H-SANTA MARIA

Nov 7, 2013 6:37 PM by April Hansen, KSBY

SMAT hosts meetings for community input

The Santa Maria Transit System, or SMAT, is asking the community for feedback.

Transit leaders are meeting with residents to find out if the city's bus service needs improvement.

This is not the first time SMAT has held a meeting like this. Before the Transit Center opened in June of 2011, transit leaders met with the community several times and found out that more wanted direct service.

So they changed the bus routes, but that didn't go over well with some residents.

A local advocacy group called Working with Pueblo collected about 300 signed complaints from neighbors frustrated with the changes.

Another big complaint was the bus bay numbers. Riders said they didn't correspond with the bus routes, and some people thought it was confusing.

A month after the Transit Center opened, officials said ridership was down due to fewer stops, but city spokesman Mark van de Kamp says there have been several changes over the years to the routes that have helped improve numbers.

"We have really strong ridership. We are proud of that. In a year we'll have about a million riders. Of course a lot of those are repeats day after day, the regular riders. We serve about 100,000 riders a month on SMAT," said van de Kamp.

The Transit Center is at the southeast corner of East Boone and South Miller Streets.

The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Santa Maria Public Library.

If you can't be at the workshop, you can mail in your comments to the city or you can call SMAT directly.

City of Santa Maria
10 South Pine Street, Suite 221
Santa Maria, CA 93458

SMAT
(805) 925-0951 ext. 225

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