PALMDALE — The City of Palmdale and the Antelope Valley Transit Authority (AVTA), with support from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, launched a new public safety program Tuesday morning with a “Pop Up” event at the Palmdale Transportation Center (PTC).
During the busy early morning transit hours, AVTA along with the City of Palmdale Public Safety team and Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department personnel, were on hand to greet and engage both riders and bus operators with coffee, donuts, and souvenir bags filled with a face mask, upcoming service change info, COVID-19 safety info, and other items.
AVTA was thrilled with the turnout and participation for this first community outreach and engagement event.
"This first opportunity to promote our community policing partnership with the City of Palmdale and LASD was a huge success," said AVTA Executive Director and CEO Macy Neshati. “The theme was safety, both in encouraging healthy behaviors, such as face coverings and social distancing, and in demonstrating a secure transit experience, emphasized by deputies’ presence at transportation centers and bus stops throughout the AV.”
To date, over 2,500 masks have been provided to riders from AVTA on, as just one effort to protect the community from the spread of COVID-19.
This transit oriented public safety program was approved by the Palmdale City Council on June 2 of this year and was formed to promote the benefit of safe travel on the local bus system with an emphasis of adhering to federal, state and local mandates as related to COVID-19 guidelines.
“We are excited to begin this new public safety model and to launch it by doing direct community outreach to the transit customers,” said Palmdale Mayor Steve Hofbauer. ”We know that the health and safety priorities have changed, and we are here to help our community understand those rules, help them prepare, and provide them with the resources they might need to accomplish these health and safety goals.”
Under this agreement, the City provides public safety field staff and dedicates service hours under its current contract with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) to assign sworn personnel, equivalent to five forty-hour deputy positions, to this program. These public safety hours are reimbursed by the AVTA. The City and LASD Palmdale Station will document outreach and enforcement efforts, patrol hours, and calls for service in effort to prioritize the needs for service under this agreement.
In 2005, the Palmdale Transportation Center opened, providing citizens with a state-of-the-art transportation facility. The City owned and operated $14 million multi-modal hub offers connections between AVTA local and commuter bus services, and the Metrolink commuter rail service.