Antelope Valley Transit Authority
||This article contains content that is written like an advertisement. (October 2011)|
|This article does not cite any references or sources. (July 2011)|
|Parent||Cities of Palmdale, Lancaster and Metro.|
|Service type||bus service, paratransit|
|Alliance||Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Metrolink (Southern California)|
Antelope Valley Transit Authority is the transit agency serving the cities of Palmdale, Lancaster and Northern Los Angeles County. Antelope Valley Transit Authority is operated under contract by Transdev, and is affiliated with and offers connecting services with Metro and Metrolink.
The cities of Palmdale and Lancaster and the County of Los Angeles jointly created the Antelope Valley Transit Authority in 1992 to meet the growing need for public transportation in the Antelope Valley. AVTA began local transit service on July 1, 1992 with three types of services: Local Transit, Commuter and Dial-A-Ride. The Local Transit service provided transportation around town while the Commuter Service provided an alternative to residents driving into Los Angeles on the heavily congested 14 Freeway. The Dial-a-Ride program, a curb-to-curb transportation service, was developed to improve mobility for the elderly and disabled. There was also a concern for residents who lived in the outlying regions with no access to public transportation. To keep up with the increased need for transit services, AVTA opened its new, larger facility in 2004 with state of the art equipment for maintaining its fleet. A solar canopy was built to cover a portion of the parking area and it continues to offset electricity costs for AVTA. The federally funded facility cost $21 million to construct and is located at 6th Street West just north of Avenue M in Lancaster. The facilities expansion began in 2011 with an $11 million expansion project featuring new maintenance bays, more solar canopies, a new community room and additional office space. The expansion was completed in January, 2013.
AVTA currently serves a population of over 400,000 residents in the cities of Lancaster and Palmdale, as well as the unincorporated portions of northern Los Angeles County. Its total service area covers 1,200 square miles and is bounded by the Kern County line to the north, the San Bernardino County line to the east, the Angeles National Forest to the south, and Interstate 5 to the West. The fixed route service area consists of approximately 100 square miles. AVTA operates a fleet of 73 buses for transit service with 45 buses dedicated for local service and 28 dedicated to commuter service. AVTA added 15 new diesel hybrid buses to its local transit fleet in 2012 as part of its commitment to promoting environmental responsibility. In 2014, the agency continued its efforts by adding 2 state-of-the-art electric zero-emission buses, manufactured by local company BYD. AVTA’s entire fleet of local transit buses will be replaced with new, lower emission coaches by 2015, with the commuter bus replacement program targeted for completion in 2020.
Local Transit Services
AVTA operates a network of 13 local transit routes, as well as 2 supplemental routes. Local bus service is operated on weekdays from 5:45 a.m. to 12:39 p.m. Weekend service is operated from 6:45 a.m. to 8:10 p.m.
Commuter Services provides service to and from major places of employment outside of the Antelope Valley, such as Downtown Los Angeles, West Los Angeles/Century City, and the West San Fernando Valley. Commuter Services operates Monday - Friday only.
AVTA provides urban and rural Dial-A-Ride service to persons who are unable to navigate the fixed route system, or whose disability makes it impossible for them to travel to or from the nearest bus stop. Service within certain rural zones is open to the general public. Buses operate weekdays 6:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and weekends 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
AVTA actively supports their community, and offers free rides to seniors 65 and older, disabled persons, active military, and veterans during regular business hours. Julie Austin, Executive Director for AVTA, says, "Our Board of Directors strongly support this program, as it provides increased mobility for people who may not have regular access to safe, reliable transportation, and we are also proud to give back to those who have served in our military. It’s our way of showing our appreciation for their sacrifices."
In 1997, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized AVTA as an “Efficient Transit System”. The California Transit Association gave a “Transit Innovation Award” to AVTA in 1998 and a “Transit Image Award” in 1999. More recently, in 2007, AVTA won an AdWheel Award from the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) for its innovative and appealing Local Transit Map design. Additional awards include Desert Haven's "Employer of the Year", received in both 2011 and 2014, and in 2012 the California Transit Association honored AVTA with the "Small Operators Transit Excellence Award". In 2014 AVTA received the Government Finance Officers Association "Financial Reporting Award", as well as the "William J. "Pete" Knight AIRE Award" from the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District, for their efforts to reduce emissions.