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City Council to review updated transit plan

Most residents drive alone as their primary mode of transportation within the valley, but more would use Santa Clarita Transit if service was more frequent, a recent city survey revealed. 

On Tuesday, the City Council is scheduled to review this and other transit-related data as the adoption of a new Transit Development Plan is on the table for discussion. 

The plan is “a guiding document to ensure Santa Clarita Transit continues to meet the needs of our ever-changing community” and each update is for a planning period of five to 10 years, according to a city staff report. The last one covered the years 2013-2018. 

Since April 2018, the city and a local consulting firm have conducted “extensive outreach efforts,” such as surveys, public workshops and interactive mapping tools citywide, as well as neighboring unincorporated areas, to solicit their feedback. 

The final plan was then created and consists of elements including its goals, objectives, performance measures, evaluation, public outreach and capital and financial plans. 

“Santa Clarita has changed significantly since the completion of its 2013 Transportation Development Plan,” the report reads, listing new residential and business developments and the expansion of the McBean Regional Transit Center as factors of change. “With such growth comes a need to re-evaluate the city’s transit service delivery approach, long-term vision, and community mobility needs and priorities.” 

Based on the data collected, the plan offers 14 recommendations designed to address findings. Among them include providing limited-stop service on Soledad Canyon Road, connecting the McBean Regional Transit Center and the Vista Canyon Transit Center to help reduce travel time with the coming of the Vista Canyon development in Canyon Country. 

Smaller vehicles, or “neighborhood shuttles,” could be used to travel deeper into neighborhoods to provide connections with “trunk routes” traveling along main roads like Bouquet Canyon Road, Newhall Ranch Road and Valencia Boulevard, to reduce congestion while increasing the incidence of bus-to-bus transfers. Some recommendations, such as service to the Bella Vida Senior Center, already have been implemented, according to the staff report. 

Should the City Council adopt the plan, city staff would be able to reference it in future grant applications.

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