GET Offers Free Rides due to Air Quality

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
661.869.6307
661.549.9261

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Providing Free Rides Due to Air Quality

Bakersfield, CA —Golden Empire Transit District (GET) will provide free rides Friday, August 16, 2019 due to an Air Quality Index (AQI) of 154. Bakersfield residents are encouraged to ride GET fixed-routes and GET-A-Lift all day, free of charge!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the AQI focuses on health effects a person may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The EPA calculates the AQI for five major air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act: Ground-level ozone, particle pollution, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. An AQI over 150 is considered unhealthy and potentially hazardous to the general population.

“GET is committed to the environment and exceptional customer service,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO. “Today we invite you to leave your cars parked and ride GET for free, all day, to avoid additional air pollution and to protect your health.” In 2018, GET provided four days of free public transit to Bakersfield residents. Higher temperatures accelerate the chemical reactions that form air pollutants.

Residents are encouraged to download the free San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District app to monitor air quality. The app is available for free on the App Store (Valley Air District) and Google Play (Valley Air). This is the official app of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District which monitors the AQI for the region.

Funding for AQI free rides on GET’s fixed-route and Get-A-Lift services is provided by a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality (CMAQ) grant. The CMAQ program is a flexible federal‐aid funding source for transportation projects that reduce traffic congestion and improve air quality, specifically for the pollutants ozone, carbon monoxide and particulate matter. Within this general purpose, the program can fund a wide variety of projects, each project meeting three basic criteria: it must be a transportation project, it should generate an emissions reduction, and it should be located in or benefit a nonattainment or maintenance area.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

GET offers Loyalty Program to RYDERS

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 14, 2019

Golden Empire Transit District Offers Loyalty Program to “RYDERS”

Bakersfield, CA — The Golden Empire Transit District (GET) on-demand pilot project (RYDE) had its highest single-day ridership to-date on Wednesday, August 7, with 110 custom “RYDES” taken. A total of 2,109 “RYDES” were taken in southwest Bakersfield during the fourth month of the nine-month pilot, bringing the total number of “RYDES” provided since the service’s April 7, 2019, launch to 5,571.

As popularity of the service continues to grow, GET is offering a loyalty punch card for RYDE users offering one free custom trip after ten paid “RYDES.” Customers can pick up the RYDE loyalty card onboard any RYDE vehicle.

“Residents realize that RYDE is more affordable than Uber or Lyft, which is making this program very popular with those who rely on ride-hailing services,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO. “What sets RYDE apart from the competition is that trips are only $3.50 and all of the drivers are professionally trained.” Bakersfield residents in the southwest area have been using RYDE to travel for school, work, and pleasure. GET will continue to monitor the use of RYDE to determine possible service area expansions in the next year.

Customers can book a RYDE using the Microtransit app or by calling GET at 661.869.6380. “Booking a RYDE using the Microtransit app is currently the most popular way for customers to book a ride,” said King, who would also like to remind customers that they can catch a RYDE simply by approaching a RYDE vehicle and telling the driver where they would like to travel. RYDE is available in southwest Bakersfield (generally defined by Hwy 99, Panama Ln, Old River Rd, and Rosedale Hwy).

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

GET Reading Express Book Drive

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 7, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Reading Express Book Drive

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District (GET) will be hosting a community-wide book drive to promote literacy among young children in the Bakersfield community and expand the Reading Express (GET’s on-board library program).

The Reading Express provides books on GET fixed-route buses for children to enjoy while riding with their parents. “We hope this book drive will improve the reading selection for our young riders and continue to promote a world of literacy on-board GET,” said Karen King, GET CEO. “GET employees, friends, and family members have been donating to the Reading Express, and now we’d like to invite the community to participate as well,” said King.

Residents are encouraged to donate new and gently used books for reading levels 0 through 3rd grade. Boxes for donations are located at the GET Headquarters at 1830 Golden State Avenue. GET is partnering with Barnes & Noble for a book fair on Saturday, August 24, and the District is looking to partner with other local bookstores to also collect donations.

GET launched the program in September 2008 with a grant from First 5 Kern. The Reading Express offers many benefits to GET’s youngest riders. It provides a way to reduce the stress of commuting while exposing kids to books and the world of literacy. It offers busy parents additional opportunities to interact positively with their children during their daily commutes, and it gives children who may not have books in the home easy access to them while going about their everyday activities. For more information about GET’s Reading Express, please visit www.getbus.org/rider-info/the-reading-express.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Golden Empire Transit Offers Half-Off Monthly Passes for Back to School

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 31, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Offers Half-Off Monthly Passes for Back to School

Bakersfield, CA — Back to school is here and Golden Empire Transit District (GET) wants to make it easy by offering monthly passes for half the cost! Between now and September 30, 2109, any new riders can pick up a Half-Off Pass (HOP) for just $21, which is 50% off the regular cost of a monthly pass.

