March 2019 SYVT Ridership Growth

March 15, 2019

Contact: Matt van der Linden

Public Works Director/City Engineer

City of Solvang

(805) 688-5575

SYVT Ridership Growth

Solvang, California – Santa Ynez Valley Transit (SYVT) year-to-date ridership on fixed routes is up by 12 percent over last year. Fixed-route ridership began increasing in October 2018, and has continued to surpass last year’s ridership figures. This is a notable and exciting exception to a national trend in public transportation ridership decline.

Public transportation ridership has declined across California and the country over the last decade as a result of increased car ownership. Understanding this trend, SYVT has focused on promoting services to residents for destination purposes as a way to reverse ridership decline. This involves suggesting the bus for specific trips where a car is not needed such as to the library, school, or a medical appointment. SYVT has also successfully introduced new “choice riders” (residents who rarely or never ride transit) to utilize the bus as “a second car.”

“If we can encourage residents to replaced one driving trip with one transit trip every two weeks, we are taking a positive step in advancing the benefits of public transportation,” said Matt van der Linden, Public Works Director/City Engineer for the City of Solvang. “Advancing the benefits of public transportation means less traffic on our roads, less pollution in our air, and a more connected community.”

SYVT enhanced its fixed-route bus service in the summer of 2018 to provide more service to residents and guests traveling to and around the Santa Ynez Valley. The popular pink and teal buses also offer $20 monthly summer youth passes to riders six to 20 years old for use in May, June, July, and August. “SYVT is committed to making public transportation convenient and reliable to even our youngest residents,” said van der Linden. “Creating public transportation champions today will continue to benefit not only SYVT, but our beautiful community for decades to come.”

SYVT service brochures are available at the SYVT office located at 431 Second Street, suite 9 in Solvang and at Buellton and Solvang city halls. If you have never been on the bus, please call SYVT at (805) 688-5452. SYVT’s helpful dispatcher can walk you through everything a new transit rider will need to know to keep transit growing in the Santa Ynez Valley.

SYVT is funded through a Memorandum of Understanding between the cities of Buellton and Solvang and Santa Barbara County. For information about SYVT, visit www.syvt.com or call (805) 688-5452.