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Big Blue Bus Maintenance Facility

Santa Monica, California

The Big Blue Bus provides more than 13 million transit rides per year for the city of Santa Monica and greater Los Angeles area. HOK designed the transit agency’s maintenance facility and service yard that has helped Big Blue Bus expand its fleet and better serve travelers.

The downtown complex accommodates nearly 200 conventional and articulated buses and includes space for a future administration building. Strategically designed service bays and fueling equipment optimize space usage within the facility and reduce turnaround times to return the buses to service.

Flexibility and phasing were key components of the design. HOK master planned the facility in multiple phases, allowing the Big Blue Bus to continue operations during construction.

From a civic perspective, the transit agency wanted the facility to celebrate the city’s transportation program and commitment to sustainability. An entrance canopy with the Big Blue Bus signage welcomes buses on site.

The building’s sustainable design includes recycled building materials, energy efficient plumbing and light fixtures, EV charging stations, solar panels, a stormwater runoff system and reclaimed water for irrigation. Abundant windows and glass-front garage doors fill the building with natural light that reduces energy needs. .

Complementing the facility’s sustainable design, 10% of the Big Blue Bus fleet is electric. The rest runs on alternative fuels. The transit agency is targeting a fully electric fleet by 2030.

HOK collaborated closely with the client and community to ensure the facility fit within the neighborhood and supported local services. Part of the project included relocating the Ocean Park Community Center (OPCC), which serves underprivileged populations in the community. The team designed and built a new facility for OPCC adjacent to the Big Blue Bus property, allowing both projects to progress successfully.

65,300 sq. ft. / 6,065 sq. m.
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