As we say good-bye to the noughties, I'd like to take a look back at Riding in Riverside's first full year in operation, 2009.
In January, La Sierra University joined U-Pass, Greyhound service was struggling to remain in the city, and RTA was trying to overcharge day pass riders.
In February, we got the first announcement of the 2009 service cuts, the stimulus bill pumped money into IE freeways, and Greyhound stranded me downtown.
In March, I got a statement from the Mayor on public transit, dug up evidence of RTA's RapidLink project, and discovered the wonders of grocery delivery.
In April, the first seeds of the multi-modal transit centre were planted, Councilwoman Hart said some stupid things about Greyhound, and I made my endorsements in the City Council elections.
In May, I tried to turn readers into riders, commented on the proposed Short-Range Transit Plan, and Omnitrans deprived people of barbecue.
In June, I laid out my proposal for a Riverside light rail, Google Transit for RTA went up for the first time, and our late-night service was cruelly taken away.
In July, LA Metro joined Google Transit, the City Council made a dumb decision about parking fines, and RTA's data fell out of Google Transit, because it was apparently requiring transfers somewhere north of Guam.
In August, I talked about my trip to NYC, the City Council approved what would become Riverside Go Transit, U-Pass, and took a clear step towards the multi-modal transit centre, I proposed my solution to Metrolink capacity issues, and I gave an interview with a local podcast.
In September, Omni saw a fare hike, the first RTA service ever to run past midnight began service, and OCTA disconnected the 794 from, well, everything else.
In October, I reminded folks about transfer policies, called out a Congressman for hypocrisy, and celebrated my 23rd birthday with official news of the new multi-modal transit centre.
In November, I reported on upcoming Dial-a-Ride policy changes, Riverside became a Bronze-level bicycle-friendly community, and the Corona Transit Center broke ground. Also, Los Angeles celebrated the opening of the Eastside Gold Line Extension.
In December, SANBAG started studying Victor Valley express bus options, Metrolink proposed draconian service cuts- and then did nothing about them, and the Riverside Go Transit program launched, offering cheap bus passes to all Riversiders.
Looking forward into the new year, service changes are coming on January 10th, and we can hope for progress on the Riverside transit centre and the Perris Valley Line, both of which cleared significant hurdles in 2009.
Also, readers should know: Greyhound has NOT left Riverside. The new signage on the Greyhound building downtown, marking it as a police station (which it is), does not mean that service to the station has ceased. The station is open 7am-3:30pm and 6pm-9pm daily.
I'd like to wish all my readers a happy and prosperous new year, and I hope for a better transit system in 2010.