Pasadena’s New “Transit-to-Trails” Route 88 Bus Service Proves Successful, Transports Over 600 Riders Per Weekend

 Hikers from the Sierra Club and CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Foundation take newly opened Route 88 Pasadena Transit from downtown Pasadena to the Sam Merrill Trailhead on North Lake Avenue in Altadena.Roberto Morales from the Sierra Club explains the different trails at the Cobb EstateRoberto Morales from the Sierra Club points out poison oak to his hikers.Roberto Morales from the Sierra Club leads his hikers on a short hike through the San Gabriel MountainsHikers from the Sierra Club and CAA (Creative Artists Agency) Foundation start the Sam Merrill trail.Hikers take in the view of the San Gabriel ValleyThe newly opened Route 88 Pasadena Transit waits for hikers at the Memorial Park Station on North Raymond Ave in Pasadena.Roberto Morales from the Sierra Club takes the newly opened Route 88 Pasadena Transit at the Memorial Park StationRoberto Morales from the Sierra Club leads his hikers on a short hike through the San Gabriel MountainsThe newly opened Route 88 Pasadena Transit waits for hikers at the Cobb Estates on North Lake in Altadena

5:15 am | June 18, 2018

Pasadena Transit’s new Route 88, which has been operating on weekends on a demo basis since April 7, has served about 5,106 passengers between April and May, most of them hikers and nature lovers who are taking advantage of the new connection to the winding recreational trails in Altadena’s foothills and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Preliminary data from the Pasadena Department of Transportation showed the service, which operates on Saturdays and Sundays, carried an average of 638 passengers per weekend during the 16 days it had been operating since April.

The department said 84 percent of the ridership comes from bus stops in Pasadena and 16 percent from Altadena.

When the route opened in April, Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Mayor Terry Tornek, other City officials and representatives from other supporting partners said they saw the route as an important step for people who had been waiting for public transit access to the trailheads of the foothills and the larger Angeles National Forest.

Before this service, hikers and nature lovers had to drive up to the trailhead, oftentimes causing congestion in the few available parking areas.

Now, travel time from the farthest stop on the route is about 23 minutes on buses that use only clean compressed natural gas.

Fare for a regular one-way ride is 75 cents, which can be paid in cash or from the balance of your Metro TAP card, and discounts are provided for seniors, youth, and disabled persons.

“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,” Supervisor Barger said during the service’s launch in April. “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.”

The County of Los Angeles is funding four of the six months of the service. The Trust for Public Land obtained a grant from Edison International to support one month of operations and marketing support, and the City of Pasadena is paying for one month of the service.

Each month of the operation is estimated to cost about $12,000, according to a memorandum by Transportation Director Frederick Dock.

About one-third of the ridership is at the Raymond Avenue/Holly Street bus stop serving the Memorial Park Gold Line station. Nearly half of the route’s ridership is along the North Fair Oaks Avenue corridor in Pasadena, particularly at Orange Grove Blvd., Washington Blvd., and at Woodbury Road, the data showed.

The Route 88 demo service is planned to operate for six months, or until September 30 – unless the County Board of Supervisors decides to fund an extension.

For more information about the service, visit the Pasadena Transit page,, or call (626) 744-4055.