The hallmarks of any thriving city are services that not only meet the needs of a community but also enhance the quality of life for those who live there.
Santa Clarita Transit is one such service, giving our residents and visitors a convenient and efficient way to get around town or the Southern California region. In addition, with the recent adoption of the city’s Transit Development Plan, we turned resident input into actionable solutions that benefit the community.
Since the very first bus trip in August 1991, the city’s transit services have grown exponentially. Starting with only 300,000 annual trips, 13 vehicles and eight local routes, Santa Clarita Transit has grown to service more areas of the community, with nearly 2.4 million trips each year. When the city celebrated 20 years of cityhood in 2007, Santa Clarita Transit was rebranded with new bus signs, shelters and a redesigned fleet of vehicles. Today, we have a fleet of 89 local and commuter vehicles that serves residents on 11 local fixed routes and seven commuter routes.
In addition to fixed-route services, residents always look forward to our seasonal transportation opportunities. The Summer Trolley offers service from several premier hotel properties to Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Hurricane Harbor and Westfield Valencia Town Center.
We also encourage visitors to explore some of Santa Clarita’s most popular tourism destinations using the Summer Trolley that runs between May and September. From June into September, friends and family can spend less time worrying about traffic and more time relaxing aboard the Summer Beach Bus. Riders take a day trip to Santa Monica in the comfort of Santa Clarita’s award-winning transit fleet. With summer behind us, keep an eye out for upcoming events such as Knott’s Military Tribute Day and Dodger Day.
We also extend our services to customers with special needs, due to age or disability, via our Dial-A-Ride program. This curb-to-curb paratransit service offers riders the ability to schedule trips in advance, for any purpose. It’s perfect for spending time with a friend or relative, going to a movie, visiting the doctor or shopping during the holiday season.
Speaking of the holiday season, the Holiday Light Tour, beginning Dec. 20, is a great way to view some of Santa Clarita’s best displays of holiday decor. Riders can look forward to a 45-minute tour, departing from McBean Regional Transit Center, aboard the city’s trolley or local Dial-A-Ride vehicles. The tour will take you through local neighborhoods where festive lights reach new levels of holiday sparkle.
We also understand the importance of protecting the natural beauty of our community. Our compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles show just how committed the city is to reducing harmful carbon emissions and protecting our environment. Santa Clarita Transit also partners with the city’s Environmental Services Division to celebrate California’s Clean Air Day by offering free rides on local and commuter routes.
The best way to stay up to date on everything transit is by visiting SantaClaritaTransit.com. There you can learn more about the upcoming Holiday Light Tour or view the Bus Finder Map: a real-time tool that lets riders view the current location of their bus through the web, cell phone or electronic bus stop signage.
As exemplified by our recently adopted Transit Development Plan, your participation in city outreach efforts is crucial for us to improve and find new and innovative ways to meet the needs of our residents. The Transit Development Plan is a leap in the many steps we have taken to make transportation more efficient in the Santa Clarita Valley for years to come. Visit SantaClaritaTransit.com/TDP to download the plan and view service changes on the horizon.
Whether it’s riding a bus to work or traveling with your family to our annual Light Up Main Street event, we are happy to have you onboard, and we hope to see you taking advantage of our city’s transit system!
Cameron Smyth is mayor pro tem of the city of Santa Clarita and can be reached at [email protected].