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Marsha McLean: Transit provides convenient, affordable service

Live from City Hall

Posted: March 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 3, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Gas prices throughout the state continue to rise steadily. The average price for a gallon of gas in the Los Angeles area now stands at $4.33. That price represents a 23-percent increase in the last two months and a 16 percent increase from a year ago. As the cost of filling up at the pump increases, there’s no better time to look at alternative transportation options to save money and reduce commuting stress.

Santa Clarita Transit is one of the most affordable regional transit agencies, with eight local fixed routes throughout the Santa Clarita Valley and commuter service to neighboring cities including Los Angeles, North Hollywood, Century City, Warner Center and the Antelope Valley.

Over the last few years, the city has made several improvements to help make transit services more user-friendly, convenient and affordable. 

 

Cutting-edge technology

One of the city’s primary goals for its transit system is to provide reliable service to the community. Thanks to the Transit Information Network, the city has made it more convenient for public-transportation users to stay informed. Now riders can receive up-to-the-minute information on the current location of a bus via the Web, a cellphone and more.

For riders wanting information about a route while waiting at a bus stop, look for one of 50 LED display signs or bus finder units installed at key areas throughout Santa Clarita. To view arrival and departure times on a bus finder, press the button on the blue display unit that directly corresponds with the route and receive real-time information specific to that stop.

Smartphone users can receive the same information by scanning the quick-response code located at each bus stop. Enter the five-digit ID number found at each bus stop and let the interactive system do the rest.

A bus-finder map is also available online for passengers looking to identify a route’s arrival times prior to boarding the bus.

In the fall, Santa Clarita Transit’s local and commuter vehicles will feature new on-board monitors to provide riders with visual bus stop announcements and city-related media content.

 

Electronic fare passes

The city’s Transit Access Pass is a cash-free system for transit fare payment that eliminates the need to carry exact change. 

To purchase your TAP card or load bus fare to the card, go online at TapToGo.com, or visit one of 11 locations throughout the Santa Clarita Valley, including the Transit Maintenance Facility, City Hall, Aquatic Center, Newhall Community Center and the Newhall, Valencia and Canyon Country libraries. TAP is accepted on all local, commuter, Dial-A-Ride and ASI vehicles.

 

Expanded park-and-ride facility coming soon

In Santa Clarita, more than half of the city’s residents commute daily to neighboring areas for work. Using public transportation is a safe and affordable alternative for community members to avoid the stress of driving and travel with ease to their destination.

In response to a growing demand for alternative modes of transportation, the city of Santa Clarita will break ground in the coming months on a 4.9-acre park-and-ride facility adjacent to the McBean Regional Transit Center.

Expected to open in summer 2013, the McBean Regional Transit Center park-and-ride will improve access to local and regional transit routes, increase parking capacity by over 280 spaces and offer an attractive design that blends into the surrounding community.

The new transit facility will also include state-of-the-art amenities, such as kiosks, benches, handicapped accessible ramps, bike lockers, public art and a plasma-screen TV for bus arrival information.

 

Rail service available

Santa Clarita Transit is also dedicated to expanding transportation options for commuting residents. There are several locations in the city where bus routes and rail services connect to commuter rail to help customers transfer and complete a trip.

The city of Santa Clarita Transit is dedicated to responding to the growing needs of the community while making it convenient and affordable to use public transportation.

For more information about Santa Clarita Transit, visit SantaClaritaTransit.com or contact (661) 294-1BUS (1287).

Marsha McLean is a Santa Clarita City Councilwoman and can be reached at mmclean@santa-clarita.com.

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