The Ventura County Transportation Commission has turned down a request by the community of Oak Park to be included in a countywide express bus service scheduled to begin next year.
The county instead will better promote existing Dial-a-Ride service, which would take residents from their doors to the nearest express bus stops in Agoura Hills, commission planner Mary Travis told members of the Oak Park Municipal Advisory Council on Tuesday.
Travis said that adding Oak Park to the proposed east county bus line would require the addition of two buses, costing the county about $20,000. The bus service will be funded mainly by fares and a federal grant.
The county now spends $60,000 a year for Dial-a-Ride service in Oak Park, Travis said.
But council members said Oak Park residents would benefit from the service, which would connect their community to Moorpark College and would allow interconnections with bus lines to the rest of the county.
“There are 15,000 people who live in Oak Park. I really do believe you missed an opportunity to show that government was doing something positive for a relatively little amount of money,” said council member George Anterasian.
Kathy Connell, senior transportation analyst for the county, said Wednesday that the Dial-a-Ride service is well-used and is more convenient for Oak Park residents than a bus line would be.
Connell said Oak Park residents make 1,000 to 1,200 trips a month on Dial-a-Ride. Riders pay $1 or $1.50 and can go to Agoura Hills and nearby areas or the RTD bus stop in Thousand Oaks.
“The county’s feeling is that we’re already covering the area with Dial-a-Ride service. We looked upon (a bus route) as duplicative service,” Connell said.