VCTC: Changes to Highway 126 Intercity Transit System to come May 22
Published:  April 14, 2017

Starting next month users of public transit will see significant changes in bus service approved by the Ventura County Transportation Commission.

The VCTC Intercity Transit System adjustments will take effect May 22, changes that the agency believes will improve the efficiency of regional the regional busy system while limiting impact to riders.

There will be no changes — at least for now — to Santa Paula’s Valley Express and Dial-A-Ride services.

There will be changes however to the VCTC Highway 126 Intercity Transit System that serves the Santa Clara River Valley taking passengers to Ventura County Government Center, Ventura College, Ventura Transit Center, St. Bonaventure High School and Ventura County Medical Center. 

“As a responsible steward of public funds, VCTC must operate its bus system as efficiently as possible,” VCTC Executive Director Darren Kettle said in a prepared statement. “We never undertake service changes lightly, and these modifications will help optimize service and address increasing congestion while minimizing the impacts to our riders.”

While schedule changes will impact all routes in VCTC’s Intercity Transit system, the most extensive changes will occur on the two routes funded in partnership with other agencies: Coastal Express and California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI). 

The Coastal Express is a heavily used bus line connecting Oxnard and Ventura with Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta a favorite of job and UCSD commuters that is jointly funded by VCTC and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG).  

California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) funds the operation of a pair of routes serving the university.

As a result of low ridership, mid-day and weekend Coastal Express service will be reduced, and travel times on some trips will be adjusted by 15-20 minutes to account for increased traffic congestion and road construction. 

According to SBCAG Executive Director Marjie Kirn, “The Coastal Express is critically important to addressing the traffic congestion in the Ventura-Santa Barbara corridor, and SBCAG looks forward to partnering in the future with VCTC to make the service as effective, efficient, and attractive as possible to draw commuters out of their cars.” 

During CSUCI’s summer break (May 22-Aug. 28), the two lines serving the university will be suspended and replaced with a new line that combines CSUCI service with the existing Oxnard/Camarillo Connector. This new line, Oxnard/Camarillo/CSUCI (#96), will include Sunday service and stops in downtown Camarillo, the Camarillo Outlets and the Oxnard Transit Center. Direct service, however, between CSUCI and the Center Point Mall (C Street) in Oxnard will be eliminated during the summer break.

Kettle stated that when the financial contributions of VCTC partners — as well as those from traditional State and Federal funding sources — change, there is a direct impact to levels of service on the Intercity Transit system. 

In all, service will be reduced about 8% across the entire VCTC system. In addition to the partner-funded routes, all other VCTC Intercity bus lines will experience adjustments to routes, stops and schedules. Riders can view the new bus schedules, which go into effect on May 22, at www.goventura.org/travel-ventura. 

To view the draft changes to the Highway 126 Intercity Transit System only, visit: 

https://www.goventura.org/sites/default/files/DRAFT_HWY126%20(60-62)%205-22-17_.pdf

Also on May 22, VCTC will roll out streamlined rider information materials including redesigned schedule brochures and bus-stop signage, that, according to VCTC, will make navigating the system easier and more intuitive. The new materials will also introduce a route numbering system to clarify deviations to specific landmarks that are serviced by some, but not all, trips along a certain line.

For more information visit www.goventura.org/travel-ventura or call (800) 438-1112.




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