Santa Barbara MTD announced Tuesday it would once again lower service levels starting April 6.
Officials with the public transit agency said that the closure of nine services lines is due to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, as well as a reduction in ridership, and workforce constraints throughout the South Coast.
Officials with the public transit agency said that the closure of five services lines in addition to the three suspended March 19 is due to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order, as well as a reduction in ridership, and workforce constraints throughout the South Coast.
The five lines that will not offer service are:
- Line 10 (Cathedral Oaks)
- Line 30 (Downtown Shuttle)
- Line 34 (Waterfront Shuttle)
- Line 36 (Seaside Shuttle)
- Line 37 (Crosstown Shuttle)
Line 27 (Isla Vista Shuttle) will provide alternative “UCSB out” service as published in the schedule guide and online, officials said, adding that reductions will continue until further notice.
The reductions come after the SBMTD Board of Directors declared a fiscal emergency on Friday.
Due to the pandemic, business closures, and social distancing, MTD faces a loss of sales tax revenue, of which they receive a sizable amount every month, and no ticket sales after they waived fares indefinitely.
To offset the impact from the emergency, MTD is seeking funding from state and federal authorities.
“We do expect to see some amount of that come to us. We’re not sure how much it will be and how long it will last,” said MTD spokesperson Hillary Blackerby.
So far, MTD has not had to reduce its workforce and lay off workers.
However, they are making sure that bus drivers who are in the most high risk categories or who have added responsibilities with child care now that schools are closed have the opportunity to take leave if they need.
The lines that will close April 6 were selected to make as little of an impact as possible on the riding public, while at the same time doing what we need to do to reduce service, according to Ms. Blackerby.
Areas serviced by these lines will still have active transit service. Passengers with questions about schedules and affected routes can call (805) 963-3366 for assistance, or visit https://sbmtd.gov/plan-your-trip/getting-around/ to find alternative routes.
MTD asks the public to stay home if they are sick, follow proper health hygiene practices, and maintain appropriate social distance on buses, at the Transit Center, and at bus stops.
Only people making essential trips or going to work in essential industries should be riding the bus at this time.
Customer service still operates on normal Transit Center business hours (6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends). At this time there are no walk-up sales, person-to-person transactions, or Ticket Vending Machines available at the Transit Center.