Saturday, October 17, 2009

Public transit in Pomona to be gutted come February

According to the below staff report on the Foothill Transit Executive Board agenda, Foothill Transit is slashing service on almost every single bus that comes into Pomona. Only the 286, 482, 492, and 493 are unscathed.

Foothill Cuts
Lines in Pomona to be slashed in February 2010 due to a budget crisis are the following:
  • Silver Streak - reduce service to 20 minutes in the off peak hours (from 15 minutes today) and 30 minutes on weekends (from 20 minutes today). Note that originally, service was supposed to be expanded because of revenue received from the Federal government as a result of converting the I-10 carpool lane west of the 605 into a high occupancy/toll lane.
  • Line 855 (Holt, San Antonio, San Bernardino) - eliminate service along Radcliffe Avenue.
  • Line 699 (Fairplex Park and Ride service) - eliminate three late morning trips (currently, the last trip leaves Fairplex at 8:28 a.m., while traffic on the 10 remains heavy until well past 9 a.m. most mornings) and eliminate one early afternoon trip (the first trip currently leaving Downtown at 2:00 p.m.)
  • Line 480 (Valley, Humane, Mission, East End, Holt, Indian Hill) - cut service in half during middays, evenings, and weekends to every 60 minutes. (Just three years ago, prior to the implementation of the Silver Streak, service operated every 15 minutes seven days a week along these streets.)
  • Line 291 (Garey, Foothill) - reduce service from every 20 minutes middays to every 30 minutes.
  • Line 195 (Holt, Reservoir, Philadelphia/Rio Rancho, Phillips Ranch) - eliminate ALL buses on middays and weekends. This eliminates all transit service to Phillips Ranch, the Reservoir industrial corridor, and the Wal-Mart and Winco outside of a few trips during peak hours.
  • Line 187 (Foothill) - eliminate five trips in the early morning (the first bus leaves Montclair at 5 a.m. and Pasadena at 4:40 a.m., passing through Pomona at 5:16 and 6:24 respectively, with service every half hour).
No public hearing appears to be scheduled for these cuts (while there were two public meetings scheduled, one in Pomona, to cancel lightly used Line 189, which comes nowhere near Pomona). While all transit agencies are taking it on the chin, the cuts should be distributed more equitably among communities, especially considering the highly transit-dependent nature of Pomona.

The Silver Streak, unfortunately, continues to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, despite higher fares and low ridership. Unlike in West Covina, where the Silver Streak makes five stops, the Silver Streak only makes one stop in Pomona. When I take the Silver Streak late at night, I routinely see half a dozen to a dozen people walk unknown distances to get home, since the 480 no longer operates at that hour, or the transfer wait is too long. Although the route is supposed to be an express route, that doesn't stop West Covina from having more stops. At the very least, a stop at Holt Avenue and a stop near the 10 freeway would provide access to greater numbers of people, and enhance ridership. Better yet, rather than running duplicative service, run the Silver Streak weekdays only and divert the remaining service to Line 480 so that Mission Boulevard can at least have a bus every half hour.

Incidentally, Paula Lantz is on Foothill Transit's board. What does she feel about all of these cuts to Pomona's service? Shouldn't the pain be spread around the different communities, which also have low ridership services, rather than removing transit service to areas far away from remaining service?


meg said...

Thanks, cal!

Tim Sunderland said...

What is an email address I can use to send you information? Get back to me at

meg said...

Tim, you can email any of the contributors by clicking on their names in the sidebar under "Contributors."