Friday, March 24, 2017

[TransportNews] Foothill Transit: We need to hear from you; Proposed Fare and Service Changes

Foothill Transit is seeking your input for a proposed system shift that includes significant fare and service changes. But we don’t make a move without your feedback!

You are the most important part of how we plan any change, and we want learn how these proposals impact you and your commute. And maybe more specifically, we want to hear about other changes you want to see. But let’s talk about the fare proposal first.

We haven’t made any changes to our fare since 2010, and in the seven years since, things have shifted dramatically in our region. We’re traveling farther for longer hours to get you where you need to be, which adds to the cost of doing business (more fuel, more wear and tear). On the flip side, we’re seeing fewer people on board. This is partly due to some pretty significant population shifts, but also because gas is cheap and cars are easier to obtain. In fact, ridership on public transit is down across the region.

Our fare proposal introduces a new and much requested day pass (this will make a lot of you happy) while increasing the fares to allow us to maintain the same level of service in the face of rising costs (no one likes paying more for something, but we need the fare to be fair). Bonus for TAP card users – your fare doesn’t go up much, if at all, in October. The tables below detail the current fare structure for both cash and passes and compare it to what we’re proposing over the next two years. Take a look, do some math, and tell us what you think.
  • Our fare changes would take place in two stages to minimize the impact on our customers.
  • We’re proposing to simplify the prices of fares and passes by pricing fares in multiples of $0.25 and passes in multiples of $5.
  • We want to provide a discount for TAP card customers to encourage TAP card use, since using TAP gives so many benefits to our customers.
  • We’d like to introduce the day pass our customers have been asking for, which would offer unlimited rides on all local lines and the Silver Streak for a full day.
  • We’re proposing to do away with Foothill Transit-to-Foothill Transit transfers.
  • Our proposed fares would maintain a 50% minimum discount on fares and passes for Seniors/Persons with Disabilities/Medicare customers.
  • They’d also maintain a 25% minimum discount on 31-day passes for students.
Proposed cash and TAP fares
Proposed passes


Why is Foothill Transit proposing these fare changes?
Foothill Transit has not changed its fares since 2010. In the last seven years, things have shifted dramatically in our region. We’re travelling farther for longer hours to get customers where they need to be, which adds to the cost of running our buses (more fuel, more wear and tear). While costs are rising, we are also seeing fewer people on board. This is partly due to significant population shifts, but also because gas is cheaper and cars are easier to obtain. If we don’t adjust our fares, we may have to reduce the service we provide.

In addition, our fare proposal is intended to improve the efficiency and convenience of riding on Foothill Transit: we want to offer discounts for frequent riders, speed up boarding by reducing the number of cash transactions at the farebox, protect our customers by promoting TAP use, and encourage ridership by improving our ability to keep our buses running on time.

Why are transfers between Foothill Transit buses changing?
Our proposal to move from a transfer system to a day pass system will help speed up boarding and help service run on schedule.

You’re proposing to eliminate Foothill Transit-to-Foothill Transit transfers. Would I still get a transfer to connect with other transit agencies?
Yes. We would still offer interagency transfers to the same agencies that we connect with now. Adult and student transfers would still be $0.50. Senior, persons with disabilities, and Medicare transfers would still be $0.25.

I need to take more than one bus to get where I’m going. What would I do when there are no more transfers in the new proposal?
If you take two or more buses to get to your destination and two buses back to your origin, then the day pass is the best option for you in the proposal.

What is a day pass and how would it work?
Our proposed day pass would be good for unlimited local and Silver Streak rides from time of issue until midnight on the same calendar day. Once you purchase a day pass, all subsequent local and Silver Streak trips will be free. The day pass must be loaded on a TAP card, which would be available at our Transit Stores, on the bus, and at local participating vendors.

How can I determine what is the best pass for me in the new proposed fare structure?
Here is a quick and simple cost breakdown to help you find the most value in our proposed fare structure:

What is your best fare?

