Foothill Transit

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Foothill Transit
Foothill Transit Logo.gif
ParentFoothill Transit Agency
Headquarters100 South Vincent Ave
West Covina, California
Service areaSan Gabriel and Pomona Valleys
Service typebus service
Fleet376 buses (343 CNG and 33 electric)[1]
Daily ridership48,000/weekday (2012)[1][2]
Fuel typeCNG and electric
OperatorTransdev (Irwindale Yard)[3]
Keolis (Pomona Yard)[4]

Foothill Transit is a public transit agency that is government funded by 22 member cities in the San Gabriel and Pomona valleys. It operates a fixed-route bus public transit service in the San Gabriel Valley of Greater Los Angeles, California, United States.


Foothill Transit Key Locations
Headquarters (100 S Vincent)
Pomona Yard (200 S East End)
Irwindale/Arcadia Yard (5640 Peck)

Foothill Transit operates out of two yards: one in Pomona (opened in 1997), and the other in Arcadia (opened in 2002); the administrative offices moved to West Covina in 2007.[5] The Foothill Transit joint powers authority membership consists of elected representatives from 22 member cities in the San Gabriel Valley and Pomona Valley and three members appointed from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.[6] These representatives are divided into five geographical clusters, which each elect a representative annually to serve on a five-member Executive Board.[7]

Foothill Transit Organization[8]
Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4 Cluster 5
Claremont Azusa Arcadia El Monte LA County Supervisors
La Verne Baldwin Park Bradbury Diamond Bar
Pomona Covina Duarte Industry
San Dimas Glendora Monrovia La Puente
Walnut Irwindale Pasadena South El Monte
  West Covina Temple City  


Los Angeles County Supervisor Pete Schabarum is credited with the formation of the transit agency. Schabarum, annoyed by what he saw as disproportionate cutbacks of bus service by the Southern California Rapid Transit District (SCRTD) in the San Gabriel Valley,[9] wanted to secede from the larger agency and form a separate transit agency as early as 1986.[10] Compared to routes serving more densely-populated areas, routes in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys required greater subsidies to serve fewer riders on longer freeway alignments in eastern Los Angeles County.[11]

Foothill was initially founded by 20 member cities;[10] Pasadena voted to join in 1998.[12] In 1987, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) approved Foothill to take over fourteen routes which serviced the San Gabriel Valley that were currently operated by SCRTD.[5] Although service was planned to start on July 1, 1988,[13] the Foothill Transit Zone had been prevented from starting service in July by an injunction arising from a lawsuit filed by the drivers and mechanics unions (United Transportation and Amalgamated Transit Unions) of SCRTD against LACTC.[11] Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Eli Chernow ruled that LACTC could not unilaterally transfer the lines without the consent of the SCRTD board of directors. The injunction was upheld on appeal.[14]

LACTC had begun withholding $9 million per month from SCRTD in April 1988 on the basis that SCRTD had not followed salary guidelines set by LACTC; SCRTD replied that LACTC, under the leadership of its chairman (Schabarum), was holding the funds hostage to pressure SCRTD to release the lines to Foothill Transit.[10] SCRTD consented to Foothill Transit taking over the bus lines in December 1988 in return for the restoration of funding.[15] Those first two lines operated by Foothill Transit were 495 and 498.[5]

The trial for the lawsuit against Foothill Transit started in May 1989,[9] was resolved in Foothill's favor by July,[15] and the other twelve lines previously operated by SCRTD were transitioned to Foothill Transit between 1989 and 1992.[5][16] For a short period in 1992, the last two routes to transition (486 and 488) were operated by both Foothill Transit and SCRTD during continued legal disputes.[11] The drivers and mechanics unions disputed the transfer of 486 and 488 since SCRTD had made the decision without negotiating with the union; an arbitrator held up the unions' argument, which led to duplicated service on those lines, as "Foothill Transit [had] the legal right to operate buses on the contested routes, but the [SCRTD had] the legal obligation to do so", and the union planned to use that precedent to roll back service to SCRTD on all fourteen lines.[11] However, Foothill Transit again prevailed in a February 1993 court ruling.[17]

Contract labor[edit]

Schabarum, who hated the influence of trade unions, chose to use contractors to operate the service.[18] All of the operations and maintenance work for Foothill Transit are contracted out. As of 2017, bus service is operated by Keolis at Pomona and Transdev at Arcadia/Irwindale.

