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Lake Transit to begin new bus routes, longer hours Sept. 23

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LAKE COUNTY, Calif. – Beginning Monday, Sept. 23, Lake Transit bus riders in Lower Lake and Clearlake will experience new bus routes that promise faster, more direct service.

Along with new early morning and late evening hours, the changes are expected to make life easier for riders commuting to work and school.

Lake Transit General Manager Mark Wall said the new routes and hours amount to “the greatest change in bus service in the Clearlake-Lower Lake area since we implemented our second route in 1999.”

Wall said the new routes are designed to have a familiar feel to make the changes easy to understand.

“We began by looking at the residential neighborhoods and thinking about where people go, and then how we could make the routes more direct,” Wall said. “While there are a few exceptions, most travel times are much faster. Bus schedules will be more reliable, too, because the routes are shorter.”

The new Clearlake/Lower Lake Rider's Guide features four bus routes, instead of two, and operating hours that extend from 5:19 a.m. until 11:07 p.m.

Routes 10, 11, and 12 are all new.

Route 10 runs from Clearlake Park to Lower Lake.

Route 11 provides two-way service from Ray's Food Place, Walmart and Yuba College through “the Avenues,” along 18th, Boyles, Phillips and Davis east of Highway 53, and then connects these areas with central Clearlake businesses and the Highlands Senior Center.

Route 12 operates mostly along Old Highway 53, but offers commercial loops at either end to access business areas in Clearlake and Lower Lake.

In addition to the three new routes, Lake Transit continues to operate Route 5 as an evening bus service that covers most areas of Clearlake.

Clearlake Dial-A-Ride also will operate the new extended schedule. With advance reservations, passengers who may have difficulty using regular bus routes due to disability, can now arrange trips with pickups as early as 5:19 a.m. and drop offs as late as 11 p.m.

To help bus riders find their way as the new routes begin, Lake Transit has an information booth at the Ray's Food Place transfer location in Clearlake.

Rider's guides also are available on Lake Transit buses, at the Lake Transit Lower Lake office, and at many public places and business throughout the community. Schedules are online at www.laketransit.org .

On Friday, Sept. 27, the community is invited to ride any Lake Transit bus route for free. Wall said it's a great opportunity to try the new routes.

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ca215
"Lake Transit info booth at Ray's Food Place?"
written by ca215, September 21, 2013
Will present "new hires," who were once called 'scabs' if they crossed a picket line in order to work, be among people seeking route info at the booth?
Oh and about that booth itself. When did it get set up? It was not visible on 09/17/13 and certainly would have helped not only the ridership but the sca... oops, "new hires" who took the places of drivers no longer on staff.

One new driver, for instance, told me on 09/17 as if he knew what he was speaking of that the Route 5 bus would be no more but would be replaced by three other routes.
Now that I've read about Routes 10, 11, 12 I see what the driver meant when he talked about the replacement routes.

But. But if the Route 5 really had been cancelled as driver said it would be, do new routes that do not involve areas formerly served by the #5 result in any benefit for the public who depended on the Route 5? I really did ask the driver just how cancelling one route and adding three others would result in any benefits. Drivers' answer was to repeat the apparently wrong info about the Route 5 and the three other new routes. Odd, but that repeated response didn't really help or make any sense. It doesn't make sense now, either.

Will the buses running from Lakeport to Clearlake operate on a schedule making it so those buses work more than once each 2 hours? That would be nice.
It would also be a very good thing if people who use power chairs or scooters AND the buses could be provided with safe areas to board buses and disembark.

Lake Transit office dispatcher: "Oh, you want to ride the bus from Lucerne to Lower Lake? No problem. And will you be wanting to go back to Lucerne when you are done with whatever made it so you had to go to Lower Lake?"
Rider: "Yes but I don't know exactly where to catch the bus going back to Lucerne; also I should tell you that I'll be needing to board the bus with my powerchair. I know that means there has to be a safe way for the driver to lower his/her buses' lift gate..."

Dispatch: "To get to Lucerne you will have to catch the bus on Hwy 53 not far from where RiteAid can be seen..."

You know what? That bit of direction doesn't really help. "Downslope from the opthalmologists' office" would have been a lot easier to understand.

The result of using the bus to get to Lower Lake from Lucerne and then do the same thing in reverse (partly due to road construction efforts in several places) is that the round trip takes between 7 and 8 hours.
Uh, people, that's equivalent to a work-day...and the rider has to know where to be able to grab a fast snack, where bathroom facilities are available to public use, and those areas along the route where the lift-gate could be operated safely.

The DRIVERS do not know what to advise the riders? Dispatch doesn't know how to give non-drivers Get On/Get Off The Buses info that makes sense? The powerchair-using person has to know that Oops, no, that bus does not have a stop within 4, 5, 6 blocks of destination because "I have my powerchair to contend with..."

Alright. It's nice that someone might be able to use a bus at 11 p.m. That doesn't really help when a bus rider has to know that the mere presence of his/her powerchair can throw a serious wrench into the workings of the "How in the world do I get to Lower Lake/get back home to Lucerne and not have the round trip result in a workday-worth of time on buses?" For many too many of us, that length of round trip is just not possible.


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