PACIFICA — Linda Mar residents, especially seniors and students at Terra Nova High School, have a new way to get around.
The new Gold Line shuttle service starting today, operating between 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., will wind its way through the hills and back down to the highway, mirroring the SamTrans 14 bus route. Passengers on the shuttle can pick it up at any SamTrans stop and not pay a dime for their travels.
Funding for the project comes from roughly $154,000 that the City/County Association of Governments had set aside for a shuttle service from Montara and Half Moon Bay to Pacifica using State Highway 92 because of this year’s Devil’s Slide washout.
When Caltrans reopened Devil’s Slide months ahead of time, the money was still available. The board approved the money for the Gold Line bus service in Pacifica after surveys of residents done by the Peninsula Traffic Congestion Relief Alliance found that 75 percent of those responding lived in that area and needed a way to get around better in a neighborhood tucked up against the coastal hills.
"It’s enhancing the SamTrans 14 service," said Christine Maley-Grubl, the executive director of the relief alliance. "During the middle of the day, (the 14 service) runs hourly."
With the new shuttle, people can catch a bus down to the Linda Mar Shopping Center or Pacifica Community Center every half-hour, Maley-Grubl said.
Each shuttle can carry 22 people, running Monday through Friday.
"The big thing is ridership, and if there’s a need, I’m hopeful we can continue with this service," Pacifica Council Member Jim Vreeland said.
Vreeland chairs the C/CAG board and said that after this first year he hopes C/CAG will fund at least half the cost for the service.
He added that shuttle service would "hopefully" be integrated with SamTrans service "to take some of the traffic off of" Highway 1 and utilize more and more biodiesel as Pacifica moves forward with plans to bring a biodiesel facility to its citizens.
The Gold Line is just the first phase of a two-part effort to bring more shuttle service to Pacifica, Maley-Grubl said.