RTD Transfer Pact May Boost Beeline Business

Times Staff Writer

Riders of Glendale's Beeline shuttle bus will be able to board Southern California Rapid Transit District buses with a 10-cent transfer under a proposed agreement that Glendale officials hope will increase use of the shuttle.

The agreement between the City of Glendale and the RTD is expected to become final later this month or in early September. It will allow Beeline and RTD passengers to buy transfers good for a one-way trip on the other line.

Save Up to 75 Cents

Beeline passengers now pay 25 cents a ride on the downtown shuttle and RTD passengers pay a basic fare of 85 cents. The transfer agreement could mean a savings of 75 cents for Beeline users who ride the RTD and 15 cents for RTD passengers who transfer to the local shuttle. The RTD will supply the paper transfer slips free to the city.

Councilman John Day, an RTD director and chief proponent of the exchange, said the agreement was drawn up by the RTD and is typical of those the transit district has with bus lines in other cities. "I think it will help ridership both ways," Day said.

The transfer proposal, approved at last week's City Council meeting, must receive the recommendation of RTD's new services review board before being sent to the transit district's board of directors for final approval, RTD spokesman Rick Jager said.

Jager said a decision on the agreement should be reached by the end of August or early September, but Day said he expects to see the exchange implemented within a week or two.

"I can't see why it should take any longer than that," Day said. He said the city also plans to accept RTD bus passes on the Beeline soon.

Several RTD bus stops coincide with those of the Beeline, which began operating in December along a three-mile, J-shaped route in downtown Glendale. With the RTD transfer, Beeline riders will be able to travel farther within Glendale and to the San Fernando Valley and downtown Los Angeles.

Proposition A Funds

The city subsidizes the shuttle service with income from Proposition A, the half-cent sales tax levied in Los Angeles County to help finance transportation projects. The service is operated by Pacific Busing Inc. under a $169,631, one-year contract with the city.

The Beeline got off to a slow start after a holiday season free-ride period, but the number of passengers has been steadily increasing with the help of city-sponsored promotions, such as a bus token program. According to Pacific Busing's figures, ridership on the four shuttle buses reached 5,178 in July, more than twice the 2,266 passengers who boarded in January, the first month the shuttle began charging its 25-cent fare.

Last month's ridership is still short of the 6,700 passengers who would have to board the Beeline monthly to attain the city's goal of about 80,000 riders a year. City officials estimate that it will take a year for Beeline ridership to reach its peak.

The city has received many requests, particularly from senior citizens, who make up a large part of Beeline patronage, to extend the line's service beyond downtown.

Officials are awaiting the results of a recently completed ridership survey before considering any changes in the service, said Kerry Morford, Public Works Division official in charge of the Beeline.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World