Long Beach Transit to offer bus trips to UCLA, adds partner for Las Vegas, Coachella routes

Long Beach Transit will soon offer public transportation to a score of new locations, including UCLA, Las Vegas, and the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals.

Trips to UCLA (which include stops at Kinross Avenue and Veteran Avenue; the UCLA Medical Center; and Gateway Plaza) will launch April 1 and offer riders a commuter bus directly from Long Beach to Westwood. The bus will run Monday through Friday beginning at Bellflower Boulevard and Spring Street at three times: 5:15 a.m., 6 a.m. and 6:45 a.m. After each of these stops, they will make another stop at the Willow Blue Line Station roughly 20 minutes later: 5:35 a.m., 6:20 a.m. and 7:05 a.m.

Returns will occur at 4:20 p.m., 5:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m. from Gateway Plaza.

This route will help serve students, many of whom live in Long Beach but work in Westwood and rely on undependable or taxing vanpools.

“This was actually birthed out of our STAR initiative in 2017,” said Long Beach Transit’s Mike Gold, referring to a recent assessment of how the city could improve its transit system. “We had several Long Beach citizens tell us, ‘We work near UCLA but we want to stay here and live here in Long Beach.'”

The commuter bus to UCLA is a pilot project created through a partnership between Long Beach Transit, the Westwood Improvement District and UCLA. UCLA will be offering subsidies for employees when it comes to scoring a monthly pass.

When it comes to Vegas and Coachella, Long Beach Transit has partnered with Germany-based FlixBus as the European company expands its presence in the U.S.

“FlixBus approached us since using Long Beach as a hub was such a viable option for them,” Gold said. “We have the transit mall that acts a very efficient gateway, and our location is so desirable in terms of its proximity to other events and cities.”

FlixBus will kick off its partnership with Long Beach Transit by focusing on Vegas. Its first trip will come this Thursday, March 21 at the transit mall on First Street in Downtown. Come April, the bus will offer service to Coachella and Stagecoach.

FlixBus has a demand pricing model: The more people that sign up, the cheaper the ride and the more frequently it will take place. For now, FlixBus is still in the process of determining demand, so a specific schedule isn’t yet set.

“(Long Beach is) probably the most FlixBus-compatible community in California,” The company’s managing director for the U.S., Pierre Gourdain, said in an announcement. “We are thrilled to start the route there and (are) looking to add many more connections in the future.”

For information on tickets to Las Vegas and Coachella, click here

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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