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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

Transportation Needs Under Review

September 17, 2000|JOSH KARP

Thousand Oaks seniors could have a better idea of their future transportation options in the city by late October.

Local officials are reviewing the city's existing transportation services and are considering providing additional services through the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and its Volunteers in Policing program.

The City Council last week voted 4 to 0 for staff members to prepare a transportation report. Councilman Dan Del Campo said he hopes to see the report by the end of October.

Senior citizens have complained to local officials that the city's Dial-a-Ride taxi service is too slow in responding to requests. Some seniors have said it has taken as long as two hours to get service, Del Campo said.

Because the city's senior population is growing, the staff report is necessary sooner rather than later, officials said.

"If we're not proactive now, we're going to be in a reactive and defensive mode," Del Campo said.

The city's taxi program serves about 66,000 residents annually, and its Smart Shuttle program, which began in April as a pilot operation, carries about 1,340 riders a month, officials said.

The city pays about $600,000 annually to operate the subsidized taxi program, and will pay $150,000 for six months for the Smart Shuttle, but sees a return of less than 12% on its investment, officials said.

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