[Kern County] Kern's grand jury calls for improvements in Kern Transit, bicycle path systems

The Kern County grand jury thinks Kern Transit, the countywide bus and van service, needs to do a better job of selling itself to the public.

Kern Transit serves 27 communities in unincorporated Kern County with 16 fixed bus routes that link many of the most remote places in its 8,163 square miles to Bakersfield and the Metrolink in Los Angeles County.

The Kern County grand jury gathered biographical data on the service, which also runs the Dial-A-Ride call-in service.

The grand jury’s Administration, Audit and County Services Committee suggested in a report released Thursday that the public doesn’t know enough about the various routes available to link them to other parts of the county.

Committee members recommended a public service announcement campaign to help augment the service’s ridership.

The service provides transportation for special events as well.

Kern Transit’s Facebook page is currently touting its connections to the Kern River Valley for riders heading to the Whiskey Flats Days celebration along the upper Kern.

Grand jurors also recommended that Kern Transit develop an east county transportation hub in Mojave to facilitate transportation through the area.

As a sidebar to the grand Jury recommendations on Kern Transit, committee members also urged Kern County Public Works Director Craig Pope to continue to apply for grants to help expand the network of bicycle lanes and pathways in and around the Bakersfield.

Over the past 10 years, the grand jury wrote, the county has spent $46.4 million on pedestrian and bike paths in the county but more are needed.

February 15, 2018

The Bakersfield Californian