Beach Bus Program Gives Teens More Options for Summer Fun – Calabasas Real Estate
Beach Bus Program Gives Teens More Options for Summer Fun
The Calabasas-sponsored shuttle service ferries anyone looking for a ride for cheap to Zuma Beach.
They streamed in off the beach looking tired, but content from a day of swimming in the Pacific Ocean and playing in the sand.
Though there was only about a dozen people taking the Calabasas-provided shuttle back to stops all over the city, the Beach Bus Program that ferries day trippers to Zuma Beach in Malibu seemed well worth it for those who were using it.
“It’s so convenient. We don’t need to call our parents to give us rides. And it’s so cheap,” Hannah Rosenzweig, 15, of West Hills, said.
Just a few teenagers were waiting for the bus at Calabasas High at its 3:15 p.m. stop on Tuesday as the shuttle dropped off those riders who had taken it at its 12:50 p.m. or 10 a.m. stops.
However, Amanda Abajian, another 15-year-old who went to the beach with Rosenzweig, said on most other days the buses were packed with students from all over Calabasas and from other nearby neighborhoods.
“On Fridays there’s sometimes kids sitting on top of each other, the bus is so crowded,” Abajian said.
“Ridership varies from day to day,” said Michael Hafken, a spokesman for Calabasas. “This year, ridership has been consistently high.”
Some riders said the increase in use of the shuttle service was because of the bad economy – rides cost just $2 for the two-way trip.
Others attributed it to people looking for a cheap escape from the hot summer weather.
Most of the ridership for the bus program is made up of high school and middle school students with few other options for fun on lazy summer days at home. Anyone is allowed to take the scenic ride to Zuma, which operates on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. But on Tuesday, the dozen people who rode back from the beach were made up of a few teenagers and several couples with their young children.
“The initial target for potential riders was anyone who wanted to get to the beach but did not want, or could not drive there themselves,” Hafken said. “This does include teenagers, those without cars, and those who do not want the stress of having to drive there themselves.”
The program, however, is especially useful for those teenagers who are not old enough to drive.
“It gives us some freedom to go do what we want when [our families] can’t give us a ride,” Abajian said.
Hosenzweig said her sister had given her a ride to Calabasas High that day, while Abajian said she had just finished up summer school classes at the school.
The hour-long ride from Calabasas High to the beach is well worth the cost, both of the girls said.
According to Hafken, even though the money the city takes in from riders isn’t enough to cover the cost of the program, it’s still a cheap service to run for the benefits it provides for Calabasas residents.
“The annual cost of the program is approximately $24,500 a year. As a service to the city’s residents, this is not currently a cost recovery program although that could change in the future,” Hafken said.
Convenience is one of the most important aspects of the program – all of its stops and pickup times were chosen to make getting to the beach as easy as possible for Calabasas residents.
“Pick-up times are chosen to allow riders to arrive at the beach for peak beach hours to avoid running the service at non-peak times with empty buses,” Hafken said.
The Beach Bus Program runs through Aug. 19.
Good stuff for the teens in Calabasas. With the beaches of Malibu only a few short miles to the west, they won’t have to miss out if they can’t find a ride!