Big Blue Bus celebrates 70 years of service
Santa Monica, Calif. – In the 1920s, Pacific Electric dominated public transportation within Santa Monica. All streetcars, inter-urban lines and buses were operated by the company, which, in 1927, charged 7 cents per passenger for bus fare. In April 1928, city officials started a competing 5-cent service with a fleet of eight rented blue buses. Known as the “Big Blue Bus” service, the fleet now boasts 163 buses and travels 12 routes throughout Santa Monica and West Los Angeles. The service, which carries 21 million passengers annually, also buses passengers to the Los Angeles International Airport. Based on passenger surveys, 98 percent of customers are satisfied with the service. To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Big Blue Bus, Santa Monica is hosting an essay contest for passengers, whocan submit their favorite stories of the service. City Hall has an ongoing historical exhibit of photographs, schedules, tokens and maps, and a video chronicling the history of the service also is in the works.