BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Golden Empire Transit is expanding its services to serve more of the Bakersfield community including students at California State University Bakersfield, non-students, and the under-served community.
With the help of a partnership with Stantec Architecture Inc. and CSUB, this project became a reality.
The new transit center at CSUB was completed and recently started in early April.
This center will allow for more accessibility for students and faculty on campus and non-students will be able to take the bus for events on CSUB's campus. 23ABC did speak with Patrick M. McKelvey, a senior principal based in Stantec’s Los Angeles office, on the effects this project would have on the community.
"The impact on the community is going to be significant. Working closely with Karen King, Executive Director, and the Board at Golden Empire Transit, they understood the need for services to expand to the southwest area of Bakersfield. This transit center
\is going to be a great connector for people that live there, but need to get to other regions all over the Bakersfield area," said McKelvey.
For years, GET has provided bus service to CSUB. The GET buses have been a prominent sight on the circle on Don Hart Drive West. As Bakersfield development has expanded to the southwest, GET has also expanded its service to the campus and the previous bus transfer area was not adequate to accommodate the expanded service.
McKelvey went on to say this project expanded capabilities and service. Prior to this expansion, only two buses were able to provide transfer in a safe manner, and couldn't provide proper safety and access for people with disabilities. In addition, the transit center incorporated many environmentally sensitive features, including energy
-efficient LED lighting and low water usage landscape materials.
McKelvey stated, “The increased use of transit services is intrinsically environmentally sensitive by getting vehicles off the street and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.”
Now, six buses operate from this transit location, providing increased safety for those community members and students that need it. While the partnership with Stantec began in 2016, this project has been in the works since 2010.
With the selection of the west side of Don Hart Drive West, we were able to begin design, seek funding, and jointly plan for a state-of-the-art bus transit facility on the campus.
This new location now serves as a central transit hub for GET patrons to transfer from one bus line to another, providing better access to southwest Bakersfield.
The new transit center also accommodates growth at the same time facilitating these transfers. Not only will GET use the facility, but Kern Transit will use the facility to bring students from neighboring communities to the campus.
This project ultimately improves access to the campus for students, staff, and faculty, facilitates active transportation, integrating pedestrian, bicycle, and bus improvements, and provides safe transfers to Kern Transit."