OCEANSIDE — As of Jan. 25, the North County Transit District implemented service reductions on the Breeze bus system.
The following routes will be discontinued: 311/312, West Oceanside Circulator; 324, Carlsbad Village to Costa Serena; 338/339, Vista to Quarry Creek via Hacienda Drive; 341/442, Palomar College to Cal State via San Marcos Boulevard; 348, Southwest Escondido Circulator; 349A and B, Southeast Escondido Circulator; 365, Encinitas Circulator; and 397, Oceanside to Fallbrook through Camp Pendleton.
Several other routes will be modified including routes 347 and 388. Route 347 in San Marcos will now serve the Cal State San Marcos Sprinter station and the Barham Drive, Woodland Parkway and West Valley Parkway areas, and will have revised weekday-only operating hours.
A decrease in revenues derived from sales tax and significantly reduced transit assistance from the state of California has forced NCTD to reduce service levels in order to balance the budget. NCTD faces ongoing budget challenges, as the state of California is considering the permanent elimination of State Transit Assistance funding.
“We recognize that everyone is being impacted in some way by the downturn in the economy and that our services are a lifeline that connect many of our customers to jobs, educational opportunities and medical facilities,” NCTD Executive Director Matthew Tucker said. “Over the next few months, NCTD will be assessing our current operations to determine how to better deliver vital transportation services to all of our customers in light of the current budget situation.”
Breeze service from the Escondido Transit Center north to Pala is now expanded into a bidirectional loop via routes 388 and the new 389 with departures from Escondido every hour. Route 388 travels counter-clockwise using State Route-76 via Valley Center to reach Pala, while 389 travels clockwise along Interstate-15 to reach Pala in approximately 35 minutes.
The one-year demonstration service is funded by a federal 5311 (c) Tribal Transit grant received by the Reservation Transportation Authority, or RTA. The objective of this program is to increase the accessibility of tribal nations to the transit network, either by enhancing existing services or creating new service. The RTA, on behalf of the tribes in San Diego, applied for this funding based on a comprehensive analysis of the transit gaps conducted by SANDAG, in collaboration with NCTD and the Metropolitan Transit System. Grant monies expand the total number of trips serving these areas from six to 16 each day. This enhanced service now connects transit passengers to the San Pasqual (Valley View), Rincon, and Pala reservations.
“NCTD is pleased to work with the RTA to improve service to Pala and our North County reservations,” Tucker said. “This partnership reduces travel times and provides more trips to tribal employment centers.”
Complete schedule and route information is available on every Breeze bus and complete Coaster, Sprinter and Breeze schedules are available at www.gonctd.com.