB # 13 was written off; as it was slated for cancellation. Not the # 7 route.

Chris said...

It's the extension to the Wilshire/Western station that's causing the decrease in bus service on the 7. At least three additional buses were required for that route extension - which duplicates in its entirety Metro Route 710. These three buses used to be used to provide more service on Pico Blvd.

The #13 was indeed written off, but since so few buses were used on it it doesn't totally explain these problems on the 7.