LCTI: Biola Community Transportation Needs Assessment
Clean Mobility Options Voucher Pilot Program
Community Transportation Needs Assessment
Fresno County Rural Transit Agency | Biola Community Transportation Needs Assessment
December 2020 – October 2021
The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency's (FCRTA) assessment will consists of a variety of data collection and community engagement techniques and types, such as the formation of an advisory group, a focus group, virtual and telephone meetings, community events, and multi-lingual surveys, to engage community groups and community members. The FCRTA will work with community leaders to form an Advisory Council to educate and fully engage the community. FCRTA will have an intentional focus on Spanish and Hmong speaking households, seniors, residents without driver’s license, undocumented populations, agricultural workers, people living below the poverty line, residents without internet access, and people without access to a personal vehicle.
To learn more about project implementation, watch this video.
- Community members are most interested in transportation options including rideshare, transit, or micro transit, and our providing key information for FCRTA on how to expand transit and micro transit services and plan routes.
- The community outreach event was truly a community event. It was wonderful to see people come out and talk to each other, help each other take the survey, and talk to FCRTA about their transportation concerns. FCRTA handed out masks to stop the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. People didn’t take the survey and leave, they had dinner and stayed awhile. Multi-generations of people attended. Providing dinner was key to getting people out. Many walked in asking when dinner would be ready and for their dinner voucher once they completed the survey.
- Most residents reported that it is not easy to reach their destination because they lack a car or transportation options. There are currently no reliable travel options other than vehicle ownership in Biola.
- Driving alone or driving with another person was the most frequent method of travel among survey respondents, because there is a lack of transportation options in the community. When asked about what modes of transportation they would consider using, most respondents cited “driving alone or with other.” This is to be expected, as the community has been without transportation options other than driving, there is no pedestrian or bicycle infrastructure, no transit service, so people have come to rely only on automobiles to get around. In fact, most indicated (73 percent) they do not ride public transit because there is no regular transit service near or close to them and 70 percent do not own or ride a bicycle because they do not know how to ride. This is to be expected, as there is no bicycle infrastructure to learn to ride and the hot temperatures can make riding a bicycle uncomfortable. Classes or education on how to ride a bike could benefit residents.
- Biola has a high unemployment rate (18 percent), low per capita income ($22,039), and high poverty rate (27 percent). 66 percent of survey respondents reported a household income of less than $25,000. Meanwhile, one third of resident survey respondents reported spending over $200 per month on transportation expenses. This indicates that more low cost transportation options are needed for residents.
- The significant length of the survey likely deterred respondents from fully completing, resulting in missed questions; and therefore missed data.
- We received very few survey responses online, even after distributing flyers and sending notices out in utility bills. The community event was necessary to receive input.
Voucher Total: $36,885
By the Numbers
Community Engagement Activities
- 1 Community outreach event with dinner provided
- 1 Transportation survey
- 3-4 Advisory group meetings
- 2-3 Pop-up events
- 4-5 Telephone and video meetings
Estimated Quantifiable Benefits
- Direct Jobs: 1
- Indirect Jobs: 1
- Induced Jobs: 1
The project will focus on Biola, an unincorporated rural community with some of the worst air quality in the nation, where the poverty rate is 32.7 percent and 50 percent of residents did not graduate from high school. There is no transit service in the community, and as a result, according to the Census, no resident in Biola uses transit to commute to work. Residents in Biola have few real transportation options to get around other than driving and vehicle ownership, demonstrating the lack of representation in local planning. Many residents of Biola are limited English proficient or agricultural workers who must work long days and non-traditional hours.
The project goal is to address general concerns around the overall lack of high quality, affordable, environmentally-friendly transportation options. And more specifically to understand how people currently get around as well as obstacles faced by community members who do not have access to a vehicle to travel to destinations such as grocery stores, health care appointments, work, job interviews and other necessary locations.
Outreach & Engagement Strategies
- Focus groups
- Pop-up community events
- Gift card incentives
- Telephone and video meetings
- Multi-lingual surveys
- Advisory group
- No driver’s license
- Spanish and Hmong speakers
- Older adults
- No internet access
- Without high school degree
- No access to personal vehicle
The Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) provides general public transit services to rural communities throughout Fresno County, keeping the Valley connected and allowing passengers to conveniently travel within their community and throughout Fresno County. FCRTA provides both scheduled, fixed route services with designated bus stops along specific routes, as well as reservation-based, demand responsive service that offers curb-to-curb transportation.