Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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City transit faces uncertain future

Joel Carpio
The city of Cerritos is considering cutting the Cerritos on Wheels bus program.

Dozens of community members voiced concerns about the future of Cerritos on Wheels and Dial-A-Ride during a series of workshops on Aug. 29 and 30.

Ways forward proposed by the city at these workshops include cutting either one or both of these programs or maintaining them with some modifications.

The potential changes could include an increase in rider fares, a further reduction in operation hours, further coverage of operations costs by the city, or making the service exclusive to weekdays.

The meetings, as well as the online survey on the matter, were conducted by Moore & Associates consulting services.  

The overall results of the meetings will be compiled in a report that will be submitted to the city council at a yet undisclosed time during late winter that is intended to result in official action.

The COW bus is a fixed route transit service that advertises a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. route but saw those times paired down to 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

They have yet to return to a pre-COVID schedule and currently charge $0.50 for a fare and runs every day except Sunday.

Dial-A-ride is a senior-minded service that acts as a personalized Uber or Lyft for the elderly of Cerritos. It currently charges $1 for a ride.

Plans to alter these programs come as a result of the sharp downturn in ridership that has not significantly increased since the days of stay-at-home ordinances.

The city is considering potential vast changes to each program as a result of a downturn in usage that has not yet significantly recovered from the days of stay-at-home ordinances.

Workshop leader and firm namesake Jim Moore had proposed several alternatives to residents who could potentially be affected by altering the programs.

“Citizens could take advantage of the other transit systems serving Cerritos such as Access Services, or Long Beach transit, OCTA,” said Moore, “Overall Cerritos is a very transit-rich community.”

While many Cerritos residents have been frustrated by the shortcomings of the Cerritos on wheels, they are still hesitant to see it go.

Cerritos College resident Pamela Sztyblewsky, one of Cerritos College’s older American students, has already seen obstacles to obtaining her computer science degree raised by current COW shortcomings and the weather.

“I had to drop a class that would be at five o’clock because I would have no way of getting around,” said Sztyblewsky, “Except a bike, which is just not reasonable in this heat.”

Others are not as hesitant to alter the service, as resident David Pileman believes that COW funds could better serve the city if they were invested elsewhere.

The bridge on Del Amo avenue and the renovation on Del Amo […],” said Pileman “We could spend the money on that.”

Though plenty of points were argued at the workshops, any progress is still a ways away.

Moore and Associates are currently cataloging the public opinion of the workshops and intend to make those feelings known to the city council in the coming months.

“Right now we are cultivating public feelings on the matter…,” said Mariel Angeles, an analyst for Moore and Associates, “We will then provide a report on our findings to the city council… we will continue to be transparent.”

The council will receive the report and decide on the programs in late winter.

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About the Contributors
Lukas Luna-Arellano
Lukas Luna-Arellano is the co-community editor for Talon Marks. He plans to shore up his literary credentials while at Cerritos before transferring. He enjoys reading, working out, and listening to various types of metal.
Joel Carpio
Joel Carpio, Managing Editor
Joel Carpio is the Managing, Co-Sports, & Co-Social Media Editor for Talon Marks, he enjoys playing sports, listening to music, and is an avid fan of the Dodgers, Lakers, Rams, Kings, and LAFC. He is planning on transferring to San Diego State University and earn his bachelors degree in Journalism. In the future he wants to be a sports broadcaster.
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    Pamela SztyblewskySep 7, 2023 at 6:09 pm

    The white NIMBY asshole Karens at that “city transit meeting” are lying through their teeth if they keep saying that Cerritos is served “well” by OCTA and Long Beach Transit! Clearly they don’t LIVE here or rely on buses to get everywhere!! They could look at a map, Metro has maps of the entire county available at Union Station over in the kiosk on the Amtrak side of the station in the waiting room!! They’re not impossible to come by!! I was at one of the meetings, it was just ME having had to get there on my BIKE in like 100º heat, and one of the COW drivers, on the side of the COW, against what felt like “city council” all those NIMBY racist Karens. One of them actually claimed that if the City continues to fund the COW they’ll be completely broke and there won’t be any funds left for anything else. Rubbish. They get grants from CalTrans just like ARTESIA. And Artesia uses THEIRS for their BUS which is offered FREE; now granted it covers only a one-square-mile radius but still. And only runs 3 days a week but Artesia is working on that, that and the Metro Rail extension. Artesia isn’t as dead-set-against their residents having easier access to transportation if they happen to have no way to buy a car or get a drivers’ licence. But that’s Artesia for ‘ya, it’s like over the 5 decades I’ve lived here, Artesia and Cerritos have grown worlds apart, in two separate directions. It’s like the difference between “middle-class” and “uppity rich racist snobs.”
    Anyway, at the “meeting” the NIMBY Karens also claimed that Metro Access will pick up the slack for the seniors and disabled, and OCTA Access, and even Metro Micro. Let’s see: not yet, NO, and NO. Metro Micro is only available in some areas, the areas with the MOST Metro service counter to Metro Micro’s own propaganda. They say that they exist to serve the UNDER-served areas but since when are Compton/Watts, DTLA, Inglewood/LAX, the Valley, and El Monte/Pasadena the areas with NO Metro service? Southeast/Gateway Cities is this area and they won’t serve US. They just assume that we all have cars out here, where the bloody hell are they getting that assumption from, anyway?! Because those of us without, don’t, what, VOTE or speak up or something?! Every time the COW just doesn’t show up and I have to sit there waiting for another hour, I do complain. Only to get a canned non-response from City Hall.
    They’re talking about cutting off transportation from those of us who would otherwise be housebound shut-ins with no alternative offered. Uber or Lyft? At like $70 for a 3.9-mile drive that used to cost no more than $10 with “yellow taxis” in the olden days when Yellow Cabs were “the thing.” And for someone who’s scraping by and having to ration our 60¢ senior rate, telling me I should just take something that wants $70 for the SAME DISTANCE….I felt like strangling the entire lot of them.
    One thing I must note; at that “community workshop” (the one at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts) the racial makeup was a distinct, I and the bus driver who showed up to defend the COW, were the only non-white people there. And the only people defending the COW.
    Cerritos has whittled the COW down to “the bare minimum” and then complains “no one rides it so let’s kill it completely” well these NIMBY assholes don’t seem smart enough to GET that it’s because of the minimal hours that no one CAN ride it. To get to campus the first bus that comes by my house, at about 9:20, gets me to campus at 10:18, meaning I can’t be anywhere on campus before about 10:30, and the last one that goes by my house leaves campus at 2:24. That leaves me three and a half hours on campus any day. I couldn’t even take classes with that sort of limitation. If I walk out 166th St it will take over an hour. Each way. Cerritos is run by idiots. Old white people with cars and loads of money. And an attitude that they should make the decisions for those of us who have probably lived here longer than they have, but who for whatever reason don’t have things in life that we grew up with. Yeah I grew up with both, maried, parents in the house, cars and jobs and went to Whitney High in the 80s and then went to Yale…but by NOW none of that seems to matter, it was all “too long ago.” Now, I have to resort to taking computer programming classes at a community college just to try to be employable again. And wait forever for the Math department to recommend me to tutor Math, if that ever happens. But this doesn’t make me “not belong” in this town, I grew up here. Moved here in 1971. Back when it wasn’t quite AS uppity-NIMBY. And the term “Karen” didn’t exist.