News Alert!!: Needles, CA: Working on new bus service for local residents to get to court.
ZachNews has received some additional information from the County of San Bernardino Supervisor Robert Lovingood’s Office regarding a new shuttle service brought up during a Needles City Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 for local residents who have court cases outside of Needles, California.
According to notes from that meeting provided to ZachNews, on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016, County of San Bernardino Supervisor Robert Lovingood met at a Needles Lifeline Transit Meeting with Presiding Judge, Raymond Haight; Supervising Judge, John Vander Feer; Victorville Court Judge, John Tomberlin; court District Manager, Debanie Comeaux, Kevin Kane, Victor Valley Transit Authority (V.V.T.A.) Executive Director; and Transdev General Manager, Simon Herrera.
It was agreed that the purpose of the meeting was to provide access to the court system in Barstow, California and Victorville, California to the residents of Needles, California who currently have alternative transportation options other than driving their personal vehicle (if they even own one) or having another to volunteer to drive.
Several of the types of cases were discussed including but not limited to: traffic, small claims, unlawful detainers, misdemeanors, domestic violence, and criminal cases including felonies. It was mentioned that many of these are already calendared on Fridays.
The plan is to try to create a special “Needles Calendar” that would put most if not all of the Needles, California cases on Fridays.
Every Friday, Victor Valley Transit Authority (V.V.T.A.) will operate bus service from Needles to Barstow and Victorville in the morning and return in the mid-to-late afternoon.
County of San Bernardino Supervisor Robert Lovingood stated that he would like to see this service start as soon as possible perhaps in May 2016.
The courts stressed that this is a complicated matter and that it would take approximately 6 to 8 months to get all of calendars and court assignments coordinated.
There was also a discussion that moving the family law cases from Joshua Tree, California to Barstow, California or Victorville, California would prove most difficult.
The V.V.T.A. stated that once the V.V.T.A. Board approves the lifeline service, it could become operational fairly quickly.
The draft operating schedule proposes that on Fridays a V.V.T.A. small bus will pick up those residents of Needles, California who have reserved a ride in advance to Barstow, California or Victorville, California.
These pickups would take place between 6:00am and 6:30am PT. The bus would make a 6:30am PT stop at the Downtown Needles, California transfer point (Needles Chamber of Commerce) to pick up riders without reservations and then proceed to Barstow, California and stop at the Barstow Courthouse at 9:30am PT.
The bus would then proceed to the Victorville, California transfer point or Courthouse with the projected arrival of 10:15am PT.
The representatives from the court system suggested that all of these cases could be handled before court recessed at 12:00pm PT.
The current draft proposal for the return is to begin at 2:00pm PT from Victorville, California and 2:45pm PT from the Barstow, California transfer point (library) arriving at the Barstow, California transfer location at approximately 5:45pm PT to allow non-reservation riders to disembark then continue to drop off passengers with reservations at their residences between 5:45pm PT and 6:15pm PT.
The bus fare from Needles, California to Barstow, California or Victorville, California will be $12 one way and half-price for persons with disabilities and the elderly.
In addition, V.V.T.A. is working with Enterprise holdings to set up an experimental “car share program” whereby registered citizens of Needles, California could reserve a minivan or sedan (the plan is to have 2 vehicles parked in Needles, California) to use during the day at a cost to be determined.
However an amount of approximately $60 including fuel has been discussed.
There was an ancillary discussion regarding use technology by the court system so that some court matters could be addressed by video from Needles, California.
** Stay tuned to ZachNews for more news updates with more information regarding this news story. **