Mountain Views News, Combined edition

Combined Edition

Inside this Week:

Sierra Madre:

Sierra Madre:
Walking SM … The Social Side

Places to Go Things to Do:

SM Community Calendar:
SM Calendar of Events

Pasadena – Altadena:

Altadena · So. Pasadena · San Marino:

Arcadia · Monrovia · Duarte · Bradbury:
Arcadia Police Blotter

Shop Local:

Around The San Gabriel Valley:
Chef Peter Dills
Table for Two

Education & Youth:
Coach's Corner

Best Friends:
Christopher Nyerges
Katnip News!
Pet of the Week

The Good Life:
Family Matters
Out to Pastor
Senior Happenings


Support Your Local Businesses:

Support Your Local Businesses:

Section B:

Political Ad:

Political Ad:

Measure M

Letters to the Editor

Now That's Rich
Stuart Tolchin On …
Legal Notices
The Funnies

Legal Notices (1):

Legal Notices (2):

Legal Notices (3):

Political Ad:

Deanne Davis
Peter Dills
Marc Garlett
Rich Johnson
Clint Moore
Christopher Nyerges
Rev. James L. Snyder
Stuart Tolchin

Recent Issues:
Issue 16
Issue 15
Issue 14
Issue 13
Issue 12
Issue 11
Issue 10
Issue 9
Issue 8
Issue 7
Issue 6

MVNews Archive:  Page 1

MVNews this week:  Page 1



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As taxpayers fund MTA, talks about returning bus routes stall

By Kevin McGuire

With Metro routes cut from Sierra 
Madre and their First Transit vehicle 
hitting “end of use” status, the 
city staff seeks guidance from City 
Council on possible updates to the 
current transportation program. 

There have been local transportation 
services in Sierra Madre for 26 
years. The most recent additions 
occurred seven years ago with the 
First Transit’s free Gateway Coach, 
a fixed-route program, and the destination-
specific Dial-A-Ride, at 50 
cents for a one-way trip.

Hopping on public transportation 
was the way to go in Sierra Madre 
10+ years ago. Ridership was at an 
all-time high in 2012, at 16,237, 
with a cost of 8.62 per ride provided 
to the city. However, by 2018, ridership 
plummeted to 1,286, with a 
price to the city of $ 115.09 per ride 
provided. In addition, the Metro 
Transportation Authority (MTA) 
cut the only routes that serviced the 

On top of these declining numbers 
and lack of transportation options, 
the one service bus the city has 
for, the Gateway Coach, reached 
its “end of use” status. Though the 
bus still runs, it often needs costly 
repairs and has an inadequate air-
conditioning system. First Transit 
provides the driver, not the bus, for 
this service. 

The Gateway Coach makes key 
stops around the city, including 
at the parks, schools, and library. 
The Coach operates Monday thru 
Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
and is a convenient way for residents 
to hit the popular shopping 
areas and restaurants in the city. It 
also stops at Ralph’s supermarket at 
3601 E Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena. 
However, residents have raised concerns 
over the low availability of 
this service.

Dial-A-Ride is a service for seniors 
and persons with health conditions 
or impairments. There is an application 
process to use this service, 
and reservations must be made 48 
hours before. Dial-A-Ride operates 
Monday thru Friday from 8:00 a.m. 
and 10:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 
p.m. It travels up to two miles outside 
Sierra Madre, except for Tuesday, 
when you can take the service 
as far east as City of Hope, and on 
Thursdays, you can take it as far 
west as Huntington Hospital. 

During the regular City Council 
Meeting on Tuesday, April 25, 
Management Analyst James Carlson 
expressed the importance of 
improving the current transportation 
program and adding route 
options to help residents get where 
they want to go.

“We want our residents to be able 
to get anywhere around the world,” 
Carlson said, with the idea that if 
residents can get to the Gold Line, 
they can get to the Amtrak station.

As a result of MTA cutting routes 
that serviced Sierra Madre, they 
need transportation options for 
residents to get to the Gold Line. 
As a result, students, Seniors, and 
residents who need assistance have 
been greatly affected by the slashing 
of Metro routes. 

Carlson, who has been working 
on a better transportation plan for 
over two years, stated that staff is 
prepared to send out Requests for 
Proposals (RFP) to connect with 
other local transit in hopes of having 
them service Sierra Madre. 
Foothill Transit, for example, is 
a possibility, but as of now, it falls 
short of Sierra Madre, as they currently 
have a stop at Foothill and 
Santa Anita Blvd. According to 
Carlson, Arcadia Transit could be 
another option to connect with. 
An alternative to sending out RFPs 
would be to form a subcommittee 
to seek public feedback and explore 
additional ideas. Or, the city could 
opt to do both.

Sierra Madre receives $270,000 a 
year from Proposition A, to be used 
exclusively to address local transportation 

In addition to adding convenience 
to the citizens, transportation can 
impact environmental issues, as 
fewer cars would be on the road if 
public transit were more accessible. 

Director Carlson did point out that 
residents’ property tax money is 
used to fund the MTA, yet Metro 
still removed two routes that serviced 
Sierra Madre. In addition, 
there hasn’t been any progress in 
talks with Metro, according to 
Carlson. “Any time I get the fortunate 
communication back from 
them, it’s not much of value,” he 
said. “It’s been not much success 
working with them.” City Council 
is considering lobbying local politicians 
to influence them to take action 
on this matter.

“We need an effective, efficient solution, 
and we need to solve it because 
people need this service, and 
people would like to use the service 
as a benefit to the environment as 
well,” stated Mayor Edward Garcia.

Councilmember Robert Parkhurst 
determined a walk from Sierra 
Madre to Pasadena would be approximately 
1.6 miles. Councilmember 
Kristine Lowe pointed 
out that she sees groups walking 
toward Foothill daily to get to the 
Gold Line for school or work. 

In the interim, City Council has 
decided to renew its contract with 
First Transit and form a subcommittee 
to discuss options for improving 
the city’s transportation 
program in the long term. 

In June, 2021 MTA cut the regular bus service, and replaced it with their Micro 
service, which has not served the community well. (

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Mountain Views News 80 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. #327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.604.4548