SANTA MARIA, Calif. - The Santa Maria Regional Transit will be offering free bus rides to the public on Thursday and Friday this week, hoping families and students can try out the new school-based bus routes as the new school year begins.
“Many of our routes go right in front of the school, have arrival and departure times so they can get to school before school starts and can leave the site school ends," said Santa Maria Transit Manager, Gamaliel Anguiano.
The updated bus routes for the city include stops at or near local junior highs and high schools.
“This is the first school year with the fully deployed new route structure and so this is a great time for families and students to try public transit if they haven’t before," said Anguiano.
Righetti, St Joseph's, Santa Maria, and Pioneer Valley high schools are included in the updated bus routes.
There will also be stops near junior highs like Fesler, Tommy Kunst, and Lakeview junior highs.
“Traffic is still an issue, especially around school sites, as many people try to converge on one location. It’s difficult but when we share the ride, as we do on public transit, it helps alleviate a lot of that pressure," said Anguiano.
The 2022-2023 school year will be the first year of school with the now updated bus routes.
Students will also get discounts on bus passes with their student IDs.