A few years ago, I made a post about how Bakersfield was planning to bulldoze a neighborhood to build yet another freeway. I am rarely in Bakersfield, so in those 5 years, I didn’t really follow the project, aside from knowing it was chugging along. (I actually did stop in Bakersfield in August for dinner, coming back from Six Flags, but didn’t explore). Usually, big infrastructure projects take years to happen. At the time, Bakersfield was looking at alternative routes. If it takes Fresno 10 years to build improved bus stops, Boston 30 years to extend a trolley route, and NYC 60 years to add a subway station, surely things in Bakersfield would move slowly. Demolishing an existing neighborhood is no small feat.
With the recent launch of the new “Q” bus service in Fresno, many articles have been asking if this will stop the decline in bus ridership. However, I have yet to see any article actually talk about numbers. What has the decline been? How long has it been happening? Well, let’s solve that mystery and dive right in!
I last looked at ridership in July 2015. That post was titled “7 years of decline.” Unfortunately, it hasn’t gotten better.
We begin with the big picture: Ridership by month on Fresno’s bus system, FAX, from July 2005 to December 2017. These numbers are for regular buses only, not including para-transit. Clovis, which operates its own system, is also not included.
Hopefully, you’ve noticed some minor changes to this website. Although minor is somewhat major considered I haven’t changed anything since I launched back in 2011.
Basically, a year or so into doing this blog, I decided I should probably get a custom URL instead of stopandmove.blogspot.com . Unfortunately, someone already owned www.stopandmove.com . They weren’t actually doing anything – it led to a page advertising the company that sold the URL – but they sat on it for YEARS. Every once in awhile I’d check, and sure enough, no changes to the ownership.
What’s the best time to let people know you’re making some major changes to bus routes? If you’re FAX, Fresno’s bus system, the answer appears to be “the day of.”
On Monday February 19, Q launches, which is Fresno’s new rapid bus service on Blackstone and Kings Canyon (recent construction photos here). The route was chosen because it covers two of the busiest transit corridors. Naturally, those corridors have existing bus services, which will change once the new system is introduced.
Paris got real-time bus tracking in 1996. In the United States, NextBus launched in Emeryville in 1999. In the Central Valley, tiny Visalia adopted the technology in 2011.
And now in 2018, finally, Fresno’s bus system has real-time bus tracking!
This is incredibly important because it makes riding the bus predictable. No more standing in the heat wondering if your bus is late…or if it came early and you missed it!
As far as I can tell, they haven’t advertised this feature. No press release, nothing on the website. I didn’t even notice it myself, but it was pointed out to me by Joe in the comments. Thanks Joe!
I was not able to attend the meeting last week, but I did get a hold of the presentation. As a reminder:
The City is interested in hearing from residents, business owners, special interest groups, and any other parties on the draft plan. The proposed project is intended to focus on the need, feasibility, and future development of a Class I trail/pedestrian bridge along the Enterprise Canal, extending south of Owens Mountain Parkway, and over State Route 168, which will serve to link the commercial, residential, Clovis Community Medical Center Complex, and business campuses in the immediate area.
A bit late notice, but looks like Clovis is finally moving forward with plans on connecting the trails near Clovis Community Hospital, which are separated by CA-168.
Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Location: Miss Winkles Pet Adoption Center
85 N Temperance Ave, Clovis, CA 93611
The City is interested in hearing from residents, business owners, special interest groups, and any
other parties on the draft plan. The proposed project is intended to focus on the need, feasibility,
and future development of a Class I trail/pedestrian bridge along the Enterprise Canal, extending
south of Owens Mountain Parkway, and over State Route 168, which will serve to link the
commercial, residential, Clovis Community Medical Center Complex, and business campuses in
the immediate area.
I love food halls, or em, an “artisan food community”. I’ve enjoyed them in Los Angeles, Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. So naturally, I was excited when one was announced for Fresno back in September 2016. Especially because the location was to be inside the Manchester Center Mall.
The plans include a new mall entrance, a redesigned facade with signage, a marketplace or “artisan food community” for chefs, food trucks and restaurants, an exterior shopping area and an outdoor events plaza.
Fresno’s new fake “BRT” (bus rapid transit) line, branded as “Q” is set to open Fall of 2017. Well, that’s what the website says.
Construction Kickoff: June 2016
Launch: Fall 2017
In reality, the bus line was delayed yet again to February or March of this year (originally, it was expected way back in 2012).
Posting updates about Google Maps satellite imagery in the Fresno region used to be a frequent topic on this blog. Thanks to the lack of clouds for half the year, Fresno was lucky in that new images were posted about twice a year, compared to some more populated area that only got an update every other year – or even less frequently. Basically, to provide the images, a satellite has to take hundreds of pictures, and then they are all blended together automatically to reveal a seamless image without clouds in the way. Since Fresno has so many clear days, it’s much easier to get the shots.