The city of Glendale has discontinued an agreement with the Southern California Rapid Transit District, by which riders of the free Beeline shuttle could transfer to RTD buses for 10 cents.
The Glendale City Council voted unanimously and without comment to discontinue the agreement after Public Works Director George Miller said Beeline passengers were abusing the transfer system.
"Some individuals were seen purchasing the transfer and exiting at the next stop, or worse, purchasing the transfer and exiting the vehicle immediately without riding it at all," Miller said. Regular RTD tickets cost $1.10.
When the shuttle went into service in 1984, the transfer program was offered as an incentive to attract more passengers to Beeline, which circles the city's downtown commercial and civic center.
Beeline ridership has grown continually since then, and city officials no longer deem the transfer program a necessary incentive. Since the Beeline eliminated its 25-cent fare in October, 1988, ridership has gone up to more than 16,000 a year, city statistics show. In the last three years ridership has increased by 700%, Miller said.
Miller said he was recently notified by RTD officials that the district was planning to begin charging the city for printing and handling costs involved with the transfers, costs now absorbed by RTD.
Furthermore, Miller said, RTD officials told him that "future expansions of the Beeline service would be looked upon more favorably if the transfer agreement were abolished. This would separate the two systems and lessen the chance of overlapping or duplication of service."
An additional benefit, Miller said, is that shuttle bus drivers will no longer have to handle money. "They will not be bothered or be delayed by having to handle transfer requests."