Why are discount passes (student and senior/persons with disabilities/Medicare) increasing in cost while adult local passes are decreasing?
One of our goals with this proposed fare structure is to make everything simpler. We wanted our 31-day passes to be a good deal for anyone who rides to and from a destination multiple times within 31-days. We started with our adult local 31-day passes. We took the base fare, and multiplied it times 40 (20 round trips). Then we applied the student discount (25%) and the senior, persons with disabilities, and Medicare discount (50%). Finally, we rounded the result to the nearest $5 to get our discount pass prices. This does end up slightly increasing the cost of the discount passes while decreasing the adult local passes, but it makes everything simpler and more even.

Why are you giving discounts to TAP users?
Getting more customers to use TAP is one of the easiest ways to speed up boarding and keep the buses on schedule.

Plus, TAP customers get the added benefits of balance protection, purchasing passes online or at our partner TAP vendor locations, and the ability to purchase fare media for use on other LA County systems. Encouraging TAP use is a win-win.

Now let’s talk service. The changes we’re proposing need your input on two levels – how the change affects you AND how you want to see money reinvested in our system. These proposed changes are designed to make the system more efficient, transfers more reliable, and to respond to the new commute patterns around the Gold Line extension. Overall, these changes are expected to save Foothill Transit around $550,000. We’d like to immediately reinvest that money back into service, specifically service that you’ve always wanted. Do you want a stop at the LA Arboretum in Arcadia? How about Puddingstone Reservoir? Do we have enough commuter service into Los Angeles? Are we skipping by your favorite senior center? This is the time to let us know. Your feedback is crucial in how we make these decisions.

Here’s what we’re proposing to change:

Line 187 Proposal – Split the line in Azusa to create two lines, Lines 187 (western segment) and 188 (eastern segment).
Proposed Line 187

Proposed Line 188

Why? Line 187 is one of our most popular and longest routes in our service – the average trip length is about 2 ½ hours long. It’s so long, it makes it hard for our planning team to make accurate service changes so we can really address your concerns. The proposed change would allow our team to target their changes and fine tune the service, resulting in smoother trips for you.
The proposed change also includes new stops at the Santa Anita Mall and near the LA Arboretum in Arcadia.

Line 291 Proposal – Add northbound service along Baseline Rd., between Towne Ave. and Fruit St.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? This proposed addition is by customer request. The proposed change will re-route Line 291 to make morning and afternoon northbound stops that serve LeRoy Hanes.

Line 292 and 855 Proposal – Combine Lines 292 and 855 to make a brand new Line 292, and offer all day service. Line 855 will be cancelled.
Proposed Line 292

Why? The two lines currently operate only during peak hours and provide similar service in Pomona and Claremont. The new Line 292 would get rid of redundancy while still providing service to key locations served by the current two lines.

Line 480 Proposal – Begin and end service at Eastland Center, provide service to Mt. SAC, and increase frequency.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? The corridor between Pomona Transit Center and Plaza West Covina (West Covina Mall) is currently served by the Silver Streak, which makes Line 480 service to the mall a slower option for customers. The proposed changes would allow Line 480 to continue service to the Eastland Center, a popular stop, while also adding a new option that may reduce transfers for customers travelling from Pomona Transit Center to Mt. SAC.
Customers that travel to West Covina Pkwy. and California from Montclair could still use Line 488.

Line 481 Proposal – Cancel the line.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? Line 481 has low ridership, because it currently duplicates service by Metro bus and rail to areas that are outside of our normal service area . The savings from this line would be used to strengthen other lines and improve our overall system.
Customers could take the Silver Streak to Union Station and transfer to the Metro Red or Purple Lines to access Line 481 stops.

Line 493 Proposal – Begin and end service at Industry Park & Ride.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? There’s low ridership between Diamond Bar Park & Ride and the Industry Park & Ride. The proposed changes would begin Line 493 service at the Industry Park & Ride, which provides safe, well-lit and covered parking for customers.

Line 494 Proposal – Cancel the line.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? Line 494 is a low performing line and provides duplicate service that is already provided by other lines (Lines 187, 270, and 690). The savings from this line would be used to strengthen other lines and improve our overall system.

Line 690 Proposal – Add service to the Citrus College/Azusa Pacific University Gold Line Station (if an accessible bus stop is identified) and cancel service to the Azusa Intermodal Transit Center.
(Map coming soon.)
Why? The proposed change will re-route Line 690 to serve another Gold Line Station and continues our commitment to help connect Gold Line customers throughout the San Gabriel Valley.

