City debating route changes in new transit plan 

Santa Clarita Transit offers Dial-a-Ride service to seniors age 60 and older as well as to residents with disabilities. Photo City of Santa Clarita.
Santa Clarita Transit offers Dial-a-Ride service to seniors age 60 and older as well as to residents with disabilities. Photo City of Santa Clarita.

Between new projects, population patterns and of course, the pandemic, the commute has changed for many in the past five years. 

And that’s part of the city’s outreach, which has largely targeted Santa Clarita Transit users over the past few months, as the city figures out which routes should be expanded, which should be reduced and where new services might be needed. 

“People’s travel patterns have changed, the ways they use the services have changed — we know that more and more people are working, going to school remotely,” said Adrian Aguilar, transit manager for the city of Santa Clarita. 

Which is why the city is updating its Transit Development Plan, a “roadmap” for the development of transit services in the Santa Clarita Valley, he added. The plan approved in 2019, which is still available at, is nearly 600 pages. 

Aguilar said the city is very much still in the input-gathering phase and wants to hear from the public with respect to the proposals its consultant, Carlsbad-based Transportation, Management & Design, have put together based on research underway since January. 

On Wednesday and Thursday, there were pop-up events throughout the city where commuters gather, such as the SCV Senior Center, McBean Regional Transit Center, College of the Canyons and the Newhall Metrolink Station. 

“In addition to that, the consultant that we hired has been doing extensive research in terms of demographics, population, travel patterns, looking at our ridership data, our current system and then pulling all that information together,” Aguilar said. “They’ve created a few concepts or changes to the service. So, what we’ve been doing the last couple of weeks is sharing that information with the community to get some additional feedback on those concepts.” 

The city is also planning a virtual meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. June 10 in order to get a chance for more public input on some of the proposals that have been created so far. 

The feedback is a critical opportunity for ridership to give its input on the multiyear plan, which is primarily focused on local resources, but could have impact to regional services as well. 

“Some of the ideas that popped up were adding additional frequency to the local service,” he said, meaning that buses would run more often. “But a lot of (the changes) have to do with changing where the routes traveled, so that again, they’re traveling along the corridors that people are using to get from point A to point B.” 

The data presented at the Newhall stop of TMD’s outreach tour on Thursday indicated about 800 bus commuters and 500 residents had taken part in the survey.  

A few of the top requests included: more efficient service, “more legible schedules and improved trip planning was highly requested,” more “bus stop amenities,” such as shade, and adding service to new areas. 

Transit planners also said they’re looking at potential cuts to its regional routes that might allow the city to increase local ridership, according to rider data and local outreach, Aguilar said. One of the changes discussed so far is the elimination of the city’s commuter routes to downtown Los Angeles. 

The No. 1 reason given by residents when asked what would increase local ridership among Santa Clarita Transit users is more weekend service (30%). 

That also was the No. 2 reason (20%) given by commuters as to what would make them use the service more, with the No. 1 reason (34%) access to more frequent weekday services. 

The city is considering that data, for example, with ridership numbers indicating the route to Downtown Los Angeles, which was about 90% capacity prior to the pandemic, is now operating at about 60% of its pre-pandemic ridership levels, Aguilar said.   

The plan is supposed to be finalized and then sent to Santa Clarita City Council for approval later this summer. 

More information about the plan is available at 

Direct your web browser here to register for the June 10 Zoom meeting: 

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