Woodlake transit officially consolidates with countywide agency

Beginning July 1, city buses will have new logos and rides will have to be booked through the Tulare County Regional Transit Authority

WOODLAKE – Woodlake may not be operating its own public transportation anymore but its buses will still seem familiar for residents.

As of July 1, Woodlake’s fleet of transport vehicles will now bear the seal of the Tulare County Regional Transit Agency (TCRTA). Despite the change, the vehicles are the same, will be steered by the same driver and will travel along the same route. The only change for residents will be booking rides through TRCTA instead of through the city.

“Instead of a van or bus that says ‘City of Woodlake’ picking you up, it will now say ‘Tulare County Regional Transit Authority’,” City Manager Ramon Lara said. 

Woodlake’s Dial-a-Ride system will continue under the new agency, however, rides will be requested through TCRTA dispatch instead of calling the driver directly or scheduling a ride through city hall. TCRTA will also have a website people can use to request and schedule rides. It is recommended to schedule rides in advance in order to avoid long wait times.

Several users of the on-demand ride system expressed concerns about adapting to a new system for hailing rides. Many also did not want to lose the current bus driver.

“There’s no real major changes,” said Lara, “riders just call the transit agency dispatch instead.” TCRTA has also hired the current bus driver, Helen, so that citizens will continue to have the driver they know and are comfortable with.

The vehicles are being transferred to TCRTA because anything purchased specifically for transit must be used for that purpose and Woodlake no longer operates its own separate transit system after the near countywide consolidation of public transportation.  The city will also transfer over the cash left in the transit fund to the TCRTA. 

The County of Tulare and its cities – except Visalia – began to consolidate their individual transit systems into a new regional system in 2020. The transfer of the remaining vehicles and remaining funds is the final step in Woodlake’s consolidation into the TCRTA.

Start typing and press Enter to search