GET bus public hearing discusses new funding and projects

July 11, 2022 /

The Golden Empire Transit (GET) District buses have been servicing Greater Bakersfield and its adjacent unincorporated communities since 1973. According to the Golden Empire Transit website, 9,300 individuals rode the busses during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Since its founding, the Golden Empire Transit District has increased its services to better serve the community. One of the services they’ve added was a bus route that travels to the Tejon Outlets. Another service they added to satisfy their customers is Token Transit — an app that allows GET bus riders to pay their bus fare through the app with their credit, debit, or commuter benefits card.

On June 21 the Golden Empire Transit District held a public hearing regarding the capital budget for 2022-2023, which included four plans to improve their bus routes.

“The City of Bakersfield has the opportunity to bring $35 million to fund TTC projects and the GET bus has the potential to partner with the City of Bakersfield and so we are proposing four projects to help address greenhouse gas emissions,” Transformative Climate Communities representative Ricardo Perez said.

Perez explained that the four projects will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing new — or enhancing existing — services that increase ridership. Perez also explained that the four projects will help expand economic opportunities for residents by increasing their access and providing additional mobility options.

“The first project we are introducing we’re naming it the TTC Downtown Connector. What this route does is it modifies existing route 46 to travel east and west from the Foothill High area along Fourth Street and into the southwest. We modified this route to provide direct access to the Downtown Transit Center,” Perez said.

Perez explained that this plan will help a number of residents in the area, predominantly the seniors that live and go to the senior center on Fourth Street. The plan is a modification of two miles of existing route 46. Perez also explained that this project isn’t only to help modify bus routes but to also propose infrastructure improvement as well, like fixing and building sidewalks.

Karen King, secretary for the GET bus Board of Directors, explained that the changes that are proposed do not require a significant increase in personnel.