Changes are coming to the local bus system that will see Santa Maria Regional Transit consolidate services to locations throughout the Central Coast.
City public information officer Mark van de Kamp said the move is aimed at creating a "seamless and more efficient rider experience."
The regional Breeze Bus service that allowed riders to travel from Santa Maria to Lompoc via route 100 and to Solvang via route 200, has been consolidated under the control of SMRT after recent approval from the Santa Maria City Council.
Starting July 1, Breeze route 200 will become SMRT route 20 featuring service to Los Alamos, Solvang and the Chumash Casino Resort. Route 100 to Vandenberg and Lompoc will become route 30, and service to New Cuyama will be added in the form of route 50.
"We are excited to consolidate the inter-community routes with our local transit services, as this will help us expedite service improvements to the regional services, such as enhancing the schedules, better coordination among transit services, establishing fare uniformity across systems, faster onboarding of rider-centric technologies, improving the reliability with the greater access to pooled labor and fleet resources, the electrification of the fleet and simplification of service for the rider," Santa Maria Transit Service Manager Gamaliel Anguiano said.
SMRT will oversee the operational costs using a combination of state and federal funding sources as well as the continued apportionment of Santa Barbara County's allocation of Transit Development Act funding to support transit service to unincorporated parts of northern Santa Barbara County.
SMRT will continue to administer the routes though its usual federal, state and City Council sanctioned process. New route maps and schedules will be provided and more information will be available on the Santa Maria Regional Transit Department's website.
Questions about these services should be directed to Anguiano at SMRTComments@cityofsantamaria.org.