Line 851 Proposal – Cancel the Line.
Why? Line 851 is a low performing route. The savings from this line would be used to strengthen other lines and improve our overall system.
(Map coming soon.)
Customers may use Lines 187, 284, and 492 to connect to locations served by the current Line 851.


Why is Foothill Transit proposing these service changes?
Our proposed service changes are designed to make our system more efficient, transfers more reliable, and respond to new commute patterns. We want to strengthen our overall system, improve our coordination with local transit providers, and provide you with a network of frequent, reliable transportation. And we absolutely require your feedback!

Is this a service increase or service reduction?
It’s a little bit of both. Our proposal includes some cuts to lines you may ride, but those savings would be reinvested to strengthen our overall service. The idea is to take resources that aren’t helping very many people, and put them in places where they can make the most difference.

Are these proposed changes final?
No. That’s why we need to hear from you. We’ve proposed some service reduction in low-performing areas, and we want to reinvest the potential savings back into the system. With your feedback, we can identify which areas need strengthening to best improve our service.

Once we have your input, we’ll send our revised proposal to our Governing Board for review in May. If approved, the changes will go into effect in October 2017.

The line(s) I ride are affected. How can I make comments on this proposal?
We have several ways for you to share your thoughts. You can attend our public meetings (locations on the back of this brochure), call us, write to us by mail or fax, e-mail us, or visit any of our Transit Store locations to fill out a comment form. Please be sure to get your comments in by April 24th.

That’s a lot of information to take in. But don’t worry, we’re providing a lot of time and multiple ways to get in touch with us. First, there are the public meetings and hearing. This is a great way to connect directly with our planners and tell them exactly how this impacts you and your community. If you know other people who’d be affected, bring them along. We need to hear from you. Plus, it’s always great to personally connect with our customers. It always leads to better service and better decisions. After all, we’re here to serve you.

Public Meetings:

Friday, April 7, from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Claremont Library 208 Harvard Ave N, Claremont, CA 91711
Take Line 187, 197, 480, 492, or 690 to 1st St and Harvard Ave. Walk north on Harvard Ave to the library.

Tuesday, April 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Glendora Library (Bidwell Forum) 140 Glendora Ave, Glendora, CA 91741
Take Line 284 to Glendora Ave and Foothill Blvd.

Wednesday, April 12, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Covina City Hall (Council Chambers) 125 E College St, Covina, CA 91723
Take Line 281 to 2nd Ave and College St.

Thursday, April 13, from 4 to 6 p.m. at San Dimas City Hall (Stanley Plummer Community Building) 245 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773
Take Line 482 to Bonita Ave and Walnut Ave.

Tuesday, April 18, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Pomona Library 625 S Garey Ave, Pomona, CA 91766
Take Line 291 to Garey Ave and Mission Blvd.

Thursday, April 20, from 1 to 3 p.m. at El Monte City Hall East (Council Chambers) 11333 Valley Blvd, El Monte, CA 91731
Take Line 178, 194, or 270 to Valley Blvd and Johnson Ave.

Public Hearing:

Saturday, April 22, at 9 a.m. in West Covina 100 S Vincent Ave, 2nd Floor, West Covina, CA 91790
Take Line 480, 488, or the Silver Streak to Vincent Ave. and Lakes Dr.

  • 9 a.m. discussion of fare changes
  • 11 a.m. discussion of service changes
If you can’t make it to any of these meetings, we totally understand. Schedules are tight, and your time is incredibly valuable. We want to make it all as easy for you as possible. Keep in mind the deadline for all comments is Monday, April 24th
Send all your input to:
Foothill Transit
Re: Changes
100 S. Vincent Ave.,
Suite 200, West Covina, CA 91790

(626) 967-4608

Visit one of our Transit Stores, and fill out a comment form.

Please include your name, the city where you live or work, the lines you ride, and what you want to tell us. Are you for the changes? Are you against them? Either way, tell us why. Be as specific as possible. Every detail helps us better understand your needs and where we may need to make changes to our proposal. Once we have your input, we’ll send our revised suggestions to our Governing Board for review in May, and if approved, the changes will go into effect in October 2017.
But first, we need to hear from you. Spread the word. And thanks for riding Foothill Transit.


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