For The Madera Tribune
This bus displays the new logo and new name of the city transit service, Madera Metro.
The City of Madera’s surge in population over the last several years has created a need to upgrade its bus system with measures surrounding increased safety, reliability, and eco-friendly transportation. Creating solutions for this increased demand remains a top priority for the City.
The concerted effort gained momentum after the City contracted with MV Public Transportation, Inc. in late 2018 for transit operation services. As part of this new era in transportation, the City recently adopted a new name and logo for its transit system – changing the name from Madera Area Express (MAX) to Madera Metro.
Furthering the evolution, the City recently purchased nine new buses, representing an investment of approximately $1.5 million, which includes compressed natural gas vehicles, and constructed a new transit center in the Freedom Industrial Park, just west of Madera South High School. The $5.5 million project resulted in a 3,200 square-foot center aimed to better serve the community. The new Madera Transit Center provides expanded operations capacity and features; such as, a dedicated dispatch center, training room/community meeting space, an ADA-accessible lobby and reception area, dedicated office space, indoor and outdoor break areas, storage areas for lost and found, and lockers for staff. The property itself features secure parking for 35 buses and built-in infrastructure for future transition into an electric fleet. A bus wash, electrical vehicle charging station infrastructure, and an eco-friendly water recapturing system, are just a few of the many amenities prioritized in the new center.
“The new transit center provides added capacity and resources to provide expanded transportation services for our residents, including greater efficiency, more operators, easier ticketing and shorter wait times,” said City of Madera District 2 Councilmember Jose Rodriguez. “I look forward to seeing service flourish, innovate, and continue to adequately serve our community for years to come.”
As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to add even more improvements to its transportation services, projects are continuing to move forward, including a farebox modernization effort, development of a new website, a thorough route and bus stop assessment to further improve operations, solar lighting for bus stops, and a new bus stop design.
The former station on North E Street, known as the Intermodal, will continue to house the Greyhound Station and Madera Cab Co., while a plan to convert the former transit suite into a transit support hub develops. In the meantime, bus service at this location will continue, without interruption, maintaining the bus stop at the Intermodal as part of current routes.
“I’m excited to see operations out of the new Madera Transit Center begin as soon as mid-September,” said the City’s Grants Administrator, Ivette Iraheta, who oversees the City’s Transit Division. “We’re starting a new chapter for Madera Metro in a new home, and we’ll continue to work hard to ensure this new chapter modernizes, improves, and delivers the services that are demanded by Madera residents.”