Embree Bus Lines was the initial contractor that operated the first two lines for Foothill starting in December 1988.[15] The hourly operating cost under Foothill Transit was reduced by up to half compared to service under SCRTD, and ridership grew, but the contract operator drivers generally earned less in both wages and fringe benefits, and had less influence over working conditions. In addition, Foothill Transit was not required to provide typical rider services such as schedules, bus stops, transit police, or telephone information.[11] During the 1992 Los Angeles riot, Foothill Transit terminated service at El Monte rather than continue on to downtown Los Angeles.[11] Over the first five years, Foothill Transit consistently saved money compared to SCRTD's historical costs.[17] In 1994, Foothill reported their hourly cost of operations was $55, compared to $93 for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), with a farebox recovery ratio of 48% (compared to 32% for Metro) at a lower fare of $0.85 (compared to $1.10 for Metro, which was scheduled to increase to $1.35 later that year). In addition, Foothill reported an accident rate of 0.3 per 100,000 mi (160,000 km) traveled, compared to Metro's rate of 3.3 per 100,000 mi (160,000 km), although Metro's accident rate was skewed by older buses and more dense traffic in its operating area.[18]

Foothill executives made the service essentially strike-proof by insisting that two different companies operate the two bus yards, even if it would cost more in the short term. By 1998, Foothill's contractors were Laidlaw and Ryder/ATE.[19] However, due to bus industry consolidation, First Transit operated both yards from 2001 to mid-2007. Currently, both Foothill Transit yards are represented by unions (Arcadia by the Amalgamated Transit Union and Pomona by the Teamsters Union), but past strikes at the agency have been less than successful due to the ability of one yard to operate the other yard's service.[20][21] In addition, wages are less at Foothill than at other transit operators in the region.[11]

The contract operator drivers at Foothill were also represented by the Teamsters, but a 1994 Los Angeles Times article reported they earned an average of $11 per hour, compared to the average $18.45 per hour earned by Metro drivers.[18] A representative of the union representing Metro's drivers, the United Transportation Union, accused Foothill of not paying its drivers a living wage; the president of the company that was then contracted to manage Foothill, William P. Forsythe, stated the US$20,000 (equivalent to $34,000 in 2019) typical annual pay of a Foothill driver "isn't bad for a service industry job" and admitted it wasn't fair "compared to MTA, but they've been overpaying for years."[18] In January 1995, the Los Angeles Times reported the majority of the 150 drivers for Laidlaw made $8.50 per hour; those drivers, represented by the Teamsters, rejected a proposed contract that offered no wage increases.[22]

Laidlaw, which was responsible for approximately half of Foothill's fleet, operated out of the Upland Yard. The first strike against Foothill Transit started when Laidlaw drivers walked off in February 1996, asking for an immediate $1/hour raise and full medical coverage. Teamsters Local 848 officials stated that drivers could not afford private health insurance, and had to rely on county services instead. Foothill's other contractor was not affected and continued normal operations during the strike.[20] The strike ended after thirteen days, when drivers accepted a 3% pay raise with no health coverage on a one-year contract under the threat they would be fired and replaced if they did not return to work.[23] Shortly after the expiration of the contract, Laidlaw drivers went on strike again in June 1997, but that strike was settled within hours, as most drivers were no longer represented by the union.[21] The reported average wages in 1998 was $9.30 per hour for Ryder/ATE drivers (represented by the Teamsters), and $9.06 per hour for Laidlaw drivers (who had previously voted to become an open shop).[19]