The HOP Pass is funded by a grant from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (Valley Air District) as part of Valley Air District’s efforts to improve the health and quality of life for all Valley residents.

“The HOP Pass is a great way for students new to transit to become empowered with the ability to travel to and from school without worrying about securing a ride from friends or family members,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO. “Public transportation also helps students increase their independence, personal responsibility, and even self-esteem.”

First-time riders must verify their new rider eligibility with photo ID at the GET Administration office at 1830 Golden State Avenue or the Downtown Transit Center at 22nd/Eye in order to purchase the half-price monthly pass. A new rider is defined as someone who has been riding GET for less than six months or has never ridden before. The HOP Pass can be used on all GET routes and is ideal for transportation to and from school and after school activities.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

GET Bus Distributes 350 Bags of Food to Bakersfield Residents

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Distributes 350 Bags of Food to Bakersfield Residents

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District (GET) held its quarterly food distribution on July 19, 2019, with the help of Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Food Bank. 350 bags of food were distributed to thankful Bakersfield residents downtown behind the Self Help Federal Credit Union.

Distribution began at 9 a.m. and lasted until all food was given out to those in need. Excited individuals and families began lining up to receive non-perishable food at 6 a.m. CAPK Food Bank also provided produce and dairy products at the event. Self Help Credit Union, Clinica Sierra Vista, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA), Child Support Services, Garden Pathways, CityServe, United Way, Kern County Public Health, Catholic Charities, Kern County Department of Human Services, and Kern Family Healthcare provided free information and services at a Resource Fair held during the Food Distribution.

GET has hosted food distributions for several years as a way to give back to the community it serves. Last April, the District began increasing the amount of food distributed from 250 bags to 350. Those who received bags of food were extremely appreciative for the opportunity.

The District was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award at the Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Humanitarian Awards Banquet last May due in part to its continued and successful food distributions. “Our goal is to distribute food four times a year to impact the lives of people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from.” said GET CEO Karen King. “Thank you to all of the wonderful volunteers who made this distribution a record-breaking success.” The next food distribution will be in October 2019.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Golden Empire Transit Food Distribution to Be Held Tomorrow

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News Release

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 18, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Food Distribution to Be Held Tomorrow

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District (GET) will host its quarterly Food Distribution Friday morning, July 19. Much needed food will be distributed to Bakersfield residents behind the Self Help Federal Credit Union at 2100 H Street with the help of Community Action Partnership of Kern (CAPK) Food Bank.

“Distribution begins at 9:00 a.m., but individuals and families are welcome to begin lining up early,” said GET CEO Karen King. In addition to the nonperishable items, CAPK Food Bank will provide produce and dairy products. The Kern County Homeless Collaborative, Champions for Change, Bike Bakersfield, Planned Parenthood, Mexican American Opportunity Foundation (MAOF), Self Help Credit Union, New Arising Destiny Center (NADC), Clinica Sierra Vista, Greater Bakersfield Legal Assistance (GBLA), Black Infant Health Project, Child Support Services, Garden Pathways, and Kern Family Health will be providing free information and services at a Resource Fair held during the Food Distribution event.

GET’s April 2019 Food Distribution resulted in 350 bags of food distributed, 100 more than previous events. Friday’s Food Distribution is expected to be another record setting event to help residents in Bakersfield. “Our goal is to distribute food four times a year to impact the lives of people who don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” said King.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Golden Empire Transit Approves $39.1 Million Balanced Budget

NEWS RELEASE

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Approves $39.1 Million Balanced Budget

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District’s (GET) board of directors approved a budget of $39.1 million for the fiscal year 2019-2020. This achievement is a result of GET’s undertaking to deliver innovative, long-term, and sustainable transportation solutions to the residents of Kern County.

“This balanced budget is a huge milestone in maintaining our annual commitment to the community,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO. “This is a testament to our dedicated Board of Directors.”

The operating budget for the District anticipates revenues and expenses of $33.5 million. Primary sources of revenue include ridership fares, Federal Transit Administration funding, and State of California Transportation Development Act funding. As approved, the District’s capital budget for 2019-2020 of approximately $5.6 million is funded through a combination of federal, state, and local sources.

