Bus route to Auburn give new link to services

Placer, city cooperation aims at unmet needs
By: Eyragon Eidam of the Auburn Journal
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The journey from Downtown Auburn to social services near the airport can be dangerous on foot or bicycle, but a cooperative effort between the city and county will soon make it as simple as paying a bus fare.

In response to community requests for bus service, the city of Auburn and the Placer County Transportation Planning Agency are joining forces to supply a new bus route to locations near the Auburn Municipal Airport.

Beginning Jan. 5, Placer County transit buses will be providing hourly service to locations near businesses and social service organizations.

During Monday’s Auburn City Council meeting, council members approved the route modification and the costs associated with it.

The change is expected to cost $25,000 overall, but will be split between the county and city. The city will pay approximately $16,000 a year for time and mileage, while the county will pay roughly $9,000.

Despite the price tag accompanying the service to city stops on incorporated land, officials do not anticipate a negative impact on fare box ratios.

Planning and Public Works Director Bernie Schroeder said the understanding between Placer County and the city will provide necessary services to areas not served by city or county transit plans.

“This is part of the unmet needs that we are anticipating need to be met,” she said.

According to Schroeder and the staff report provided to the city council, the route modification will require adjustments to the county services on a route known as the North Auburn loop, which services stops from Atwood Road to Dry Creek Road.

Sandy Bassett, president of the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet said the stops would allow people without the ability to drive access to the services in the area that are currently unavailable.

“This bus service is very important to us,” she said. “This is a minimal cost to the city, I think $16,000 is what they project, but it means a great deal to for the people of Auburn who don’t drive.”

Service seekers won’t likely be the only ones using the new stops along Locksley Lane and Earhart Avenue to their advantage.

Richard Anderson, president of the Auburn Airport Business Park Association, said employees – especially lower wage employees – would be better able to get to their jobs as a result of the hourly service.

“We feel the transportation is needed for the individuals who are using the social services organizations that are located on Locksley Lane,” Anderson said. “Additionally it provides transportation for our business employees out there…”