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Big Blue Bus System Ranked Best in Country

September 28, 2000

SANTA MONICA — The city's Big Blue Bus system has been ranked the best in the country by the American Public Transit Assn., marking the fourth time the system has won the top honor.

Santa Monica Transportation Director John Catoe accepted the award earlier this week at the transit association's annual convention in San Francisco. General Manager Stephanie Negriff credited the honor to expanded routes, increased nighttime and weekend service and a new bus card system that makes paying fares easier.

The system was judged on efficiency and quality. It consistently earned a 98% customer satisfaction rating and earned high points for marketing, employee development and safety training.

During the Metropolitan Transportation Authority strike, ridership has increased 130% on the Santa Monica system from downtown Los Angeles to downtown Santa Monica, Big Blue Bus officials said Wednesday.

The Big Blue Bus system, which operates 166 buses on an annual budget of $30 million, has a 97% on-time record and offers one of the lowest fares in the country: 50 cents. More than 21 million people ride the Santa Monica system every year.

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