Staff Report

Contrary to national trends, bus ridership on Santa Ynez Valley Transit’s fixed routes has increased by 23 percent in 2019 compared to the same period in the previous year, according to Matt van der Linden, Solvang’s Public Works Director and City Engineer.

In June alone, ridership on Santa Ynez Valley Transit (SYVT) buses leaped by 59.5 percent from June 2018, he added.

“This is certainly something to celebrate,” van der Linden said. “Increasing mobility while decreasing air pollution and traffic is obviously extremely important to residents of the Santa Ynez Valley.

“Last summer we started encouraging residents to use SYVT for specific trips such as to the library, school, or a medical appointment,” he added. “SYVT also focused on sharing service information with residents who rarely or never ride transit to encourage them to use the bus as a second car.” 

SYVT is funded through a memorandum of understanding between the cities of Buellton and Solvang and Santa Barbara County.

At the same time it was crafting its new message in the summer of 2018, SYVT retooled its fixed-route service to provide extended service and stop times so residents could take advantage of van der Linden’s idea of the “second car.”

However, he said, he would like valley residents to do even more.

“If each resident were to replace one driving trip with one transit trip every two weeks, we could see an extreme reduction in traffic, noise, and pollution,” van der Linden said.

For information, visit or call 805-688-5452.