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New bus stop opens after years of setbacks to plan

Nathan Wilson

Mayor Harvey Hall, center, cuts the ribbon, opening Bakersfield College’s new Golden Empire Transit Center during a ceremony April 11 near Panorama Drive.

Hannah Breeland, reporter

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With one snap of the giant scissors, the new Bakersfield College Transit Center is up and running on Panorama. Even though the plans for this new bus stop have been around for years, many students were taken by surprise by the sudden opening.

Bus drivers warned some students about the day the bus stop had to change but most didn’t know.

“I missed my bus because I went to the old spot. By the time I figured out where the new stop was, I almost missed it again,” said Natalie Sotelo, political science major.

The ribbon cutting ceremony took place April 11. At 10:30 a.m. the stop was officially open. The number 17 bus was the first of many to arrive at the new stop.

The transit center has eight spots and has a bathroom for drivers and riders.

“It took so long to open because the bathrooms had to be finished before the buses could start using it,” said Paula Bray, maintenance and operations manger.

This new transit center and maintenance of the bathrooms is all funded by GET, not costing BC anything.

In fact, the reason for the move was to cut cost on maintenance, because the buses that were traveling on Panorama to Mt. Vernon were causing potholes and other road damage, not to mention traffic.

Even though the move will cost students parking spots, over all they feel it was the best decision.

“This is what we wanted. It’s off campus and the bathrooms are available during non-school hours when the buildings are closed and there’s nowhere else to go,” said Lamont Schiers, executive director of administrative services.

Unfortunately, work is still being done since the bathrooms have yet to be opened to students. One of the two major complaints is that GET gave no warning of the move and bathrooms aren’t open.

One question has yet to be answered, it seems with more buses able to use the transit center, eight other busses might be using it as well. Details on such won’t be public until the route change in October.

“I really hope it does. That would save me some money since I wouldn’t have to take a bus to the downtown transit center any more, just get out of class and hop on the eight and go strait home,” said Steven Ross, business major.

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The news site of Bakersfield College
New bus stop opens after years of setbacks to plan