RTA's 2014-2016 SRTP: Closing regional transit gaps

RTA's Short Range Transit Plan has a glimmer of good news for The Transit Coalition which is buried in the last sentence of the last paragraph of section 3.2 of the SRTP. Over the course of the next few years, RTA plans to expand "weekend service on routes that will complete the backbone of the network to close gaps between sub-areas."

The Transit Coalition's Close the off-peak Bus Gap campaign aims to close transit gaps between pairs of regions so that public bus travel can be a reliable option to get between these regions during midday and weekends when peak-only CommuterLink service is not available. Because RTA is currently building an updated Comprehensive Operational Analysis study, the agency did not specify how such gaps would be closed, but based on previous COA findings in 2007, here some possible route proposals for FY15 and FY16:
  • Increase the service span on Route 216 (Riverside to Orange express) to all day with hourly off-peak headways and possible 30 minute headways during peak hours.
  • Add a new regional connector route between Lake Elsinore and Corona with all day hourly headways.
  • Restore the Corona-Norco-Downtown Riverside connection.
  • Streamline route connections between Corona, Eastvale and Ontario into a hub-and-spoke model.
  • Streamline the bus routes in Temecula and Murrieta into a hub-and-spoke model with a direct link to Lake Elsinore via Jefferson Avenue and Mission Trail.
  • Increase the span on Route 79 (Hemet to Temecula) to include weekend trips and streamline the route through French Valley.
  • Extend Route 7 (Lake Elsinore local route) east along Clinton Keith Road to French Valley and the Southwest Justice Center area upon completion of the road.
  • Restructure Route 35 into a hybrid regional connector/express route between the Pass area and Downtown Riverside and increase span to include weekends. Operate hourly.
  • Work with Omnitrans for an extension of Omnitrans Route 9 into the Pass area funded by Pass area cities and Riverside County, linking this region to Redlands, Loma Linda, and San Bernardino. Passengers would pay the local Omnitrans fare and may board and alight at any stop. Operate hourly.