MONTEREY PARK — The City Council has voted to establish bus service along five routes in the city, and ordered a study on whether the city should operate the buses or hire a contractor.
City Manager Lloyd de Llamas said the bus system could be in operation by fall.
Still uncertain is whether riders will be charged. The city Ad Hoc Transportation Committee has recommended that the service be free; Dave Consulting Inc. of Santa Ana, which analyzed the city's transit needs, has recommended a 25-cent fare.
The bus service will be in addition to a free dial-a-ride program that the city operates for the handicapped and people 55 and older. This program, which costs the city $70,000 a year, will continue to take passengers anywhere in the city and to medical clinics and doctor's offices in neighboring cities. The dial-a-ride operates from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The new bus system, which will supplement the 10 bus routes that the Southern California Rapid Transit District runs through the city and three routes operated by Montebello Municipal Bus Lines, will circulate through all areas of Monterey Park. The local buses will take residents to shopping centers, medical offices and schools and provide connections with RTD and Montebello buses.