Friday, June 12, 2009

RTA News-splosion!

Happy Friday, everyone. RTA decided that today was the day to make several big announcements.

First of all, Google Transit is now official. This surprises me, because the transit stops still don't show on the map, but trip planning functionality does seem entirely complete. Yay!

Second, the new Ride Guide is now out. Get your copy here. The details of the service cuts are, therefore, officially out. Affecting Riverside, in numerical order:
  • Route 3- No longer affects Riverside, or Old Town Norco. It's been rerouted north to Eastvale. Trips to that region from Riverside should be routed on route 29 from downtown, or route 21 from Tyler, transferring to 29 at Pedley station or Etiwanda & Limonite. I strongly disapprove of removing the only bus service in Old Town Norco, and making inter-regional connections even more difficult. Norco is now much further from southern Riverside.

  • Route 10 no longer serves its route beyond the Galleria at Tyler, with replacement service provided on Route 14. Route 14 no longer serves its route beyond the Downtown Terminal. Also, an early trip on Route 14 is now gone. Neither of these cuts alone is reprehensible, but the cumulative effect is to make bus service along 3rd/Blaine substantially worse. Not only that, but the RTA offices are now that much more difficult to access. One wonders if this was done on purpose.

  • 16 now ends at the Moreno Valley Mall. As a side-benefit, the last 16 trip from Downtown leaves 15 minutes later. This change might actually work out to the benefit of Riversiders. Unfortunately, Moreno Valley residents get screwed. This change eliminates the late-night bus service that used to rumble through Moreno Valley at around 10 PM. Most service there now ends at around 7:30. This will all work out in January, when the 19 (which serves much of the old 16 route) goes to 11pm service, but for now, I expect we'll see a rash of late-night cycling in Moreno Valley. Go get yourselves some red blinky lights, guys.

  • The bulk of bus service in Moreno Valley is now provided by the new Route 11, a circulator route. I was nervous about this, but RTA structured this route to provide bi-directional service, and so I think it'll work out. Hourly buses still suck, but they're better than nothing.

  • Riverside Downtown Terminal and Marketplace Metrolink now welcome the new 212, with service to Hemet.

On balance, the worst of the cuts were avoided here in Riverside, and the ones that went into effect on the fringes were largely minor. Are they annoying? Absolutely, but with any luck we'll get out of this damned recession and get our bus service back.

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