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Laurie Ender: A year of accomplishment for Santa Clarita Transit

Live from City Hall

Posted: January 7, 2010 9:43 p.m.
Updated: January 8, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
This past year was an exciting one for Santa Clarita Transit with the introduction of advanced technology, a new route and additional resources for riders.
The city’s transit department also reached the milestone of serving more than 4 million riders via its local and commuter route service.  

In June 2009, transit implemented the new Transit Access Pass, or TAP, program. The TAP is a durable plastic card containing a smart chip, which deducts the exact bus fare amount each time used and remembers account balance to the penny.

The demand for the new TAP card was high, and the transit department opened two additional pass sale locations to meet the need and requests of the community.

To assist College of the Canyons with overcrowded parking that typically marks the beginning of a new school year, the city partnered with COC to provide free local transit service to students for the first three weeks of the fall semester.

Santa Clarita Transit distributed free TAP cards to students, good for the free three-week trial period. More than 8,000 students took advantage of the complimentary rides, reducing traffic around the campus and further educating students on the convenience of public transportation.

Santa Clarita Transit marked the summer with the launch of a newly redesigned transit Web site with a fresh look and feel. The new site, www.santaclaritatransit.com, allows for more user-friendly access to information on all things transit-related.

The site changes were a direct result of feedback received from local transit riders. Community members can easily navigate the new site to find links to improved trip-planner options, traffic alerts, expanded transportation information, transit news and enhanced route and schedule information.

The transit department launched the new 757 NoHo (North Hollywood) Express in August. The NoHo Express takes riders just about anywhere they want to go, with connection opportunities to neighboring cities available seven days a week.

In the first three months of operation, the NoHo Express provided service to more than 40,000 riders. Its popularity continues to grow as residents discover how easy the route is to use.

Santa Clarita Transit rounded out the year with the return of the popular Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley. The festive trolley offers a free shopping route that connects holiday shoppers to the Westfield Valencia Town Center, Target and Kohl’s.

With pick-ups every 20 minutes, it’s easy to park at one location and ride the trolley to the others. The Holly Jolly Holiday Trolley is not only free and convenient, it’s a great way to get into the holiday spirit.

Santa Clarita Transit anticipates 2010 to be another successful year with the implementation of the anticipated Transit Information Network systems. The TIN project will enhance the efficiency of the city’s transit service through the availability of “real-time” information that will improve the convenience of local, commuter and Dial-A-Ride services for our users.

The system will provide real-time schedule and route information using digital display signs to be installed at key stop locations.

Once implemented, this new system will allow the city to improve service reliability, increase ridership and more effectively plan for future transit demand.

The TIN will revolutionize the transit experience for Santa Clarita Transit riders. The new system is expected to be fully operational by spring.

Riders will also see seven new compressed natural gas buses on the local route and four new commuter vehicles. The city secured grant funding to help pay for the new buses, and they will be in operation this summer.

For more information, log on to www.santa-clarita.com. To contact the transit division directly call (661) 295-6300, or for bus schedules and routes call (661) 294-1287.

Laurie Ender is a member of the Santa Clarita City Council. her column reflects her own views and not necessarily those of The Signal. “Live from City Hall” is provided by the city and appears Fridays in The Signal.

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