Big Blue Buses To See Upgrades Throughout 2023

July 17, 2023 ·

SANTA MONICA—The City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus is upgrading communications and GPS technology to provide “more reliable and efficient” rides, according to an announcement by the bus service made on July 12.

By 2024, a new communication system on all Big Blue Buses will allow dispatchers to track buses and communicate with operators through voice and text messages should any disruptions occur en route. 

GPS location data on Big Blue Buses will also be updated to reflect more accurate bus arrival times on electronic bus stop signs and in apps like Transit and Google Maps. GPS location data updates every 45 seconds with the current technology, but with the upgrades it will update every 10 seconds. 

Monitors on Big Blue Buses will also reflect more accurate information regarding upcoming stops and arrival times as well as destination, detours, and weather information. 

In the meantime, riders can expect incorrect or missing display information on buses and signage while the upgrades continue to roll out.

On July 13, a pilot of the new upgrades was employed through a small fleet of buses equipped with the new communications system as part of a four-week testing period. These buses will provide service on Routes 3, 7, 8, 9 & 41, and Rapids 7 & 12.

According to Big Blue Bus, while testing is being conducted, riders may experience:

  • onboard audio announcements that are mistimed or include incorrect and/or mispronounced bus stops and destinations 
  • Incorrect route or destination information displayed on electronic bus signs
  • Missing or inaccurate real-time bus arrival predictions for select stops 

Questions or comments about the communications system upgrade can be directed to the City of Santa Monica at  santamonica.gov/311

By Paige Strickland

Next Post

City Tests The Use Of AI To Detect Parking Violations

SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica is the latest city to test the use of artificial intelligence camera technology to enforce parking laws. The city’s latest innovation is allowing buses themselves to write tickets instantly for parked cars in the way of bus…
Read
Previous Post

Man Found Dead On Santa Monica Sidewalk

SANTA MONICA—A 40 year old man was found dead along a sidewalk on the 1300 block of Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica on Sunday, July 16, around 6:30 a.m. Police were summoned to the scene after the Santa Monica Fire department…
Read
Random Post

Virtual Trainings For Organic Waste Recycling January 17

MALIBU—On Monday, January 8, the city of Malibu posted on its website that they are inviting community members to join the upcoming virtual workshops to learn about the importance of, and be able to participate in, Malibu’s Organic Waste Recycling…
Read
Random Post

Pavilions, CVS Clerks Cited For Selling Alcohol To Minor

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica Police Department revealed that detectives conducted a Minor Decoy Operation on August 9. During the operation, a minor who was supervised by department agents tried to buy alcohol from 6 retailers in Santa Monica. Clerks at…
Read
Random Post

SMPD Arrest Suspects In Felony Battery, Robbery Case

SANTA MONICA—Lt. Erika Aklufi indicated in an email to Canyon News that two suspects have been arrested for felony battery, elder abuse and a robbery that transpired on October 31. The SMPD reported at about 9:50 p.m., officers responded to…
Read
Random Post

Bacteria Warnings For Areas With Heavy Rainfall

SANTA MONICA—On December 22, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LACDPH) sent out a public health warning for area beaches including Malibu and Santa Monica about bacteria in the water.“An Ocean Water Quality Rain Advisory has been declared for…
Read