Effective July 1, 2013, due to expiration of the existing management services contract and continuing conflicts of interest between the executive director, staff, and board, Foothill Transit transitioned to in house management. Executive Director Doran Barnes became the first full-time Foothill employee, and planning, procurement, and other administrative functions became Foothill functions as well.[6] Transdev (formerly Veolia) staff continues to operate the transit stores and maintain bus shelters.[24]

The last two lines operated by Metro (SCRTD's successor) in the eastern San Gabriel Valley were turned over to Foothill in 2016.[25]

In 2017, Foothill Transit hired two new contractors, Keolis and Transdev, both of which are French transportation companies, to manage both of their bus storage yards. Keolis took over First Transit's role in managing the Pomona Yard[4] and Transdev took over First Transit's, and previously MV Transportation's, role in managing the Irwindale Yard.[3]

Environmental initiatives[edit]

In 2002, Foothill Transit began purchasing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered buses.[5] In 2010, Foothill Transit was the first transit system to operate an all-electric battery-powered bus from Proterra.[5] By 2013, when the last diesel-powered 2000-2001 Gillig Advantage buses were retired,[6] Foothill Transit became around a 90 percent CNG fleet. 10 percent of the fleet is electric.

Foothill Transit's main goal is to be fully electric by 2030.[26] On January 25, 2021, Foothill Transit received its first two all-electric double-decker buses, which were made by Alexander Dennis in the United Kingdom.[27]

Other services[edit]

Foothill Transit provides shuttle service for UCLA Football games, the annual Rose Bowl Game, and other special events at the Rose Bowl from the Parsons Corporation parking lot, located on Walnut St. and Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena.[28]


Foothill Transit is mainly funded by local sales tax revenue, with 75% coming from Los Angeles County Propositions A and C, California State Transportation Development Act, and the State Transit Assistance Fund. The remaining 25% comes from farebox revenue.[1]


All service operated as of October 22, 2017, reflecting service changes effective October 22, 2017.

Express routes[edit]

Express services operate weekdays only in the peak direction, excluding the Silver Streak.

Route Terminals via Notes
Downtown LA
Grand Av/Olive St & Olympic Bl
Montclair Transcenter
El Monte Busway, I-10 24-hour service.
Downtown LA
Figueroa St & 9th St
Grand Ave Park & Ride
El Monte Busway, I-10, Grand Avenue Reduced service December 24 – 31.
Downtown LA
Hope St & 9th St
Rowland Heights
Colima Rd and Fairway Dr.
El Monte Busway, I-10, I-605, SR 60, Colima Road. Service may operate on Valley Boulevard if SR 60 is congested. Reduced service December 24 – 31.
Downtown LA
Hope St & 9th St
City of Industry
Industry Park & Ride
I-10, I-605, SR 60, Brea Canyon Road Service may operate on Valley Boulevard if SR 60 is congested. Reduced service December 24 – 31.
Downtown LA
Figueroa St & 9th St
City of Industry
Industry City Hall Park & Ride
El Monte Busway, I-10, Reduced service December 24 – 31.
Downtown LA
Figueroa St & 9th St
San Dimas
San Dimas Park and Ride
El Monte Busway, I-10, San Dimas Avenue Reduced service December 24 – 31.
Downtown LA
Figueroa St & 9th St
Montclair Transcenter
El Monte Busway, I-10 Reduced service December 24 – 31.

Local routes[edit]

Route Terminals via Notes
El Monte Bus Station Puente Hills Mall Los Angeles Street, Pacific Avenue, Valinda Avenue, Nogales Street, Colima Road

