Local transit study seeks public input
On Wednesday, a few members of the Porterville community gathered to put their views on the table in regard to the Porterville Transit System and the Mobility Management Plan.
Charles Clouse, the principal of TPG Consulting in Visalia, gave a short presentation on the MMP which seeks to address eight concepts which include evaluating the current services, preparing a five-year plan, and presenting an implementation schedule.
According to Clouse, the Mobility Management Concepts include providing information on all modes and ride-sharing at a single call center, and implementing technologies that increase travel options or convenience.
The plan focuses on four area systems; the County of Tulare Area Transit, the City of Lindsay, the Porterville Sheltered Workshop, the Porterville Transit System and a few smaller systems.
The compelling stage, which according to Clouse, includes conclusion, strategies, and recommendations, will be available in August.
The draft plan will be released in October.
The presentation was followed by a small talk given by Christina Chavez, a regulations planner for Tulare County Association of Governments, who went through the different surveys that interested persons might be willing to take including web based, stakeholders (where they go out and interview the four main providers and the smaller providers) and ridership.
They will be available for public input this month.
The online survey will be available, according to Chavez, at www.GoTulareCounty.com, and the ridership survey will start, according to Clouse, within the next two weeks.
Clouse, who has been in the business for 26 years, performs other services including Environmental Impacts and Street and Highway projects, believes that people should take part in the surveys for two reasons.
“It allows them to customize their service to meet their needs and the more input we get the better the results,” said Clouse.
A question-and-information session then followed.
One attendee, Ellen Nichols, who plays piano for the school choirs of Porterville Unified School District, shared two stories about her troubles with the buses and inquired about day passes.
According to Richard Tree, the Porterville Transit manager, day passes and many other improvements will be available in 2013.
“We are completely rebranding Porterville Transit,” said Tree.
According to Tree, these new improvements include day passes, one-ride tickets, monthly passes, real-time passenger information, and new smart-card technology which will include reloadable cards. The latter will be available at four stops in Porterville; two will be at the Henderson Shopping centers, one at Porterville College, and the other has yet to be determined.
Nichols was satisfied with the changes.
“I felt good about what progress is being made. It’s very difficult to make it (Porterville Transit) work for me which is why I want a day pass,” said Nichols.