Monday, November 9, 2009

Meeting in Review

Tonight, RTA held a community meeting on the restructuring of routes 29, 49, and 149. I was there- alone again. I've just come from that meeting, and am now sitting at Mumbles Frozen Yogurt (on University between Iowa and Cranford, served by 1, 16, 25, 51 and 53, inexpensive and delicious) enjoying their free wi-fi and blogging for you all.

Routes 29 and 49 are scheduled to be interlined on January 10, 2010. Both routes are going to see an extension of service span- the 29 by 50 minutes and the 49 by 20 minutes- and a reduction in service frequency- both to 70 minutes, from the 29's current 65 and the 49's current 50. This is, unfortunately, going to mean more waiting for passengers in Rubidoux, Pedley and Mira Loma, but it also means later service times, with the 49 (ending at 8:28) approaching the 9:00 service standard for directly-operated regional routes. Neither route was exactly frequent to begin with, and this reduction will mostly result in the inconvenience of learning a new schedule. RTA officials hope to increase frequency on both routes when the budget situation improves.

Route 149 will not be changing much. It will be re-numbered the CommuterLink 216, but agency officials assured me that the unique character of the route- including weekend service and interlining with Route 1 for the last run of the night- will be preserved. They will be running 40-foot CommuterLink buses on the route (I didn't know they had those!), and so capacity will also remain the same. The only thing changing is the fare structure, to become more consistent with the rest of the system. I welcome this change, and enjoy watching the demise of the special only-for-this-route fare grid.

Other changes are coming to the system. Routes that currently serve the 4th & Wilkerson transfer point in Perris are being re-routed to serve the new Perris Multi-Modal Transit Centre. 1, 13, and 15 are being detoured around the Magnolia bridge construction- 1 and 15 via Jurupa, Brockton and Beatty, 13 via Jurupa, Riverside and Central. The alternate routing of 21 to Parkview Hospital will be discontinued, increasing both service span and frequency on that route.

I would like to mention to my readers in 29/49 country- RTA is NOT planning to hold community meetings in your area. If you would like to voice your opinion, you may do so via snail mail at:
Planning Director
Riverside Transit Agency
PO Box 59968
Riverside, CA 92517-1968

or via e-mail at
or in person at the next Board Meeting, Thursday Nov. 19th at the County Administration Building (a short walk from the Downtown Terminal) at 2pm. The fact that Agency officials did not see fit to hold a community meeting in the affected communities is disheartening, but probably pragmatic, considering the sort of attendance these meetings usually attract.
Still, I encourage all of you to make sure your voice is heard.

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