Selected trips serve the Baldwin Park Metrolink Station

Azusa Transit Centre Puente Hills Mall Irwindale Avenue, Glendora Avenue, Hacienda Boulevard, Colima Road
Raymond Avenue and Walnut Street
Azusa Intermodal Transit Center Colorado Boulevard, Foothill Blvd., Rosemead Blvd., Huntington Drive, Foothill Blvd. Serves Santa Anita Park, Arcadia Methodist Hospital and Westfield Santa Anita Mall on Huntington Drive between Rosemead Boulevard and Santa Anita Avenue, replacing Colorado Boulevard/Place between Rosemead Boulevard and Huntington Drive.
Montclair Transcenter Azusa Intermodal Transit Centre Serves Eastern Half, Azusa To Montclair.
El Monte Bus Station Cal Poly Pomona Ramona Boulevard Short line trips terminate or originate at the Eastland Centre in West Covina
El Monte Bus Station Cal Poly Pomona Valley Boulevard Short line trips terminate or originate at Valley Blvd and Lemon Ave in the City of Walnut
Valley Boulevard and Humane Way
Pomona Transit Center Temple Avenue, Rio Rancho Road, Reservoir Street Serves Cal Poly Pomona
Montclair Transit Center Pomona Transit Center Arrow Highway, White Avenue, Fairplex Drive, Orange Grove Avenue
El Monte Bus Station Montebello Town Center Santa Anita Avenue, Durfee Avenue
El Monte Bus Station Monrovia Peck Road, Huntington Drive, Primrose Avenue
City of Hope
Westfield West Covina Buena Vista Street, Baldwin Park Boulevard, Merced Avenue

Selected trips serve the Baldwin Park Metrolink Station.

Beverly Boulevard and Norwalk Boulevard
Baldwin Park Metrolink Station Workman Mill Road, Puente Avenue
Azusa Transit Center Puente Hills Mall Azusa Avenue
Citrus College Puente Hills Mall Citrus Avenue, Cameron Avenue, Sunset Avenue, Gale Avenue
El Monte Bus Station Puente Hills Mall Valley Boulevard, 7th Avenue, Gale Avenue, Colima Road
Route 66 and Grand Avenue
West Covina
Westfield Eastland
Foothill Boulevard, Lone Hill Avenue

Service operates weekday and weekend peak hours only

Puente Hills Mall La Habra
Beach Boulevard and La Habra Boulevard
Hacienda Boulevard, Colima Road, Whitter Boulevard Service operates weekday and weekend peak hours only
Pomona Transit Center Brea
Brea Mall
Mission Boulevard, Diamond Bar Boulevard, 57 Freeway
Puente Hills Mall Cal Poly Pomona Colima Road, La Puente Road
La Verne
Foothill Boulevard and White Avenue
Pomona Market Place
Garey Avenue, Foothill Boulevard Serves Pomona Transit Center (PTC).

Line 291 is fully electrified using Proterra fast-charge buses, which charge each time they return to PTC.[29]

Pomona Transit Center Claremont Transit Center Towne Avenue, Foothill Boulevard, Baseline Road
Westfield West Covina Montclair Transit Center Walnut, Mission Boulevard, Indian Hill Boulevard Serves Cal Poly Pomona, Mt. San Antonio College, and the Pomona Transit Center
Puente Hills Mall Pomona Transit Center Colima Road, Mission Boulevard, Golden Springs Drive, Diamond Bar Boulevard, Serves Cal Poly Pomona

Selected weekday trips serve Gateway Circle and the Industry Park & Ride.

El Monte Bus Station Cal Poly Pomona Garvey Avenue, Amar Road
El Monte Bus Station Citrus College Ramona Boulevard, Francisquito Avenue, Grand Avenue
El Monte Bus Station Montclair Transit Center Santa Anita Avenue, Arrow Highway, Bonita Avenue
Azusa Downtown Gold Line Station
Montclair Transcentre
210 Freeway, Foothill Boulevard
Duarte Duarte Huntington Drive, Royal Oaks Drive, Mountain Avenue (Loop)
Duarte Duarte Huntington Drive, Royal Oaks Drive, Mountain Avenue (Loop)

School supplementary routes[edit]

Services operate weekdays only. Schedules subject to change June 1  — September 1 & December 22  — January 3 for Lines 853 and 854.

