Contrary to prior reports, the May Rider News lists the #17 as being discontinued in the coming service update. Sorry to my MoVal readers for any confusion this may have caused, and I'm sorry for your loss.
RTA also apparently sneaked something by my watchful eyes- the Downtown Trolley Green Line, route #52, will be suspended in the upcoming "service adjustment." (Euphemism of the year? Possibly premature...) This follows a pattern I've seen before in IE transit, first on the Victor Valley Commuter service years ago. First, you cut service in a way that is superficially justifiable, but makes the route impractical and difficult to use. Then, when the riders that have a choice abandon the route, you cite "low ridership" and pull it out from under the people who've stayed. RTA did this by making the route run on two different routes, within three narrow windows, ostensibly because they were the "productive trips", and then when people didn't want to bother figuring out if there was a bus coming or not, ridership fell and the route's getting axed. Nice, guys.
On the bright side, those expensive new trolleys won't be sitting around going to pot. They'll be (probably) put in service on the new Temecula Trolley, which is set to debut with the new Ride Guide. So Temecula can support a free downtown trolley, but we can't? Beauty.
I have to applaud the addition of the new 212 and 217 routes, between Hemet and Riverside and Escondido respectively. Though I do have to wonder... were 214 and 216 taken?
Let us all hope for an end to these budget woes and the beginning of reasonable investment in Riverside's transit infrastructure.