Beach Bus Changes Coming

Changes regarding the Beach Bus, now providing year-round transportation, were discussed at the Topanga Canyon Town Council (TCTC) meeting on February 8.

According to Maria Chong Castillo, Deputy for Public Works in Supervisor Sheila Kuehl’s office, they have been working with DPW for some time.

“Ridership is low and we are restructuring the program,” Castillo said. “We are looking at this as a pilot program and seeking input to see how to better serve the community.”

Complaints that “no one knows it’s there,” and lack of signage to identify both the bus and the stops came up during the meeting. Mr. Huang said they are also looking to identify more destinations between the valley and the beach, as well as adjusting the schedule. “We need to work with residents on what stops would be best.

Fred Rich, who was not at the meeting but rides the bus south in the afternoon from the Topanga Market to the Santa Monica Pier parking lot, said, “The sign says ‘Beach Bus’ but no one knows where it goes, what the stops are or the schedule.”

Rich doesn’t take the bus north from Santa Monica to Topanga because it leaves too late. “If it left at 7 a.m., it would be packed,” he said.

He also recommended some stops. “Froggy’s would be a good stop in both directions, and Topanga Lumber,” he said. The stop at PCH, he said, is “crazy.” The bus can’t just make a left turn on PCH to Santa Monica. It has to turn right and then left into the stop at Topanga Surf Park, and then turn right onto PCH south. “It takes 20 minutes just to make that U-turn because of traffic,” Rich said. “It would work better if it could stop at the Malibu Feedbin and the gas station, or even near Mastros. The big thing is the morning time.”

Rich, as well as bus-riders at the meeting, also gave high praise to the driver, Rosa, who does a 12-hour daytime shift. “She’s wonderful!”

A one-way trip costs $1 for children and adults and $.50 for seniors (60+ with proper identification) and persons with disabilities

John Huang, P.E. with Transit Operations for L. A. County Department of Public Works, announced that the 2017 Winter Shelter Program for those in need of emergency shelter runs 24 hours in bad weather. Winter shelters are available on a first-come, first-served basis to single adults.

A free transportation pick-up point for Topanga is located at PCH at 3931 S. Topanga Canyon Blvd. at 5:30 p.m. to the 160-bed shelter located at 1300 Federal Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90025. The Beach Bus stops at the Topanga Creek Market parking lot at  4:05 p.m., which means an hour wait for the pick-up. For information and comments: (800) 548-6047;


NOTE:  The new meeting date for the TCTC monthly meetings is now the second Wednesday of each month. The next meeting will be on March 8 at 6 p.m. in the Library meeting room.  All are welcome to attend and hear reports generally given by local law enforcement, county representatives and local non-profit leaders. Residents and business owners are welcome to give public comment at the end of the meeting.


Flavia Potenza

Flavia Potenza is executive editor of the Messenger Mountain News. She is also a founding member of the 40-year old Topanga Messenger that closed its doors in 2016. She can be reached at

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