The Santa Barbara Mass Transit District will hold a public meeting today to discuss changes in bus routes and schedules, including the creation of a new line running through Isla Vista.
The municipal bus service received a Congestion Migration Air Quality grant to replace the current 27 line, which winds through Isla Vista, with an Isla Vista Shuttle line. The federal grant will fund the purchase of three new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses and pay for the first three years of service. Changes to the bus routes are set to begin this summer.
MTD General Manager Sherrie Fisher said she hopes the appearance of the shuttle will reflect the I.V. community.
“On this I.V. Shuttle, we’re going to figure out a ‘what’s this bus going to look like?’ event,” Fisher said. “We could give it an identity.”
There are currently two proposed routes for the Isla Vista Shuttle, which will be discussed at the meeting tonight. The shuttle will either operate the same route that the current line 27 does -around the dorms and west down Sabado Tarde Road – or travel through the center of I.V., crossing Pardall Road twice before connecting to Abrego Road.
Manager of Transit Development and Community Relations David Damiano said the choice of route depends on several factors, including the effects on traffic in the community.
“We wanted to get close to the downtown area but we were conscious of the bicycle traffic,” Damiano said.
The I.V. Shuttle will run every 15 to 30 minutes on weekdays and every 45 minutes on weekends. It will also stop at UCSB and Camino Real Marketplace, prompting possible changes to the current 23 and 24x routes and their schedules.
Also slated for discussion are changes to several other lines around Santa Barbara, including the possibility of extending the 15x route – which travels from the UCSB to the Santa Barbara City College campuses – for the summer months, based on customer requests.
The meeting was originally planned to be held last Wednesday, but was cancelled due to the Jesusita Fire. More information about changing bus schedules can be found at www.sbmtd.gov.