On June 6, the Clovis City Council met, and one of their items of discussion was to renew their agreement with FAX (Fresno Area Express) which has a single bus line enter the city limits to reach a transfer center at Sierra Vista Mall.
As I’ve been discussing, Fresno has a very mediocre bus system, but Clovis, which operates their own system, has an absolutely terrible one. A grand total of two and a half bus lines, operating Monday-Saturday, 6am-6pm, once an hour.
So Clovis pays FAX to extend route 9 into the city to allow people to transfer between systems. It makes sense, as the cities flow into each other, and having no connection between the two transit systems would be ludicrous (it’s already wasteful enough to operate two independent systems). It also helps Clovis, as it allows shoppers and workers to reach Sierra Vista Mall, which houses a movie theater, Sears, Kohls, and various standard mall shops like Victoria’s Secret, and Gamestop, and a good dozen restaurants.
This is what Clovis pays for:
The City of Clovis pays for the operation of FAX Route 9 on Shaw at thirty-minute intervals running consistently to the Sierra Vista Mall, Monday through Friday from 6:15 a.m. to 8:25 p.m. FAX Saturday and Sunday service on Route 9 provides service to the Sierra Vista Mall on thirty-minute intervals from 8:15 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
So this year, FAX said that the service will cost 1.3% less, because of saving on their end, down to $213,955.20.
So Clovis saves a grand total of around $3,000 a year. Not much, not at all, but it’s something. Better than nothing.
So what can $3,000 a year in saving pay for? Well, assuming the numbers in the council document are all correct (and my math),
(Found here: http://www.cityofclovis.com/Government/PublicDocuments/Documents/Agenda20110606/CC-E-3.pdf )
then the city could pay for one additional bus trip every Saturday and Sunday, for the entire year.
That way, instead of providing bus service on weekends from 755 a.m. to 3:25 p.m., service could be extended to 3:55pm on weekends (as the bus operates every 30 minutes). That’s a tiny bit more useful.
And the increase in service could have been done without spending a single additional cent.
Staff has analyzed the recommendation for the regional fixed-route transit services operated by FAX for F& 11-12 and have concluded that maintaining the same hours for service as FY 10-1 1 would reasonably meet the needs of the community.
Yeah, because everyone is finished with their day by 3:25pm.
Quite the missed opportunity, but it’s par for the course in this region.