Mountain Transit on Nov. 14 will be making changes to its bus schedules, cutting five hours a day from its Lake Arrowhead-Running Springs service, but adding Saturday scheduled service and Sunday dial-a-ride service to its Lake Arrowhead-Crestline route. Sandy Benson, Mountain Transit’s assistant general manager, said on Monday that Route 4—service between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs—has experienced low ridership.
During research for developing Mountain Transit’s new Short Range Transit Plan covering the next five years, all of the routes were analyzed, Benson said. It was confirmed that Route 4 is consistently unproductive, meaning the route experienced low ridership.“Over the last three years we’re seen no growth of ridership,” she said. By reducing the hours that Route 4 buses are in service, Mountain Transit will be able to keep Monday through Friday service between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs. Service will be cut from nine bus times a day to four. Benson said it costs roughly $72 an hour to offer bus service on a route. After reviewing ridership numbers, it was decided to shift those hours to better serve Route 2, service between Lake Arrowhead, Crestline and Valley of Enchantment. “We will be adding Saturday service to Route 2 on a trial basis, and also offering dial-a-ride service on Sunday between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.,” she said. “We’ve been hearing from our drivers and dispatchers that riders wanted Saturday (scheduled) service so we’ll try that.” The Sunday dial-a-ride service should also meet the needs of a portion of the Route 2 ridership, she added. Surveys completed by customers and stakeholders in the Rim area identified the need for this service as the top priority. “We’ve also heard from our drivers that there are seniors who would like to get to church but right now have no way of getting there,” Benson said. There also will be minor changes to the holiday schedule for Mountain Transit’s off-the-mountain (OTM) holiday service, and some bus schedule times have been changed in order to keep transit customers on time for their Metrolink connections. Additionally, slight time changes are being made on Route 2 due to changes on Route 4. “When Metrolink makes significant changes, Mountain Transit adjusts the OTM schedule accordingly,” Benson said.