Foothill Transit, a joint powers authority of 21-member cities in the San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, was created in 1988 after the former Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD) announced service cuts and fare increases that would negatively impact the San Gabriel Valley. In an effort to provide better bus service to the community while reducing costs and improving local control, the Los Angeles County Transportation Commission (LACTC) approved Foothill Transit's application to assume operation of 14 lines which were operated by RTD.
Bus service began in December 1988 with operation of Lines 495 and 498. The remaining 12 lines were transferred to Foothill Transit over a period of five years. Foothill Transit also assumed administration of the Bus Service Continuation Project and began providing service on an additional six lines that were abandoned by the RTD. The agency analyzed the transit need for the region and began modifying existing lines, increasing weekday service, introducing weekend service, and creating new service.
Foothill Transit now operates 35 fixed-route local, express and rail-feeder lines, covers 327 square miles, and serves 16 million customers each year, making it the second-largest fixed route public transit provider in Southern California. This number is up from 9.5 million boardings at the time of Foothill Transit's original application.
In 2002, Foothill Transit entered a cleaner new era by beginning its conversion to a compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet. Foothill Transit has put into service 117 CNG buses and is planning to have an all-CNG fleet by 2011. The agency also opened its second operations and maintenance facility in October 2002. Located in Irwindale/Arcadia, it joined Foothill Transit's first agency-owned facility in Pomona, which opened in 1997. Prior to the opening of these facilities, the agency had to rely on its operations contractors to provide their own facilities.
The American Public Transportation Association recognized Foothill Transit in 2001 with a "Bus Safety Gold Award," dubbing Foothill Transit the safest transit agency of its size. Foothill Transit was also named "Outstanding Transit System" of its size by APTA in 1993 and 1995. The National Safety Council, Greater Los Angeles Chapter, recognized Foothill Transit in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2001 with first-place awards for its safety programs.
One of the largest competitively procured transit efforts in the United States, Foothill Transit has delivered the cost-effective service it promised. A three-year evaluation completed by Ernst & Young in 1993 showed that Foothill Transit's public-private partnership resulted in cost savings of 43 percent per revenue hour over the previous transit provider. Farebox revenues pay for 40 percent of Foothill Transit's operating costs. The remainder of the agency's funding is obtained from Los Angeles County Proposition A and C funds, California State Transportation Development Act and State Transit Assistance funds. – less–ZoomInfo