By Councilwoman Marsha McLean
Happy New Year, Santa Clarita! There may have been some bumps in the road, but as usual, we have come together and made it through another successful year, adding exciting new amenities and developments to our community. As we navigate our way through 2022, the city will continue to show a commitment to meeting the needs of our residents and preserving the outstanding quality of life we enjoy in Santa Clarita.
One crucial aspect of success is ensuring access to safe, efficient and reliable transit options. Advocating for transportation opportunities in Santa Clarita is something I have been passionate about since the start of my career. As the current chair of the North County Transportation Coalition JPA, and with my membership on the boards of other transportation policy committees, as well as a long-time resident of this community, I will always work hard to ensure we are meeting and exceeding the transportation needs of the public.
Santa Clarita is truly a car-optional community. Our city boasts an extensive trail system, offers access to three (and soon to be four) Metrolink stations and provides reliable bus services via Santa Clarita Transit. The interconnected trail system that weaves throughout our community allows cyclists and pedestrians to get to their destinations safely and efficiently. Additionally, our local Santa Clarita, Newhall, Via Princessa and future Vista Canyon Metrolink stations allow commuters to skip the freeway traffic and opt to take the train instead. And, Santa Clarita Transit’s varied ridership choices allow for diverse transportation options around town for every interest and need.
So, what’s new in 2022 for transit? If you have driven north along Highway 14 in Santa Clarita recently, you are likely to have seen the new mixed-use, transit-oriented Vista Canyon development. The modern development puts sustainability first with the incorporation of solar panels, the use of native landscaping to keep overall water consumption low and the development of a multi-modal transportation hub. The Vista Canyon Regional Transit Center is an important addition to our community, featuring a Metrolink commuter rail station, a seven-bay bus transfer station, touchscreen kiosks to aid in travel plans and access to other modes of transportation.
These new transit-friendly amenities in Santa Clarita not only enhance our local sustainability efforts but also improve accessibility to locations in and around Los Angeles County. Both the Vista Canyon Metrolink station and the bus transfer station are expected to be completed early this year. I can’t wait for residents and visitors to begin taking advantage of these great transit options!
Another noteworthy development for our community last year was the 30th anniversary of Santa Clarita Transit. That is an exceptional milestone. Despite unforeseen obstacles that may have arisen, I am proud to say that we have continued to adapt and grow to better serve our community. Residents and commuters can stay up to date with Santa Clarita Transit’s latest changes and developments by monitoring SantaClaritaTransit.com. In addition, the city of Santa Clarita and the Santa Clarita Transit team remain hard at work to evaluate ways to improve service options and offerings. Fast, safe and reliable services are the top priority for our residents and visitors.
The addition of GO! Santa Clarita to our transportation options is one example of this. GO! Santa Clarita provides the freedom and flexibility of popular rideshare services while adding the benefit of fixed rates and professional drivers. If you haven’t already, I encourage residents within the Canyon Country and Newhall service zones to try out the service this year. Learn more and book a ride with GO! Santa Clarita by downloading the TripShot application on your smart device.
Thank you to each of the outstanding bus operators and drivers who serve our community. These individuals continue to work hard through the uncertainty and challenges of the ongoing pandemic to get the public to their desired destinations. I look forward to better times ahead, and I greatly look forward to the new sustainable and varied transit options that Santa Clarita will add to our community this year and in the near future.
Marsha McLean is a member of Santa Clarita’s City Council and can be reached at [email protected].