Authorities Rethink Pasadena-Altadena 'Transit to Trail' Bus Route

Published : Thursday, September 13, 2018 | 5:01 AM

[Updated] A pilot program connecting the heart of Pasadena to the scenic trailheads of the Altadena foothills by a bus route may be nearing the end of the road.

Pasadena Transit Route 88, known as the “Transit to Trail” line, has run between the Memorial Park Gold Line Station to Altadena’s Sam Merrill Trail since April.

But the pilot program is set to sunset on Sept. 30, and Altadena Town Council, Pasadena and L.A. County officials say it will not be continuing in its current form.

While officials say the route has been well-used, it’s not been popular with everyone.

Largely in response to the complaints of some residents along Loma Alta Drive near Merrill Trail, authorities plan to discontinue the route and revisit the idea, Altadena Town Council Chair Okorie Ezieme said.

“The community wants to collaborate with other agencies to do a more comprehensive and thorough transportation assessment,” he said. “So we are in the process of establishing a committee that will look into that and then give Altadena what Altadena really wants. And this would be community involvement in collaboration with everybody else.”

In addition to complaints about noise from the buses and worries over property values, some residents feel there wasn’t enough community input before the plan was put into action.

Pasadena interim spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said once the pilot program runs its course at the end of the month, it “more than likely will not continue in the same manner.”

But the idea, in general, is not dead.

“We will review and formulate how it will be done. There is a need and we know that the population is growing and everything is growing. People need access to our beautiful mountains. We can’t stop that,” Ezieme said. “One way or the other, it’s going to happen. So it’s just a question of how do we make it work to where the challenges are all accounted for.”

L.A. County Transportation Deputy David Perry said the County is ready to work with all involved parties on a solution.

“But as far as what comes next after the pilot, it’s really unknown,” he said. “The Supervisor is still very much committed to expanding the vital transit connections she was attempting to do with the original pilot, but we’re in the process of still processing the input that was received.”

More community dialogue will take place before any new plan gets implemented, Perry said.

But it’s clear that a route, in some form, is wanted and needed.

“There is a demand that they want transit connections. So the Supervisor is committed to trying to find a route that makes as many people happy as possible,” he said.

Ezieme said the Altadena Town Council is seeking people interested in taking part in an ad hoc committee to study transportation ideas.

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