AVTA conducting surveys for “Route to Success” plan

AVTA 2LANCASTER  – Surveyors will be out in force this week, seeking input from transit passengers on how best to improve service for the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA).

It’s part of a comprehensive study by the AVTA to develop a 10-year plan intended to improve current service levels and provide analysis for future endeavors. The study, known as the “Route to Success” is being conducted by Nelson/Nygaard, a consulting firm based in San Francisco.

Surveyors will be taking community input on Thursday, January 30, at the transit centers at Lancaster City Park and at the Palmdale Transportation Center from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. There will also be a special table set up at Antelope Valley College from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. to ensure student passengers have an opportunity to provide their opinion.

“We look forward to asking how the AVTA can improve its service. We recognize our transit customers are our best sources for insight and feedback regarding the AVTA system,” stated AVTA Chairman Norm Hickling. “We hope to engage those who commute as well as those who ride our local transit in order to gain a comprehensive perspective.”

Every aspect of the transit agency’s operations will be evaluated.

Recommendations for improvement and future planning are anticipated by June of this year. Nelson Nygaard, in cooperation with the AVTA, has also been conducting stakeholder meetings as part of the analysis.

Residents can provide input by filling out a survey posted in the spotlight portion of the home page on AVTA’s website, www.avta.com. The AVTA encourages everyone to provide their opinion.

The six-month study will look at each route in the transit system to analyze ridership levels, on-time performance, and connectivity within the transit system, including Metrolink.

The Route to Success will also evaluate which routes will be best served by AVTA’s new electric buses, which are scheduled for delivery in April and will be part of a 12-month demonstration project. The staff of Nelson Nygaard is also scheduled to evaluate potential routes for a future Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).

AVTA’s Executive Director Julie Austin has asked for a financial plan to accompany the study in order to ensure recommendations remain financially feasible moving into the future. “Our first priority is to improve our service by identifying problems that can be repaired in the short term,” stated Austin. “It’s also vital that AVTA have a ten year plan in place if we are to accomplish major goals like Bus Rapid Transit.” The RTS study will include three, five, seven and 10 year recommendations to help guide AVTA’s implementation process.

  5 comments for “AVTA conducting surveys for “Route to Success” plan

  1. John
    January 28, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Fellow Antelope Valley Taxpayers:
    Let’s analyze this nice piece of “news” from the AVTA: They’ve hired a consulting firm to improve the service level to their customers! Oh my gosh! Let’s keep in mind the AVTA is funded by our tax dollars. From their website, they have an operating budget of 21 million, plus a capital budget of 29 million for 2013 for a total of $50 million. Fares only cover 11%, and falling, of the 21 million (from their annual report, link below). A little rough math, that comes out to $100 per person in taxes to subsidize the segment of the AV that actually rides these buses. Their nice website breaks down the source of the tax money, Measure A, B, R etc. Sales tax, gas tax, taxes galore. We’ve all seen the nice buses, propane powered etc., running up and down 10th Street all hours of the day and night. Ever notice how many seats are full? Every time I look in the windows I see 6 people in the rear of a 45-person bus. That’s almost as much of a waste of space as the WRex ads all over the back. I’m thinking a fleet of 15 seat Ford Vans might save us taxpayers some money. Dial-A-ride isn’t enough? Sure these are nice people running the AVTA, nice new solar facilities, the best natural gas and electric buses, but where does it all end? Can this economy really afford $50 million in bus service to get us up and down Ave I? Let’s say 5,000 different people a day ride the AVTA, some students, the saggy pants, the bipolar, elderly all riding for free. For $50 million we could probably give them all new cars! With all the energy saved from moving those big new buses, we might even have enough money to water the grass in the Palmdale City parks!

    Thanks to AV Times for giving us this forum.


    • James Stouvenel
      January 28, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      John, your misleading the public, the local fare revenue collected was 23 percent
      For November, the fare revenue collected for December was at 24 percent.
      The feds require that ATVA, collect at least 20 percent fare box revenue, ATVA set a mandate at 22 percent and has exceeded it, also the reason why the disabled ride free is cause ATVA
      Violated a state law that requires seniors and disabled pay the same fare rate, so I told ATVA. To lower the fare for us disabled, and then in 2010 I had the balls to ask ATVA to include the vets and active military to ride free.

      Oh and in case you ask
      yes I work and have a job, contributing as a taxpayer. how about you?

      Thanks for asking.

      James S.

      • James Stouvenel
        January 28, 2014 at 10:54 pm

        Dang typos
        I meant to say AVTA.

    • Graciela I
      January 29, 2014 at 10:53 pm

      Buy glasses. the bus that goes up and down 10 street at all times of the days, there are days when it is so full, people can litterally stand on their toes. More people are riving the bus, not less, at certain peek hours, there is almost no room for sitting down.
      The bus charges 1.50 per ride, and 3.75 per day 50 dollars per month, if they do not get more passangers it is due to other things, not income, can we afford not to have a bus in the AV? I can’t. Must be nice to have a car and be very judgemental.

      • Oscar Mejia
        February 3, 2014 at 1:12 pm

        It looks like the AVTA needs more attention. Wasteful spending is the worst, and inefficient operations are just as wasteful.

        I will ride the buses with my family so I can understand more.

        thank you for the insight.

        Oscar Mejia
        Lancaster City Council Candidate

Comments are closed.