By Odalis A. SUAREZ
Cost: All Children and Adults- $3.00
Senior Citizens (60 and up)- $1.50
Persons with Disabilities- $1.50
This summer the wheels on the bus are going round and round as the Beach Bus provides an effortless way for La Crescenta residents to go to the beach.
“It started in 1983. It was created [at] the request of [L.A. Supervisor Michael] Antonovich, to provide more recreational opportunities for residents,” explained Anabel DuBois from the Department of Public works, Transit Unit.
The three-dollar round trip ride takes passengers to Santa Monica beach where families can enjoy not only the Pacific Ocean, but also the infamous pier with its rides. For local residents, the Beach Bus has become more than just a recreational activity; it also offers a safer, efficient and convenient way to spend a day with the waves.
“I think [it’s] a cool thing that they’re doing for the kids here,” said La Crescenta resident Marilyn Wright. “It’s so convenient for the teenagers.”
For the last three years Wright, with her daughter Paige, have been frequent riders on the Beach Bus. Paige was geared up for her day in the sand and knew exactly what she wanted to do when she arrived in Santa Monica.
“Eating breakfast and then playing [with sand toys],” said Paige. “I just try to dig holes and bury myself … but not the head!”
Recent Crescenta Valley High School graduates Sarah Choi and Rocio Lee had their own reasons for boarding the bus. Though Lee has a driver’s license, neither girl had access to a vehicle to take them to the beach. With the convenience of the Beach Bus, they are now able to go on rides, eat food, sunbathe and swim.
“It’s really easy, you only pay three dollars and you get a ride back,” said Choi.
For the last 27 summers, the Beach Bus each year has had thousands of passengers take advantage of the low cost opportunity.
There are three local stops
to choose from, one in La Cañada and two others in La Crescenta with the first stop arriving at 9:15 in the morning. Whether going alone, with family, or a large group, the Beach Bus is more than willing to make the necessary accommodations.
“If there’s a large group we [are able] to accommodate them. They call us and we order an extra bus for them to make sure there is enough space for everyone,” stated DuBois who added that there is no additional charge for this service.
DuBois said that riders can bring surfboards, ice chests or chairs as each bus has a storage compartment underneath.
As the foothill community prepares for hot summer days, residents can spend a day outdoors without emptying their wallet or getting road rage. The Beach Bus lets riders relax from start to finish.
The Beach Bus runs four days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays (including Labor Day). This summer it began on June 22 and it will run until Sept. 6. Pick up is at
the northwest corner of
Foothill and La Cañada boulevards at 9:15 a.m.; Two Strike Park on Rosemont Avenue at 9:30 a.m.; the former county library site at 4521 La Crescenta Ave. at 9:40 a.m.; the southeast corner of Montrose Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard 9:50 a.m. Return from Santa Monica Beach (by the pier) at 3:30 p.m.