Long Beach Transit (LBT) has announced two partnerships to expand both regional and long-distance transportation options for Long Beach residents.

Last week, LBT announced it is partnering with German long-haul bus company FlixBus to provide a low-cost bus service to Las Vegas. The service began March 21. The company’s bright green buses are departing from LBT’s First Street Transit Gallery in Downtown Long Beach, which is located between Long Beach Boulevard and Pine Avenue.

“Long Beach impressed us with its diversity, energy and very progressive transit policy. It’s probably the most FlixBus-compatible community in California,” Pierre Gourdain, managing director for FlixBus USA, stated in a prepared statement. “We are thrilled to start the route there and looking to add many more connections in the future.” One additional connection is already scheduled; in April, Flixbus will offer a special service between Downtown Long Beach and Indio for the Coachella and Stagecoach festivals.

Flixbus launched its first bus lines in the United States in the summer of 2018, starting with several lines connecting transit hubs in California, Nevada and Arizona. Many of the service’s initial stations were located near freeway exits rather than in city centers like Downtown Long Beach. “Our partnership with FlixBus is another example of LBT connecting communities, both locally and beyond,” LBT President and CEO Kenneth McDonald said in a press release. “Now, LBT customers can catch a bus to the Transit Gallery and then explore destinations outside California.”

Days later, LBT announced another partnership, this one with the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and the Westwood Business Improvement District. The three agencies are teaming up to provide a daily commuter shuttle between Long Beach and UCLA’s Westwood campus, starting April 1, 2019.

The shuttle bus will depart three times a day on weekday mornings from two different Long Beach stops, with three return departures from Westwood in the afternoon. Tickets are $7 for a round trip and $4 one-way. Monthly passes cost $120, with discounted prices available for seniors and customers with disabilities.

The one-year pilot program is the result of a series of public meetings held by LBT in 2017 and 2018 in an effort to gather community input. “The community asked us for service to Westwood and UCLA so they could get out of their cars,” McDonald said. “Struggling with traffic on the 405 is not fun and we’re piloting this service to measure demand.”