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SANTA BARBARA—Effective Monday, April 25, 2022, Santa Barbara MTD will be temporarily lowering service levels in order to improve system reliability. During the COVID-19 pandemic, transit operators nationwide and many other industries have experienced workforce shortages, and MTD is no different. While MTD continues to recruit aggressively for bus operators, the agency has experienced a confluence of retirements and normal attrition causing a drop in the number of available bus operators. This drop coupled with the Omicron surge has meant that various bus trips are occasionally cancelled, causing uncertainty for passengers.
In order to adjust service to a level that the MTD workforce can reliably cover on a daily basis, MTD staff have made surgical changes to service levels that will go into effect as of Monday, April 25, 2022. While these reductions are designed to last for the spring and summer period, MTD will notify the public about any future service adjustments.
“The reliability of our schedules is crucial and due to the current labor shortage the temporary reduction of service is a necessary step,” said MTD General Manager Jerry Estrada. “We hope that these temporary reductions will allow us the time to staff up appropriately and return to higher levels of service later this year.”
The changes are different for each bus line, so passengers are encouraged to review the schedules of the lines they ride in advance of April 25, 2022. Temporary schedule guides are being printed and hard copies will be available at the Transit Center and on-board buses by next week. In the meantime, a pdf of the new schedule guide is available at this link and the public can get further details at sbmtd.gov/reduced. The table on page 2 of this press release describes changes for each bus line.
|Summary of Temporary Service Reductions|
|Route||What is changing?|
|Line 1 (West SB)||Reducing weekday PM peak headways from 10 minutes to 15 minutes|
|Line 2 (East SB)||Reducing weekday PM peak headways from 10 minutes to 15 minutes|
|Line 3 (Oak Park)||No reduction in service.|
|Line 4 (Mesa/SBCC)||No reduction in service.|
|Line 5 (Mesa/La Cumbre)||Reduced span of service and frequency on weekdays.|
|Line 6 (Goleta)||Reducing combined Lines 6 & 11 weekday AM and PM peak headways from 10 minutes to 15 minutes|
|Line 7 (Goleta Old Town)||No reduction in service.|
|Line 10 (Cathedral Oaks)||Service to remain suspended.|
|Line 11 (UCSB)||Reducing combined Lines 6 & 11 weekday AM and PM peak headways from 10 minutes to 15 minutes|
|Line 12x (Goleta Express)||Operating on Saturday service levels on weekdays|
|Line 14 (Montecito)||Reduced frequency on weekdays.|
|Line 15x (SBCC/UCSB Express)||Operating on a Limited Service schedule.|
|Line 16 (SBCC Shuttle)||Service temporarily suspended.|
|Line 17 (Lower West SB/SBCC)||No reduction in service.|
|Line 20 (Carpinteria)||Reduced frequency in weekday AM & PM peak from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, midday headways reduced from 40 minutes to 1 hour.|
|Line 23 (El Encanto Heights)||Small changes to weekday schedule times, no change to headways.|
|Line 24x (UCSB Express)||Reduced frequency on weekdays.|
|Line 25 (Ellwood/Winchester Canyon)||Small changes to weekday schedule times, no change to headways.|
|Line 27 (Isla Vista Shuttle)||Continuing to operate on UCSB Out schedule.|
|Line 28 (UCSB Shuttle)||Reduced weekday headways from 18 minutes to 36 minutes.|
|Lines 30 & 34 (Downtown/Waterfront Shuttle)||Service to remain suspended.|
|Line 36 (Seaside Shuttle)||Service to remain suspended.|
|Line 37 (Crosstown Shuttle)||Service to remain suspended.|
|Booster Services for Jr. Highs & High Schools||No reduction in service.|