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Foothill Transit Celebrates 35 Years

Foothill Transit CEO Doran Barnes credits their successes to a "commitment to community," a "spirit of innovation," and fruitful collaborations with numerous partners

Photo via Foothill Transit

Back in 1988, San Gabriel Valley cities banded together in an attempt to stave off what they saw as disproportionate cuts to Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD - a predecessor to Metro) bus service. They formed Foothill Transit as a more nimble, more efficient, more responsive agency to serve L.A. County's San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys.

Foothill Transit now operates a fleet of 359 buses on 37 bus lines serving more than 25,000 weekday daily riders - growing back toward the 42,000 daily riders served prior to the pandemic.

Foothill Transit's anniversary celebration took place under a large tent in their office parking lot

Today, in the shadows of its West Covina offices, Foothill Transit celebrated the agency's 35th anniversary.

Foothill Transit has been a leader in zero-emission bus technology. They were an early leader on electric buses, which they continue to operate. When battery electric vehicles experienced reliability issues, Foothill shifted to hydrogen fuel cell-powered buses. They now operate the largest fuel cell bus fleet (33 buses) in North America. Foothill also has 24 new double-deck zero emission buses on the way. (The bulk of Foothill's fleet runs on compressed natural gas.)

This year, Foothill celebrated opening a new transit center at Mount San Antonio College (Mt. SAC), and is currently working on a similar project at Cal Poly Pomona.

Today's festivities included glowing speeches by a who's who of San Gabriel Valley dignitaries, from Congressmember Judy Chu and State Senator Susan Rubio, to dozens of city officials, all congratulating Foothill Transit on their accomplishments.

Foothill Transit CEO Doran Barnes at the agency's 35th anniversary celebration today

Foothill Transit CEO Doran Barnes credited Foothill's successes to a "commitment to community," a "spirit of innovation," and to fruitful collaborations with numerous partners.

Speakers credited Foothill for being nimble in its operations; Barnes acknowledged this strength, mentioning that "blessed are the flexible" is a sort of unofficial agency slogan.

State Senator Rubio acknowledges numerous Foothill Transit boardmembers during today's festivities
Foothill Transit 35th anniversary commemorative schwag: TAP cards, mugs, and (not pictured) pins

In celebration of 35 years, Foothill Transit will be giving 35 free preloaded ten-trip passes on its 35th anniversary commemorative TAP cards. To enter the giveaway contest, sign-up online.

Streetsblog’s San Gabriel Valley coverage is supported by Foothill Transit, offering car-free travel throughout the San Gabriel Valley with connections to the Gold Line Stations across the Foothills and Commuter Express lines traveling into the heart of downtown L.A. To plan your trip, visit Foothill Transit. “Foothill Transit. Going Good Places.” Sign-up for our SGV Connect Newsletter, coming to your inbox on Fridays!

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