At the end of this academic year, traveling by bus in San Luis Obispo will become a little more convenient for students.
Beginning June 18, SLO Transit will implement new routes, schedules and fares as a direct result of the San Luis Obispo city council’s 2017-2021 Short Range Transit Plan adopted April 4.
While nearly every current stop will remain, SLO Transit will add 12 additional stops and increase the frequency of their routes to better serve the expanding community.
According to Transit Assistant Megan Cutler, the goal is to transform the Downtown Transit Center into a larger hub and to provide faster service. This will allow students and community members to access the majority of the city with fewer mid-route transfers.
“The new routes will better service Cal Poly students mainly because of shorter loops,” Cutler said. “It will also allow students to travel to other portions of our city more easily.”
Though the plan brings higher public fares, the current agreement between Cal Poly and the City of San Luis Obispo for free student, faculty and staff ridership will remain for now. However, the University subsidized fare is currently under negotiation and has potential to change.
According to the transit plan, routes will be renumbered and the A/B designations will convey direction of travel.
Most used by students, existing routes 6A and 6B will be revised into a single large loop connecting Cal Poly, the Foothill Corridor and downtown. The clockwise route will be designated as Route 4A and the counterclockwise route will be Route 4B.
To better serve the morning rush, two buses will operate in each direction over the 40‐minute loop, providing service every 20 minutes in each direction.
In addition, overall improvements will be made to bus stop locations such as benches, shelters, disposal containers and bike racks. Electric transit information signs will also be added to five locations, according to SLO Transit.
These changes come after recent bus upgrades were unveiled in March as part of a $1.1 million federal grant. SLO Transit said they have several other vehicles that are nearing their 12-year replacement cycle and look forward to adding new high-tech buses to their fleet.
Cutler said the agency will see how the changes are received and may modify their schedules as the year progresses.
“We are excited to see how the improvements come into play,” Cutler said.