Monterey Park residents may soon see a change to their city bus service after staff proposed a new bus system that would add routes to help connect riders to other transportation services and remove routes along single-family residential streets.
If approved, the plan, still in draft form, would reduce the total number of Spirit Bus routes and hours of operation, but according to Monterey Park Principal Management Analyst Amy Ho, the proposed changes are based on an analysis of ridership data collected by the city to determine the best routes and times for bus users.
At a city transportation summit earlier this year, a number of residents questioned the practicality of some bus routes, and the reliability of buses they said were constantly breaking down. The recommendations are in response to concerns over empty buses and routes not used as often by residents, Ho told EGP.
The transportation plan could alleviate some of those concerns, according to the city.
Proposed changes would include stops near the Metro Gold Line, Mark Keppel High School and Atlantic Times Square, and the elimination of some Spirit Bus routes that currently travel through small residential areas along Sequoia Park, the Garvey Reservoir and Monterey Park Highlands Park.
The new system would run Monday through Friday from 7a.m. to 6p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
According to the data, routes along Atlantic, Garvey and Garfield had the highest number of passengers, and the city is proposing to expand routes along these streets. The draft also proposes to keep a route that connects riders from East Los Angeles College (ELAC) to Cal State Los Angeles (CSULA).
Ho said the plan would also take advantage of the “rest of the commercial transportation services” around the city, including a connection to the Gold Line that would make it easier for riders to get to Downtown L.A. and Pasadena, she said.
The plan is now under review by city commissioners, however, due to recent new appointments to the commission, more time will be needed for review and feedback before the plan is ready to go to the city council for a final vote, says Ho.
The city’s Spirit Bus service began operating in the late 1940s and according to city staff the system has not had any major changes to its route since. The current system includes five routes that operate Monday through Friday from 6: 30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9:10 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. with the exception of the fifth route, which connects ELAC and CSULA and doesn’t operate on Saturdays.
According to Ho, the proposed changes would go into affect 60 days after being approved by the city council.
For more information about the proposed changes contact the Public Works at (626) 307-1320.