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New site helps ride planning

After a year in development, Web site will contain trip planner and more

Posted: June 14, 2009 10:52 p.m.
Updated: June 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Commuters get on a bus at the Valencia transfer station on Valencia Boulevard on Thursday.

 
The fleet size remains the same, but Santa Clarita Transit has beefed up its online presence.

The city's transit division launched a new Web site on June 1, after spending about a year to develop the new site, administrative analyst Brendie Bandara said.

"It's kind of a one-stop shop for all your transit needs," she said. "The old site was not as user-friendly."

Featured on the site's home page are a trip planner, a "how to ride the bus" section and the option to register for the city's U-Text program, which sends text messages to a rider's cell phone when changes are made to a route.

The city's transit fleet is composed of about 100 buses.

A major development on the horizon for transit officials is the transit access pass - or TAP - program, set to launch July 1.

Under the TAP program, residents can buy a pass card that they can then electronically load with credits for Santa Clarita Transit and other Los Angeles-area transit organizations, such as the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

"TAP is really about to revolutionize (local transit)," Bandara said.

The TAP cards are available today, and the program will go into effect July 1.

When it comes to ridership, Bandara said business has remained fairly steady.

Bus ridership saw a spike in 2008 when gas prices peaked, with city buses carrying about 1.5 million people in the first half of the year.

It's unclear if a surge is in store for this summer, but Bandara said that if there is, the transit division is ready.

The new transit Web site is located at www.santaclaritatransit.com.


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