February 2, 2021

SunLine Refueled Brings New Services to the Coachella Valley

By Andrea Carter

SunLine Transit Agency has launched new services in the Coachella Valley as part of its SunLine Refueled initiative. Currently, the two new services available are the Consolidated Fixed Route Network at Level 3 service and SunRide – a new program that provides rides to and from bus stops within four Coachella Valley Zones.

The new Consolidated Fixed Route Network has a convenient new route numbering system (1-9) and offers more one-seat rides with less transfers to help riders get to their destinations sooner. It is operating at a Level 3 system until further notice due to COVID-19 safety precautions.

SunLine’s five-level alert system was activated in March of 2020 to help communicate alterations to services as health conditions required. Level 3 status means that bus routes are operating under the weekend schedule. For example, Route 5 is not running, as it is a weekday service – and other routes have longer intervals. SunLine’s 2021 Rider’s Guide conveniently lays out the weekend schedule for further explanation.

SunRide is a new “microtransit” service available to connect riders to the Consolidated Fixed Route Network in four Coachella Valley zones: Coachella, Cook Street Corridor, Desert Edge and Mecca/North Shore. For maps outlining the boundaries of each zone, go to SunLine.org/SunRide.

Here’s how it works: 1) Between the hours of 5:30am-6:30pm, Monday-Friday, those located within one of the four zones can call for a ride using the TransLoc smartphone app; 2) A SunRide vehicle is alerted to pick them up at their destination; and 3) the SunRide vehicle will bring them to (or from) bus stops within the same zone. The introductory cost per ride is $2, and the average wait time for a pick-up is about 15 minutes. This service is especially convenient for those who do not live close to their bus stop.

Riders can be assured that their health and safety continues to be SunLine’s first priority, with: (1) the installation of hand sanitizing stations on each bus, (2) rigorous enhanced daily disinfecting procedures for all buses, (3) mandatory face covering requirements for all passengers and bus operators, (4) complimentary face coverings for passengers who have indicated a need, and (5) the myStop® Mobile app that shows the number of riders on any given bus in real time.

Two other services that are part of SunLine Refueled will be rolled out at a later date: the 10 Commuter Link and the Route 1X.

The Customer Service Department at SunLine Transit Agency is available to provide support, and a “live chat” function can also be found on the website to help riders navigate the new system. Go to SunLine.org, call 760-343-3456 or e-mail refueled@sunline.org for more information. To book SunRide, download the TransLoc app on your smart phone.

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