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One of the new Big Blue Bus stops on Main Street. Officials say they will modify elements of its new bus stops to improve seating capacity and functionality.
Courtesy photo
One of the new Big Blue Bus stops on Main Street. Officials say they will modify elements of its new bus stops to improve seating capacity and functionality.

News, Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica

Big Blue Bus To Modify New Bus Stops

Posted Jul. 11, 2014, 8:53 am

Parimal M. Rohit / Staff Writer

Santa Monica’s transportation agency Big Blue Bus’ attempt to be fashionable may have backfired.

With the completion of some of its new bus shelters around the City, there has been backlash from residents regarding the design.

Debra Mandelkorn, a banker, asks: “What were they thinking? Although they are a beautiful shade of blue they have no function for the person or persons that have to wait for the bus. The seats, what a joke! Two people! And the signage, it’s nice but what about the disk that is covering the sign? What is this supposed to do? What is happening to this City? The design is horrible!”

On Wednesday, BBB announced plans to modify elements of its new Bus Stop Improvement Project design to improve seating capacity and functionality, citing customer feedback as the reason for modifications.

According to BBB, the designs were the result of an “extensive outreach to a great number of stakeholders,” including “riders, City Council officials, business owners with storefronts behind bus stops, business improvement districts, neighborhood associations, and the Santa Monica Convention & Visitors Bureau.”

Ed King, Director of Transit for BBB, said the transportation agency had received numerous customer requests for additional seating, shade, and comfort.

“While BBB and the City underwent an extensive public engagement process during the design phase for the Bus Stop Improvement Project, making adjustments once the design is built and installed based on customer experience is the mark of a dynamic public engagement effort,” King said.

BBB planned the construction to take place six to twelve stops at a time over a two-year period. Construction of the first six stops began Monday, March 31.

Almost 40 of the low volume stops have been completed to date.

BBB officials added they are looking into altering the existing seat design and looking for ways to “improve the seating comfort and support, potentially through wider seats and higher backs.”

The proposed modifications will roll out during the next few months, BBB officials stated.

“We believe when customers see the full scope of the project installed, there will be a greater understanding of seat and canopy configurations at each stop based on the volume of ridership,” King stated. “We appreciate the customer feedback as it has contributed to improving the design.”

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Jul. 11, 2014, 9:25:52 am

Paisana said...

I totally agree that the new bus stops are a joke! Good thing I never sit while waiting for a bus and I haven't seen anyone using the tiny seats. Shade is more important anyway, especially during the summer. What a waste of money!

Jul. 11, 2014, 9:39:26 am

Cindy said...

The new additions to the bus stops are ugly and highly unfunctionable. They don't guard from the elements and provide inadequate seating. All they do is add more visual garbage to an already junked up environment.

Jul. 11, 2014, 10:22:18 am

Judi said...

The seats are seriously awkward. They are so close together I can't fathom any two strangers feeling comfortable sitting together on those two tiny little close together seats. I would never feel comfortable sitting on one of those two little seats so close to any stranger. The overall appearance should better fit into the downtown Santa Monica scheme for an overall city appearance..

Jul. 11, 2014, 10:30:12 am

Gaby said...

The bus benches are a reflection of the how the is city is in touch with the people who live in it

Jul. 11, 2014, 2:28:02 pm

D Alice Sanchez said...

I glad you are improving the bus shelter. I take the bus everyday to go home. you just have to check out other cities designs which they did do it thinking on the passenger instead of been fashionable and spend all that money. Before any projects get started, consider pass it down to who are the ones that use the service first.

Jul. 11, 2014, 6:48:37 pm

Dee said...

How wasteful--you'd think a pilot bus stop would have been put on display somewhere and public input would have been sought BEFORE finalizing a design. Seems like common sense to solicit the input of the people who will actually be using the bus stops, as well as the residents in front of whose homes and businesses the bus stops will reside. Instead they just do it, then change when the response is negative--how much extra does that cost the taxpayer?

Jul. 12, 2014, 1:18:25 pm

Lynn said...

Recently design for much that we use has been taken over by people who want only to be seen as clever innovators of a look, not functionality. I would say those bus stop fixtures are as totally bad a design as is possible. Who gave that contract and who profited from that contract?

Jul. 12, 2014, 3:47:46 pm

KSS said...

So, they provide shade for the sign? And the purpose of that is? How about providing schedules with larger print and that list the times at the specific stop? Or making sure that the schedules are all at eye level? I second the comment about the stools being too close together for use by strangers. Who was the architect?

Jul. 14, 2014, 9:53:07 am

Oh brother said...

I'd like to see the Mayor try to sit on these? They'd disappear.

Jul. 13, 2014, 11:10:33 am

Robin said...

Santa Monica Big Blue Bus spent 1 million dollars on bus stops that are artistic instead of functional. They gave no thought what so ever to the elderly or handicapped bus riders or protecting riders from the elements. Who ever green lighted this should be fired.

Jul. 13, 2014, 7:24:25 pm

Ally said...

I assume that the BBB will give back the “Next LA” Citation Award for Architecture that it received from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for the new BBB shelter and bus stop redevelopment program. The award honors excellence in design by Los Angeles architects for projects not yet built.

Jul. 18, 2014, 7:43:25 pm

obusquets said...

Mr King really knows how to spin a message. The reality is that it was a waste of money.

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