The budget went into effect July 1, 2019, and includes significant projects such as the following:

  • $1.2 million for the Southwest Transit Center renovation
  • $750,000 for eight new GET-A-Lift vehicles
  • $380,000 for remodel design plans for both the Downtown Transit Center and the Southwest Transit Center

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Golden Empire Transit Independence Day Service and Rules

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Independence Day Service and Rules

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District (GET) will operate on a holiday schedule on Thursday, July 4, Independence Day. GET would also like to remind residents that fireworks are not allowed on any GET bus.

“It is the policy of GET to help ensure the safety, security, comfort, and convenience of all those who use our services,” said Karen King, GET’s CEO regarding the rule prohibiting fireworks of any kind on the GET buses.

The District Office will be closed on Independence Day, but the Downtown Customer Service Center will be open and the customer service telephone line, 869-2GET (2438), will also be operational. GET routes 47, 81, 82, 83, 84 and X92 will not be in operation on July 4.

Additionally, the RYDE service in southwest Bakersfield will operate on a weekend schedule (7 a.m. – 7 p.m.). Customers can book a RYDE from the Microtransit app or by calling 869-6380.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Golden Empire Transit Service Earns High Marks from the Community

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307
Cell: 661.549.9261

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 26, 2019

Golden Empire Transit Service Earns High Marks from the Community

Bakersfield, CA — Golden Empire Transit District (GET) recently completed its biennial Customer and Community Satisfaction Surveys. The results highlighted that 88 percent of current riders are either satisfied or extremely satisfied with the current service; a seven-percent increase since 2017. Additionally, 48 percent of respondents believe the GET service has improved over the past year; also, a seven-percent increase over 2017.

GET conducts surveys every two to three years to assess the satisfaction of current GET riders, identify areas for improvements, and determine the demographics of current riders to comply with Federal Title VI requirements.

The results were presented to the GET Board at its June 18 meeting. Cindy Parra, GET’s Chair of the Board, expressed her pleasure with the 2019 results, stating, “There are more positives than negatives in the report. This can be attributed to our [GET] staff’s efforts.”

Beyond its existing riders, GET also asked the community at-large a series of perception questions. More than 80 percent have a positive image of GET; more than 67 percent would support a dedicated sales tax supporting improving public transit in the Bakersfield Metropolitan area; and more than 93 percent believe public transit plays an important role in their community’s quality of life.

Among the characteristics of GET’s services that contributed to the satisfaction of its riders were the current fare structure or value for the money; the ease for riders to transfer between routes; reliability of the service; and the overall driver behavior and attitude towards customers.

“Our frontline employees tend to form strong connections with their passengers, particularly with those who ride our GET-A-Lift paratransit service,” King said. “Our customer service agents and bus operators are described by disabled and senior riders of GET-A-Lift as both compassionate and resourceful, and riders consider the service to be a life line.”

The Customer and Community Satisfaction Surveys were completed by Stantec Consulting Services Inc., which offered several recommendations to improve GET services for existing riders. Some of those include looking at expanding service hours, especially on weekends; continuing to improve service reliability and on-time performance; examining customer perception of long travel times and inconvenient transfers; and assessing cleanliness and safety at bus stops and transit centers.

As for the community at-large (also referred to as non-riders), Stantec’s recommendations had a common theme: GET needs to find ways to improve its public image. Overall, there was a lack of awareness about GET as an agency. It is believed that if the community understood GET’s mission to make life better by connecting people to places one ride at a time it might lead to some new riders.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).

Temporary GET Bus Stop at CSUB

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FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Jill Smith
Office: 661.869.6307

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 21, 2019

Temporary GET Bus Stop at CSUB

Bakersfield, CA —Golden Empire Transit District (GET) announced there will be a temporary bus stop at Don Hart Drive East during construction at California State University – Bakersfield beginning June 24.

The GET bus stop will be moved from its current location at Don Hart Drive West to Don Hart Drive East during the construction of the future Transit Center at CSUB this summer. Construction is estimated to last through August 2019.

GET was formed in July 1973 and is the primary public transportation provider for the Bakersfield Urbanized Area. It is the largest public transit system within a 110-mile radius. The District’s legal boundary includes Bakersfield city limits as well as adjacent unincorporated areas. GET has a fleet of 90 compressed natural gas buses equipped with wheelchair lifts and bike racks. GET serves 16 routes, operating 7 days a week and transporting more than 6 million passengers each year with its fixed-route buses. In addition, GET operates 21 compressed natural gas GET-A-Lift buses. For more information, visit www.getbus.org or call 869.2GET (2438).