After more than 20 years of providing transportation services, the Blue Lake Rancheria Transit System will discontinue operations on Monday, ending bus service for Rancheria residents, as well as riders in Blue Lake, Glendale, Arcata, McKinleyville and Eureka, according to a notice posted to the Rancheria’s website.
The reason behind the decision remains unclear. The Blue Lake Rancheria did not immediately respond to the Outpost’s request for additional information.
[DISCLOSURE: The Blue Lake Rancheria is a minority owner of Outpost parent company Lost Coast Communications, Inc.]
Reached for comment on Friday afternoon, Blue Lake City Manager Amanda Mager said the city was not aware of any issues with the transit program “until we received a letter from the Rancheria on Sept. 15 stating they would cease operations on Oct. 2.”
“[T]he situation has been very fluid as the City has been scrambling to find alternative options in a very short period of time,” Mager wrote in an email to the Outpost. “We are working closely with our local transportation partners to find a solution, or most likely, solutions. We are working right now with Humboldt Transit Authority (HTA) to see if we can add a Blue Lake stop to their Willow Creek route. This looks like it could be a good and functional option [and] could happen by next week if all of the pieces fall into place.”
Mager noted that the City of Blue Lake has provided about $32,000 in annual funding to supplement the transit service for a number of years, “although the City’s contribution was not enough to support the full cost of the transit program,” she said.
In the long term, Mager said the city is looking at options for dial-a-ride services to meet the regular needs of area residents. “This could include weekly trips to the grocery store or the local pharmacies.”
The Blue Lake Rancheria Transit System will cease operations on Monday, Oct. 2 at 6 p.m.