The closure of Camarillo State Hospital has prompted transportation officials to discontinue a bus route between Oxnard and Camarillo.
The VISTA Central route, which in April served 2,396 riders, will be canceled June 30 and replaced by another the following day that is intended to serve Oxnard residents who work in Camarillo's Flynn Road industrial area.
County transportation officials said most of the people that used the VISTA Central route were retirees who volunteered at the hospital's foster grandparent program.
"Obviously, now that the hospital is closing its doors the service is going to be even less viable, and it never did reach its full potential at the fare box to keep it open," said Laurie Anderson, transit manager with the Ventura County Transportation Commission.
A federal grant will pay about 80% of the cost of the new express service, which will operate during morning and evening rush hours, said Tom Fox, Camarillo traffic engineer. The city will pay about $8,000 to cover the service's operational costs in the first year.
A recent survey of businesses on Flynn Road showed a need for such a service, Fox said.
However, the route will operate as a demonstration route in what officials say is a last effort to offer transit-dependent employees a method of commuting.