WHC officials hoping to improve bus routes for students attending WHC campuses

From West Hills College

In an effort to make it easier for students to get to campus, West Hills Community College district is in talks with transportation officials in Fresno County to create new bus routes and to connect students with already existing routes in both Fresno and Kings County.

“The goal is to try to make this happen by the time our Spring Semester begins on Jan. 11, 2016,” said Ken Stoppenbrink, WHCCD Deputy Chancellor. “If all goes well, we’ll roll out the transportation plan and specific schedules in December.”

Many of the bus routes are already in place so adding more stops and adjusting some schedules is all that needs to be done, Stoppenbrink said. “There are just a couple of routes where we may have to provide van service,” he said. “We’re working out those details now.”

Fresno County has indicated a willingness to start a new route to service students in Kerman, San Joaquin, Tranquillity and Mendota, stopping at the North District Center, Firebaugh, which is West Hills College’s educational center there.

Funding would come from several grants recently provided to both counties and the college, designed to improve access to higher education and increase the use of rural transportation systems. “This program would help boost ridership for the two counties and give our students better access to the campus nearest them,” Stoppenbrink said.

Analysis will be conducted to determine how to serve students in Avenal with buses or vans going directly to both college campuses in Lemoore and Coalinga from Kings and Fresno counties.

In Kings County, an effort is also being made to make students more aware of the routes that already exist. Kings County currently provides half service to the Lemoore campus.

Times and frequency of the various routes is still under review but will be released in the coming weeks.


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