By BARRY LANK
Every Friday at 10 am until Sept. 3, a bus paid for by the County Department of Public Works picks up passengers at City Terrace Park and near Belvedere Park and takes them to the Santa Monica Pier. At 3:15 pm, the Beach Bus picks them up in Santa Monica and takes them back to East L.A.
That means you spend only a little more than 3 hours at the beach. But riders say you can’t beat the price — $2 round trip and only $1 for seniors — or the convenience.
A City Terrace woman named Ludys and her 9-year-old son Christian are frequent beach bus riders. Christian likes to play in the sand and Ludys enjoys the camaraderie on the bus.
“We get to know each other,” she said from the front seat of the bus.
It’s no surprise that seniors and families are the most common passengers riding the Beach Bus, according to Steven Frasher, public information officer with the L.A. County Department of Public Works. “There had been experimentation with Saturday service, especially in the beginning,” Frasher said. But the ridership levels weren’t sufficient.
With the current arrangement, though, “this route averages 500 riders each season, or approximately 22 riders per service day,” Frasher said.
Of course, public transportation is available all year round between East L.A. and Santa Monica. But It requires at least one transfer. In the case of going only by Metro train, it even requires two transfers and can take about an hour and three-quarters.
The county’s beach bus, which has been in operation for more than a decade, remains popular because it’s a direct route, Frasher pointed out. Depending on traffic, the ride can take about an hour, according to the bus schedule.
Go here for more Beach Bus info from East L.A. and other communities.
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