Morongo Basin Transit Authority Running 8 Bus Lines For $2.7 Million

(May 24) The Morongo Basin Transit Authority, which provides bus service in the desert communities of Twenty Palms, including the Marine Base, Yucca Valley, Landers and Joshua Tree, as well as two extentions to Palm Springs, will function on a budget of $2.7 million in fiscal year 2013-14.
The authority was formed on October 16, 1989 by the county of San Bernardino, the city of Twentynine Palms and the town of Yucca Valley, which entered into a joint powers authority to do so.
The transit authority has eight routes:  Route 1 running between Yucca Valley and Twentynine Palms; Route 3A, running between the Marine Base and 29 Palms; Route 3B, running through various 29 Palms neighborhoods;  Route 7A, which covers North Yucca Valley;  Route 7B, which serves South Yucca Valley; Route 21, which runs between  Landers and Yucca Valley; and Routes 12 & 15, which run from Morongo Valley to Palm Springs.
The Morongo Basin Transit Authority currently has 36 employees and operates a fleet consisting of 24 buses, all of which operate on compressed natural gas. The MBTA operates two compressed natural gas stations in Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms to support it’s operations and has just completed building an intermodal transportation center in the town of Yucca Valley.
In addition to its fixed routes, the authority  provides five demand response vehicles, which circulate in the communities offering door-to-door service for senior citizens and the disabled. Operation hours during the week extend from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., with limited weekend service provided.
The total operating revenue for the authority in 2012-13 was $2,604,427 and was increased to $2,702,982 in 2013-14.
Administrative costs for 2012-13 were $551,846 and have been increased to $555,563 for 2013-14.
Maintenance costs in 2012-13 were $462,977 and the allowance for maintenance in 2013-14 has been increased to $486,236.
Operation of the vehicles in 2012-13 ran to $1,589,604 and will be increased to $1,661,183 in 2013-14.
The Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) staff presented the proposed annual budget to the MBTA board at its regular meeting on April 25. That proposed budget was reviewed by the county board of supervisors this week. Approval of the final annual budget is anticipated to occur at the MBTA Board’s regular May meeting.

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