Some Unincorporated Residents to Receive Dial-a-Ride Service

City Council votes 3-1 for expansion. Service is expected to begin July 1.

Written by RAYMOND TRAN / Published April 1, 2011

Some unincorporated county area residents will soon be eligible for Temple City’s Dial-A-Ride program.

The City Council, except Mayor Fernando Vizcarra who was absent, voted 3-1 during the June 1, 2010 city council meeting to expand Dial-A-Ride service.

Residents from two unincorporated areas were included Tuesday night. The two areas border Temple City to the west, from the railroad tracks up to Longden Avenue and over to San Gabriel Boulevard, and to the east, from Santa Anita Avenue to Sixth Avenue around Live Oak Avenue.

“I feel so strongly about providing services to these people,” Councilwoman Cynthia Sternquist, a leading proponent, said.

She continued, “The intent was never to provide Dial-A-Ride services to anybody who lived in surrounding unincorporated areas, but to the particular group of people [who do not receive any service].”

“The intent was to support these people to support the businesses in Temple City,” Sternquist argued.

Mayor Pro Tempore Tom Chavez agreed.

“Anything that would encourage people to come into Temple City is a good thing,” he said.

Councilman Carl Blum, who cast the sole dissenting vote, cast doubt on whether expansion of Dial-A-Ride, at the moment, was something the City Council should support.

Blum disagreed due to declining City revenues as well as a “laundry list” of to-do tasks before the City Council.

“If people want to be in Temple City, there is a way for unincorporated areas to be part of Temple City,” he said.

Only two people from the audience spoke up Tuesday evening.

Temple City resident Mary Kokyako, a frequent Dial-A-Ride user, opposed the City Council’s action to expand Dial-A-Ride.

“I’m looking out for our Temple City people who use Dial-A-Ride,” Kokayko added. “I think we should just leave it alone.”

Linda Payne, speaking as the president of the Temple City Chamber of Commerce, noted that over the years, she received calls from people in unincorporated areas. They want Dial-A-Ride service, she said.

“I would like to see you include the unincorporated areas,” she said.

In April, Councilwoman Sternquist asked her colleagues to consider expanding service coverage of the Temple City Dial-A-Ride to unincorporated county areas. The City Council agreed.

The Parks and Recreation was asked to study the issue, and on April 26, it recommended that no changes be made.

On May 4, Sternquist asked that the City Council ignore the commission’s decision and vote on whether to expand coverage. The item was postponed to June because it was not listed on the agenda.

When asked Tuesday evening whether expansion would incur additional costs, Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Burroughs responded that expanding service to a few neighbors would be okay.

“Unless we get a huge amount of individuals from unincorporated areas, I think we can…accommodate them within the existing service,” Burroughs said.

Service is expected to begin on July 1.

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