SunLine Transit Agency Turns 30!
Congresswoman Mary Bono Delivers Special Salute at Agency’s Anniversary Celebration
Leaders throughout the Coachella Valley, led by Congresswoman Mary Bono, gathered at SunLine Transit Agency Monday, August 20th, to mark the organization’s 30th anniversary.
The celebration took place at the Agency’s Thousand Palms headquarters with a trio of buses serving as backdrops symbolizing SunLine’s evolution as a leader in transit.
Congresswoman Bono delivered a special salute to SunLine touching on her commitment to supporting the Agency in providing safe, reliable transportation with the latest in fuel cell technology, using the fuel of the future, hydrogen.
Other speakers included Cathy Bechtel, Project Development Director of the Riverside County Transportation Commission, who reminisced about the early days of SunLine, Board Chairman Michael Wilson, speaking on the Agency’s turnaround, which includes an impressive audit review by the Federal Transit Administration, and renewed focus on transit, and General Manager C. Mikel Oglesby, who provided a compelling look at the bright future of the “SunLine of tomorrow”.
The event is one of several anniversary initiatives planned throughout the year. The Agency announced the milestone by offering free rides to passengers all day on Monday, July 30th. The one-day offer extended throughout SunLine’s entire route system, which includes the cities of Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, Cathedral City,
Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, Indio, La Quinta, Coachella and unincorporated areas of Riverside County.
In 1977, SunLine transported approximately 500,000 passengers across the Coachella Valley using diesel-fueled vehicles.
Today it’s a completely different picture. SunLine now transports passengers in environmentally friendly buses, using the latest in technology. The number of passengers has risen to 3.5 million. And, in recent population studies, growth is expected to continue climbing sharply. SunLine is prepared to meet the expanding needs of transit in the Valley.
“SunLine Transit Agency has traveled a long road in 30 years, handling the bumps while staying focused on our responsibility of fulfilling the Valley’s transit needs”, stated SunLine Board Chairman, Michael Wilson.
“For the riders of the Coachella Valley, the future in transit has never looked brighter. Within the next year and a half, SunLine is looking forward to another milestone, adding into service, the first all American made fuel cell bus”, stated General Manager C. Mikel Oglesby. Under the current administration, and with the support of the Board of Directors, the Agency is on solid ground and well prepared for the road ahead – a milestone worthy of a special celebration.
SunLine Transit Agency is a joint powers authority formed in 1977 to operate the Coachella Valley’s public transportation system. Its vehicles travel more than 28 million passenger miles per year, covering 647 bus stops located throughout a 1,120 mile-service area. SunLine offers fixed route bus service, curb-to-curb paratransit for the mobility impaired, as well as the City of Palm Desert’s Shopper Hopper courtesy shuttle.