by Photo Courtesy FRED San Diego

The city of Chula Vista approved approximately $2 million in funding and grants for a free shuttle service targeting senior citizens that is anticipated to launch in as early as February of 2022. 

During the city council meeting on Oct. 12, the city of Chula Vista, in partnership with Circuit, a micro-transit solution, proposed a timeline for the implementation of the Chula Vista Community Shuttle program. Councilmember Jill Galvez was at the forefront of this initiative. 

“We are very confident this will improve the quality of life for many residents and seniors in the city of Chula Vista,” Chief Sustainability Officer Dennis Gakunga said. 

The city’s partnership with Circuit began in October 2020 when they applied for funding for an on-demand and all electric shuttle service for Clean Mobility Options Voucher pilot program (CMO). This program provides funding for zero emissions mobility options to under-resourced communities in California.  

Chula Vista was among 21 grant recipients and was awarded $997,833 through CMO in June 2021 to establish the Chula Vista Community Shuttle program in an effort to provide clean transportation for seniors in northwest Chula Vista. Circuit worked with the city to focus on a priority area utilizing results of the 2020 SANDAG Mobility Hub Assessment Surveys. 

According to Circuit’s Director of Operations and Business Development, Daniel Kramer, the  program is funded by California Climate Investments and administered by CalStart and Shared Use Mobility Center with the goal of improving underserved communities with clean mobility options that are safe, convenient and affordable.

The Chula Vista Community Shuttle Program will be exclusively available for those who are 55 and older in its first year. The service will open to the public with a small flat rate fare during its second year. Year three of the program will be funded entirely by the Community Congregation Development Corporation (CCDC). 

The community shuttle service will be administered by the city of Chula Vista and operated by Circuit. Riders may request rides through a mobile ride request app, I-Pad kiosks available at key locations or through a phone number. 

The shuttle service will use a fleet of five all dedicated electric vehicles and one van that will operate 12 hours a day 5 days a week with a service area based on the requirements of the CMO voucher program. Eligibility for this service will be determined by entering a date of birth when creating an account. Caretakers and pets will be allowed to ride long with seniors. 

According to Kramer, the Chula Vista Shuttle Service will include drivers and a schedule that will align with the needs of the community. Adjustments with feedback from the community and data from the service. 

“Seeing how everything is transforming and becoming more dense, this is going to be ideal. It’s really going to alleviate the short term parking necessities that we have. It comes at a great cost. Just the ability of not only seniors but people in general to be able to move in a sustainable way from one point to another. This will give people a broader range in order to reach their destination” Chula Vista Mayor Mary Castillas Salas said. 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *