Students board the Kanan Shuttle after school. The shuttle will be expanding the number of stops it will make in an effort to alleviate crowding (Vaishnavi Ramprasad/Talon).

Kanan Shuttle to add shuttle stops

Stops to be added 'in the Agoura Hills area'

August 31, 2017

The Kanan Shuttle, a public bus service, is adding new stops throughout Oak Park, after the Municipal Advisory Council decided to increase the number of shuttle stops Jan. 24, 2017. Since August 2013, the Kanan Shuttle has transported students and residents throughout the Oak Park and Agoura Hills area.

“The popularity of the Kanan Shuttle is due to its simple loop route up and down Kanan Road — from the 101 Freeway through the communities of Agoura Hills and Oak Park — the short wait times and, of course, because it’s free,” Ventura County supervisor Linda Parks said in a March 2015 press release.

Students are the majority users of the service, with more than 66 percent of respondents stating they use the shuttle for school purposes, according to a survey conducted by the Municipal Advisory Council.

Because of the need for student transportation, the Shuttle soared in popularity, far exceeding the 200 riders per day estimate provided by the municipal office. The popularity of the shuttle, however, is dependent on cost.

Any new stops will likely be added along the existing Kanan Shuttle route in the Agoura Hills Area.”

— Treena Gonzalez

“If it cost money, I would probably just walk to school,” sophomore Annie Nisnevich said.

Although the Kanan Shuttle was initially planned to be a paid transit service, the Municipal Advisory Council helped to allocate the necessary resources and funding to keep the service free and decrease traffic by reducing the number of cars on the road.

The capital needed for the Shuttle was provided through the Transportation Development Act. The Transportation Development Act, passed in 1971, requires the State of California to fund 80 percent of public transportation services, given that the other 20 percent is provided by another source.

The Oak Park Unified School District Board of Education voted to allocate $50,000 of funding to the Kanan Shuttle, given that the value would be matched by May 20, 2013. The other $50,000 was then provided by both the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and Oak Park Community Service Area #4.

Because this $100,000 goal was reached by the community, the State of California was able to send the remaining $400,000.

Since then, the shuttle has allowed for numerous students from Oak Park High School and Medea Creek Middle School to use the service as transport to and from school.

It’s a good idea, but I think [the shuttle’s] first concern should be to increase [the number of] buses or let people stand.”

— Grace Ma

Increased demand for the shuttle — leading to overcrowded buses during peak hours — led to a plan to place new stops throughout Oak Park. New stops would help reduce the number of passengers by providing new areas to stop closer to their desired destination.

“Any new stops will likely be added along the existing Kanan Shuttle route in the Agoura Hills Area,” Treena Gonzales, a representative from the Shuttle Transportation Center, said.

Some riders disagree with the Shuttle’s response to increasing demand.

“It’s a good idea, but I think [the shuttle’s] first concern should be to increase [the number of] buses or let people stand,” junior Grace Ma said. “The middle schoolers are vicious when it comes to getting a seat on the bus and it can be frustrating if you can’t get a seat when you’re really tired and just want to go home.”

However, this move to reduce traffic has gained support from several other shuttle riders, including junior Saaketh Pakanati.

“It’s great. The shuttle expansion allows more people to access the shuttle,” Pakanati said. “[It] allows the people currently using it more freedom in choosing where they can stop.”

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