Bakersfield to consider switching shuttle service to rideshare

Residents in wheelchairs would still have access to the door-to-door shuttle service under the new proposal.

Bakersfield could largely scrap its door-to-door shuttle service in order to support rideshare vouchers. 

The Golden Empire Transit District board will hold a hearing Tuesday to consider the proposal. 


The backstory: Bakersfield’s door-to-door shuttle service started up five years ago and has averaged around 325 rides per day. 

  • Fares cost $7 for rides up to 10 miles, with longer ones costing $15. 

Driving the news: The popularity of the program has led to delays and a lack of service for some, with the Bakersifled Californian reporting that one-third of the customers are told to call back later when requesting pickup because the bus system is already at full capacity. 

  • The shuttle system also costs $52 per ride, leading the board to look at alternative systems. 

The big picture: If the board approves the new proposal, Bakersfield would try out a pilot program in August that would continue to offer the door-to-door service for passengers in wheelchairs. 

  • People would receive vouchers for up to 40 rides every month for Uber or Lyft, with the district giving riders $2 to $7 per ride. 
  • Riders would pay the first $3 for Uber and Lyft rides that cost up to $8. Rides that cost more than $8 would see the district pay up to $7. 
  • According to the Californian, the district would save $2.8 million annually by switching over to supporting rideshare vouchers. 

What we’re watching: The Golden Empire Transit board will hold its hearing on the proposal on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. 

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