Route Terminals via Notes
West Covina
Westfield Eastland
Foothill Boulevard and Valley Center Avenue
Glendora Avenue
Diamond Bar
Golden Springs Drive and Copley Drive
Diamond Bar
Diamond Ranch High School
Golden Springs Drive
Diamond Bar
Golden Springs Drive and Copley Drive
Diamond Bar
Diamond Ranch High School
Diamond Bar Boulevard

Bus fleet[edit]


With the retirement of the 2000 and 2001 Gillig Advantage fleet in 2014, the entire current fleet now consists of 100% clean air buses, which either run on electricity or compressed natural gas (CNG). Only about one-tenth of the entire fleet is electric.

Year Manufacturer Model Length Fleet Numbers (Qty.) Picture Fuel Type Yard
2005-2006 NABI 40-LFW 40' F1500–F1509 (10)[a] Foothill Transit 2006 NABI 40-LFW CNG -F1509.jpg CNG Arcadia
2009 42-BRT 42' F1700–F1729 (30)
2010 F1800–F1811 (12) Pomona
2012 F1900–F1913 (14)
2013 F2100–F2163 (64) Arcadia/
2014 F2200–F2229 (30)
2015 F2300–F2329 (30)
2010 Proterra BE35[c] 35' F2001–F2003 (3)[d]
Electric Pomona
2012 F2004–F2015 (12)
2015 Catalyst BE40 40' F2016–F2017 (2)
2017 F2600–F2613 (14) Irwindale
2019 Catalyst BE35 E2 35' F2800–F2802 (3)[e]
2016 New Flyer XN40 40' F2400–F2429 (30)
CNG Irwindale
2017 F2500–F2529 (30)
2018 ElDorado National Axess BRT CNG 40' F2700–F2733 (34)
2020 F2734–F2753 (20)
2020 New Flyer XN60 60' F2900–F2923 (24)[f]
2020 Alexander Dennis Enviro500EV 40' (2)[g] Electric
  1. ^ Currently Being Retired.
  2. ^ Most of these buses run from the Pomona Yard, but some of them are run from the Irwindale Yard. These three orders were the last orders Foothill Transit ordered from North American Bus Industries because New Flyer Industries bought the company and ceased production of North American Bus Industries' lineup of fleet. These buses replaced the last remaining Diesel powered Gillig Advantage buses, which were retired in 2014. Used on many express routes.
  3. ^ Branded as "Ecoliners" by Foothill Transit.
  4. ^ This model was the world's first heavy duty, fast charging electric bus. Each bus costs US$1.2 million.[30]
  5. ^ Branded as "duartEbus Powered By Foothill Transit."
  6. ^ Painted in Silver Streak livery to replace the NABI 60-BRTs. Entered service between September and December 2020.
  7. ^ Double-decker bus.[31] Drivetrain (motor/battery) supplied by Proterra.[32]


