Gold Coast Transit District (GCTD) will be offering free rides on its fixed route service every Saturday beginning on July 21, 2018 and ending on August 25, 2018. This will be an opportunity for more people to experience the many community events that take place during the summer, including the Ventura County Fair.
Free Summer Saturdays will open access to more passengers and attract and engage new riders who might not otherwise choose public transit as a means of mobility. The agency hopes that the promotion will also result in long term ridership increases.
"This is a great way to connect the community to the fun events planned throughout the area this summer free of charge”, said GCTD General Manager, Steven Brown. “We hope that it encourages more community members to utilize the excellent service we provide and cut down on personal car trips."
Riding public transit has numerous social, economic and environmental benefits. For example, increasing transit use on CNG vehicles and reducing the amount of GHG being released into the air improves the air quality in the region. Additionally, GCTD routes connect to major transportation centers that are also served by regional rail such as Amtrak, allowing passengers to try more than one mode of public transportation.
Not only will this project facilitate travel to many popular events this summer, but passengers will also experience faster boardings and therefore a quicker ride to where they’re travelling. Currently, it takes approximately 22 seconds to pay and find a seat on the bus as opposed to the 3-4 seconds it will take to bypass the farebox and find a seat.
Passengers boarding GCTD buses on Saturdays will see a sign on the farebox informing them that no fare is required. Funding for Free Summer Saturdays was made possible by California Climate Investments, a statewide initiative that puts Cap-and-Trade dollars to work reducing greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment.