Nature Lover? Hiker? Get Your Kicks On Route 88, the New Transit-to-Trails Bus Service Starting Saturday

New shuttle-bus route takes you from bustling downtown Pasadena to Altadena’s hiking trails

Published : Wednesday, April 4, 2018 | 4:46 AM

San Gabriel Valley city dwellers and nature lovers alike will now have a dedicated, easy-to-access mode of transportation to help them get to the winding trails in Altadena’s foothills and the larger Angeles National Forest.

Route 88, a brand new transit-to-trails bus line, launches its pilot service connecting the Metro Gold Line at Memorial Park Station with the Sam Merrill Trailhead in Altadena on April 7.

It will be the first fixed-route bus service connecting the region’s transit system to local trails.

To celebrate the launch of the route, an event will be held at Memorial Park at 9 a.m. on April 7 and will feature guest speakers Pasadena Mayor Terry Tornek and Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

“This exciting partnership expands access to open space recreation and provides another option to improve regional transit connectivity for our residents in the Altadena community,” said LA County Supervisor Kathryn Barger.

The Board of Supervisors recently approved a motion by Barger to partner with the City of Pasadena, the Trust for Public Land, Edison International and the Wilderness Society to implement the six-month pilot bus service into the unincorporated Altadena area, according to a statement.

City officials said the Route 88 Pilot Service is designed to serve two important purposes: to provide a connection to recreational trails and the San Gabriel Mountains for residents of the San Gabriel Valley and beyond, and to also provide necessary transit connectivity to a portion of Altadena residents who do not currently have that available to them.

“This new service will provide a convenient transportation option to access this wonderful open space for the local and regional community. We are pleased to work with our partners on this project,” said Mayor Terry Tornek.

The new route takes you to the doorstep of the Sam Merrill Trailhead, one of the most popular trailheads in Los Angeles County.

“The route opens up options not only for visitors to the trail, but also to residents along the route in Altadena and Pasadena. It brings Pasadena one step closer to its goal of being a city where residents and visitors can travel without a car, but also because the route connects to the Metro Gold Line it opens up regional access to the trail and destinations along the route,” said City of Pasadena spokesperson Lisa Derderian.

Pasadena Transit Route 88 will use clean fuel Compressed Natural Gas
buses and serve stops along the route with an estimated travel time of 23 minutes.

“Supervisor Barger, Mayor Tornek and their staff have made this process easy and are committing real money to make this project a success! We’re interested in working with more cities and municipalities to see this type of innovative program serve more communities,” said Daniel Rossman California Deputy Director with the Wilderness Society, a Nature for All Coalition member.

Arranging a day trip in the foothills above Pasadena has never been more affordable.

The fare for a regular one way ride is only $0.75, with discounts for seniors/disabled and youth, and can be paid in cash or with the balance on your Metro TAP card.

“Currently, the trailhead is not directly accessible via transit and parking at the area is quite congested,” according to Derderian.

“While we make your transportation easy, don’t forget to pack ample water and some snacks for your trek up the mountain, remember to pack out whatever you pack in and hike safely,” said Derderian.

“It’s not every day that you get an opportunity to bring together such a great partnership of government agencies, non-profits, and community stakeholders. I think this is an outside-of-box approach to address mobility and recreational access needs, and it’s an endeavor that I jumped at the chance to be a part of,” said Barger.

This route is a demonstration project and will run through September 30, 2018.

Buses will leave every half hour from the northbound Raymond and Holly bus stop between 7:05 a.m. to 4:35 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. The last bus will depart from the Trailhead at 5 p.m. For more route or schedule information call 626-744- 4055 or visit