  1. ^ a b c d "Fast Facts". Foothill Transit. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "History". Foothill Transit. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Foothill Transit now operates 33 fixed-route local and express lines, covers 327 square miles, and serves 14 million customers each year. This number is up from 9.5 million at the time of Foothill Transit's original application.
  3. ^ a b "Transdev Awarded Contract Renewal for Foothill Transit" (Press release). Transdev. July 8, 2016. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Keolis Transit Services awarded eight-year contract to provide operations and maintenance for Foothill Transit-Pomona" (Press release). Keolis Transit Services. April 26, 2017. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Foothill Transit Fiscal Year 2013 Business Plan - Adopted (PDF) (Report). Foothill Transit. May 9, 2012. p. 9. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Foothill Transit Fiscal Year 2014-2015 Business Plan & Budget - Proposed (PDF) (Report). Foothill Transit. May 21, 2014. pp. 15–16. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  7. ^ "Member Profile: Foothill Transit". California Transit Association. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  8. ^ "About: Organization". Foothill Transit. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  9. ^ a b Quintana, Craig (May 18, 1989). "Foothill Transit Trial Begins: 2 RTD Unions Argue for Breakup of Local Bus Agency Zone". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Quintana, Craig (November 6, 1988). "Foothill Transit Again Seeks Zone as RTD Wrestles with Money Ills". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Stein, Mark A. (July 25, 1992). "Bus Double Take : Embattled RTD, Foothill Transit Lines Offer Duplicate Service". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  12. ^ "Council Seeks to Join Foothill Transit Service". Los Angeles Times. November 4, 1998. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  13. ^ Quintana, Craig (July 31, 1988). "Fledgling Foothill Transit Zone Forced Into Waiting Game by Two Court Losses". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  14. ^ Quintana, Craig (July 28, 1988). "Foothill Transit 'in Limbo' After 2 Legal Setbacks". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c Quintana, Craig (July 20, 1989). "Judge Rules for Foothill Transit in RTD Lawsuit". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  16. ^ "San Gabriel Valley: Foothill Transit Takes Over 2 RTD Bus Lines". Los Angeles Times. June 23, 1992. Retrieved July 19, 2018. Foothill Transit began servicing the [486 and 488] lines Sunday, completing a 1988 Los Angeles Transportation Commission plan for them to take over 14 RTD lines.
  17. ^ a b "Los Angeles County: Ruling Favoring Foothill Transit Ends Bus Dispute". Los Angeles Times. February 3, 1993. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  18. ^ a b c d Rutten, Tim; Muir, Frederick M. (August 2, 1994). "News Analysis: Privately Run Foothill Transit a Strike Winner". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  19. ^ a b Leeds, Jeff (April 12, 1998). "Privatization: a Route to Better Bus Service?". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  20. ^ a b Simon, Richard (February 23, 1996). "Dozens of Foothill Transit Buses Idled by Drivers Strike". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  21. ^ a b "Strike by Foothill Transit Bus Drivers Settled Within Hours". Los Angeles Times. June 5, 1997. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  22. ^ Jacobs, Chip (January 26, 1995). "Strike May Idle Foothill Transit Buses". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  23. ^ Winton, Richard (March 6, 1996). "Threatened With Job Loss, Bus Drivers Vote to End Strike". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  24. ^ Scauzillo, Steve (May 25, 2013). "Foothill Transit shed management contract with outside firm". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  25. ^ Hobbs, Charles P. (July 7, 2016). "Metro's Last SGV Holdouts go Blue and White – Foothill Transit Takes Lines #190 and #194". More than Red Cars. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  26. ^ "Foothill Transit announces all electric bus fleet by 2030" (Press release). Foothill Transit. May 24, 2016. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  27. ^ "Foothill Transit Electric Double Decker Bus Arrives in SGV After Atlantic and Cross-Country Travel". Streetsblog Los Angeles. January 25, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2021.
  28. ^ "Rose Bowl Shuttle Service". Foothill Transit. May 15, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  29. ^ Eudy, Leslie; Jeffers, Matthew (May 2018). Foothill Transit Battery Electric Bus Progress Report (PDF) (Report). National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  30. ^ "Foothill Transit to launch world's first heavy duty fast charge electric bus" (Press release). Foothill Transit. August 26, 2010. Archived from the original on September 4, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2018.
  31. ^ Carpenter, Susan (July 12, 2018). "Electric Double-Decker Buses to Service Downtown Los Angeles in 2019". Trucks. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  32. ^ "We're Bringing All-Electric Double Decker Buses To The SGV!" (Press release). Foothill Transit. July 12, 2018. Retrieved July 20, 2018.

Because Foothill Transit retires most of their buses at the 12-year FTA minimum standard, many of their buses are sold off or leased to other authorities and operate for years afterwards. Notable lessees include Valley Metro, Nassau Inter-County Express, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Arizona State University, Monterey-Salinas Transit, Gold Coast Transit, Glendale Beeline, Santa Cruz Metro, Benicia Breeze, and Amtrak California (operated by SFO Airporter).


External links[edit]