Victor Valley Transit Authority officials celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary with a ceremony highlighting the organization’s service to the High Desert.
The event was held Friday morning at the agency’s headquarters on Smoke Tree Street in Hesperia.
CEO Nancie Goff said that three decades ago, “a vision was born” that included a transit system that would connect communities.
“Today, we gather here to commemorate the realization of that vision,” Goff said. “Over the decades, we’ve evolved to meet the needs of our riders, from expanding our services to introducing innovating technology.”
With the backdrop of a special anniversary bus emblazoned with “Celebrating with our riders for 30 years,” the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors honored the transit authority with a proclamation: Every Oct. 20, for the next 5 years, will be known as “Victor Valley Transit Day.”
Services expand beyond Victor Valley
Transit authority Board Chair Elizabeth “Liz” Becerra remembered a time before Victor Valley Transit Authority. Residents without vehicles either walked, rode a bike, or hitched a ride to get around town, Becerra said.
“The city decided to go regional so Victorville Transit took over and began serving areas like Hesperia, Phelan, Lucerne Valley and Apple Valley,” she said.
Prior to the transit authority, the city operated public transportation.
“(Victor Valley Transit Authority) has expanded along with the High Desert,” she said. “We’re no longer a small town area with a small bus system. Our buses go beyond the Victor Valley, we go as far as Barstow and San Bernardino.”
Charlene Lee Lorenzo, Federal Transit Administration Region 9 senior director, praised Victor Valley Transit Authority’s staff, operators, mechanics and employees who work behind the scenes.
Lorenzo stated that transit authority’s diverse fleet continues to serve residents with its compressed natural gas, electric, and soon-to-be-introduced hydrogen-fueled vehicles.
In addition to a more eco-friendly transit system, the authority has also worked to keep riders safe during their commutes.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Capt. Ken Lutz said Victor Valley Transit Authority has built a bridge connecting law enforcement and public transportation to serve the area. In June, sheriff’s deputies began riding buses to enhance safety for passengers and drivers.
The team is composed of one sergeant and four deputies. Deputies ride buses and monitor bus stops and the Victor Valley Transit Center located on D Street in downtown Victorville.
“Cultivating a steadfast partnership between Victor Valley Transit and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, we embark on a shared mission to forge meaningful connections within our community,” Goff has stated. “With every interaction, we aim to educate and inform riders, while enhancing the overall safety and security of our public transportation system.”
- Expansion of Services: VVTA has continually expanded its services, covering a wide range of routes to accommodate the needs of residents, including fixed routes, commuter services, VanPool, ADA paratransit, and Micro-Link, Victor Valley Transit’s micro-transit service.
- Modernization: VVTA has embraced technological advancements, incorporating innovations such as real-time tracking, mobile apps, and contactless payment options to improve the passenger experience.
- Environmental initiatives: VVTA has been committed to reducing its environmental footprint by incorporating cleaner and more sustainable transportation solutions into its fleet, including Battery Electric Buses.
- Community engagement: The authority has fostered strong ties with the local community through outreach programs, partnerships with schools, nonprofit agencies, and participation in community events.
- Accessibility: VVTA has worked to ensure that public transportation is accessible to all residents, including those with disabilities or special needs.