The Victor Valley Transit Authority has acquired five, new 53-passenger buses which will begin running on the morning and afternoon weekday routes to Fort Irwin from Hesperia, Victorville, Silver Lakes and Barstow in mid-August.
The VVTA, which provides the commuter bus service for Fort Irwin’s federal mass transit benefits program, is now putting graphics, fare boxes, and other technologies on the buses, according to VVTA marketing specialist Fidel Gonzales.
“The level of passenger comfort and business productivity that the new coaches deliver to the VVTA commuter fleet is impressive,” said Ron Zirges, VVTA Director of Maintenance and Facilities. “On an 80-mile commute, the plush reclining seats, restrooms, 110-volt power outlets, and WiFi will change the way High Desert business professionals think of their commute by improving their experience.”
The “luxury coaches,” each costing $750,000, were purchased through San Bernardino Associated Governments, City of Barstow, federal grants and local match funding sources.
Each bus can either “kneel” or lower its suspension to assist people who find it difficult to board or get off the bus, and accommodate wheel chairs or mobility devices. The buses are also equipped with bike racks for up to three bikes, and internal and external security cameras.
The new buses will replace the current fleet of seven, 35-passenger buses used on the Fort Irwin commuter routes. The seven older buses will be used as backup and on other VVTA bus routes. The VVTA will continue to use the smaller, 25-30 passenger white buses now used mostly for the shorter runs between Barstow and Fort Irwin.
The VVTA commuter bus service is open to most all federal military and civilian employees and many private company employees, who work on Fort Irwin on a continuing basis. About 500 federal personnel now purchase monthly VVTA “mega-passes” that may be used on any of the eight commuter runs in the morning, starting between 4:30 and 6:30 a.m., and eight afternoon runs that start from Fort Irwin from 3:45 to 6 p.m. For more information, contact National Training Center G-8, building 988 (NTC headquarters) at 380-3337/4614.
Contractor employees should contact their employers if their company has a similar program.
The VVTA is a Consolidated Transportation Services Agency, providing bus, Americans with Disability Act paratransit, vanpool, and commuter service to California’s High Desert. The VVTA service area spans more than 940 square miles, featuring daily service to Adelanto, Apple Valley, Barstow, Hesperia, Victorville and unincorporated San Bernardino County, including Helendale, Lucerne Valley, Oro Grande, Phelan, Pinon Hills, and Wrightwood.
Commuter service to the NTC and Fort Irwin, and lifeline service connecting the High Desert to the Inland Empire is provided weekdays. The VVTA also serves the Trona and Big River areas through its volunteer transportation program. Additional information and service alerts may be found online at VVTA.org, Facebook.com/OfficialVVTA or Twitter.com/VVTransit.