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Kern Transit Free Fares Helping Residents Traverse County

Using grant money Kern Transit is getting rid of fares for multiple routes until June of 2024.
Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 18, 2023
  • Using money from a grant, Kern Transit is offering multiple routes for free until June 2024
  • These routes include route 150, Bakersfield to Lake Isabella, Route 130, from Bakersfield to Santa Clarita, and Route 220 from Lake Isabella and Kernville.
  • Kern Transit has also announced that all routes will be free for everyone for the month of December.
  • All routes are currently free for students to ride and will be until 2024.


“It’s a really great service ya know, you can’t beat it,” Frank Starbuck said.

Starbuck is a Lake Isabella resident who got comfortable riding the Kern Transit bus to his hospital appointments during a time when he had cancer.

“I took the bus in, then I meet with the medical buses here and they take me to my appointments and then they pick me up.”

Starbuck isn’t coming down to Bakersfield five times a week anymore to receive treatments, but he still uses the free Medical Dial-A-Ride system when he has an appointment.

Using this service, residents can arrange to have a Kern Transit bus take you from the Downton GET Station to your medical appointment and back when your appointment is complete.

“If they didn’t have the medical service coming down where I can connect in here, I don't know how I'd make a lot of my appointments.”

Now part of the free fare event, Starbuck rides to Bakersfield from Lake Isabella completely free, one of three routes that are now being offered for no charge.

“Route 130 goes from Bakersfield to Santa Clarita, route 150 goes from Bakersfield to Lake Isabella and Route 220 goes from Lake Isabella to Kernville,” said Alexis Kolosky, Public Works Manager with Kern County Public Works in the Kern Transit Division.

These routes will be free through June 30 of 2024 and for students all routes are free until then.

“You can be kindergarten through college or vocational school, as long as you have a student ID all routes are free,” said Kolosky.

According to Kern County Public Works, students have benefitted from roughly 20,000 free trips in 2023.

Kern Transit is making all fares free for everyone in December.

Kolosky told me the free fares were made possible by an LCTOP (Low Carbon Transmission Operations Program) Grant which was awarded by Caltrans. The grant is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get more people riding on buses.

The destinations extend from Delano to Santa Clarita, Taft to Ridgecrest.

Starbuck says he encourages others to check out the service.

“It’s just more convenient, it’s a lot cheaper, for the amount I have to pay when they are charging, you still couldn’t beat it.”

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