'A godsend': Free shuttle bus started for some Fresno area residents in need

'We believe that regardless of your race, your income, your ethnicity, you should be able to access these basic necessities'

Brittany Jacob Image
Wednesday, July 6, 2022
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Some veterans and residents in central Fresno will now have access to free shuttle services designed to connect them to critical services.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For some residents at Three Palms Mobile Home Park, travel has become a big issue.

Just half a mile away sits a grocery store, but no direct path to get there on foot - unless you cross a busy street.

Stephen Large, a resident, describes what he and the other residents were having to resort to.

"Illegally cross over the tracks and cut through a cyclone fence, do all the things that they were doing to get to that shopping center," he says.

Which is why they are grateful for a new, free transportation option - a free shuttle bus provided by the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission.

"That EOC bus is a godsend," says Large.

The shuttle bus is designed to connect residents to critical services like medical appointments or grocery runs.

City Councilman Miguel Arias says one senior citizen was killed walking along the interchange on Highway 99 and Clinton just a few weeks ago.

That's why the services target not only mobile home park residents, but also those in rural Fresno County's West Park and the Veterans Home.

"Our senior citizens and those in the California veterans home, our vets, need to be connected to the public transit system to be able to get to get to lifeline medical services like the grocery store and also be able to enjoy a movie," says Arias.

During a town hall in April, residents voiced their concerns about a lack of public transportation.

Policy Advocate Karla Martinez pushed for access to safer routes.

"We believe that regardless of your race, your income, your ethnicity, you should be able to access these basic necessities," Martinez says.

The shuttle will run Monday through Saturday and will make stops at stores such as Vallarta, Walmart, the Marketplace, Fashion Fair, and Courthouse Park.

The bus can hold up to 20 people and has wheelchair access.

The shuttle will have multiple pick-up and drop-off times.