I wrote earlier this week about the great savings you can make by taking the bus or rail. A recent study by the American Public Transportation Association relates that a 2-person household in L. A. could potentially save $866 a month, or $10,395 a year, by adopting public transportation, once you figure in factor in local gas prices and parking fees. Even if you don’t ride every day, it’s great to do once in a while to save costs on outings or complicated parking situtations.

I rode Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus with my kids today for the first time since they made service changes (Aug. 28th). The bus was clean, with professionalism demonstrated by the driver despite the riders’ confusion about some of the service changes.

Here are the pluses:

There are now gorgeous, gigantic new Rapid 7 Buses.

They travel all the way from Santa Monica to the Metro Rail station at Wilshire and Western! That means, if you live along the Pico corridor (West L.A., Pico-Robertson, etc.), you can now get Downtown by subway without having to drive or deal with the crowded park and ride at the Wilshire and Western station.

Here’s the downside:

In order to streamline service on the Rapid 7, the Blue Bus got rid of the stop at Pico and Beverly Dr./Elm. There was an enormous backup at the stop as people waited for the local bus today, and no notice of the discontinuation of Rapid service.  It also means that you can no longer connect between the 14 Metro bus and the Rapid 7.

My family is very much looking forward to catching the Rapid 7 to Metro Rail in the future, but it looks like we’ll have to walk all the way to Robertson to do it.

Here’s the link to the Big Blue Bus webiste: http://www.bigbluebus.com/home/index.asp

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About beccakinla

Freelance writer and unrepentant homemaker. Writer of many genres and author of "A Dozen Daisies for Raizy," "Sliding Doors and Other Stories," and "Mazal's Luck Runs Out."

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