Many people visit Bakersfield, California every year. Even more people live in the city. However, is there public transportation available in Bakersfield, California?
There is public transportation available in Bakersfield, California. The main form of public transportation available includes buses that take 16 different routes. The city also has an Amtrack system and a local airport so people can travel to various cities that the buses don’t reach.
Within these forms of public transportation, there are a few more options available. With things like multiple bus companies, Bakersfield is able to help people get as far as several hours away.
Buses in Bakersfield, California
The two main bus companies in Bakersfield are Kern Transit and Golden Empire Transit District. They both follow 16 different routes.
Golden Empire Transit District
The Golden Empire buses specifically make 1,025 stops. These routes stretch from the Allen and Palm stop to the Morning Drive and Polaris stop, and from the James and Mccray stop all the way to the Ikea stop.
Some cool things about the Golden Empire Transit District are that they accept mobile payment, have an app, and provide transit to small neighboring towns. Using their app, you can access pricing information, schedules, routes, and step-by-step navigation. This bus company travels within Bakersfield as well as Greenacres, Greenfield, Oildale, and Rosedale. The cost of tickets may vary, so it is important to check individual fees before you get on the bus.
One key difference between the two companies is that Golden Empire Transit mainly stays within Bakersfield.
All Kern Transit vehicles are equipped to handle people with disabilities because all of their vehicles have wheelchair lifts. They are also suitable for cyclists as they have bike racks that are capable of holding 3 bikes at one time. It is warned that individuals have to secure their own bikes to the bus, so make sure that it is loaded on safely. The company’s website also includes a step-by-step procedure on how to securely load your bike.
It is also warned that bus drivers do not carry change, so if you are paying in cash, it is important for you to have the exact amount ready. Service animals are also permitted as long as they stay on the floor in front of their owner. Bus drivers do have the right to refuse service to someone if their service animal is behaving unruly. Strollers are also permitted but they must be folded up and stored on the floor in front of the owner.
For Kern Transit, passengers who are 65 or older, disabled, or are a student between kindergarten and 12th grade qualify to receive a 50% discount on their fare. However, they must show proof of qualification. If there is any confusion with understanding the bus schedule, this company is happy to answer your questions if you call 1-800-323-2396 and press option 1 when prompted.
Trains in Bakersfield, California
One of the most common means of transportation in this area is called the Amtrak, which is a train. A helpful feature of Amtrak is that you can bring your cat or small dog on board for an extra $26. This service is very useful because there are stations all over the country that it travels to. There are no stations in Idaho, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kentucky, and Tennessee, but there are stations surrounding the perimeter of the United States and most of the southern states.
A cool thing about this company is that they provide discounts to many people. Military service members, veterans, and senior adults (62 years old and older) both receive 15% off of their ticket price. A 15% discount is also offered to students and disabled passengers. The only requirement to receive any of these discounted prices is that you provide proof of eligibility, but you can easily show them your ID to provide said proof.
Another way that this service provides more “bang for your buck” is through its guest rewards system in which you can earn points to receive rewards for travels, hotels, and rentals. For every dollar that you spend, you earn 2 points. For Business Class travelers, a 25% point bonus is added, and passengers in Acela First class receive a total of a 50% point bonus. Customers can also receive up to 10,000 reward points per night that they spend in a hotel stay with Amtrak Hotels and Cars. There are over 350,000 hotels to choose from as well.
Another way that you can earn rewards is by shopping with Amtrak’s retail partners, which include two floral shops, Home Depot, Apple, etc.
Airplanes in Bakersfield, California
Surprisingly enough, Bakersfield has an airport! Meadows Field Airport is a small local airport that provides a few direct flights to Arizona, Texas, Colorado, and other parts of California.
Because it is a small airport, there are only two airlines to choose from, including United Airlines and American Airlines. American Airlines provides has nonstop flights available to Phoenix, Arizona, and Dallas, Texas. Phone reservations are available to be made 24/7 by calling 1 (800) 433-7300. United Airlines provides nonstop flights to San Francisco, California, and Denver, Colorado. For this airline, 24-hour phone reservations are available if you call 1 (800) 864-8331. You can also book tickets online
While this airport is small, they do still have the customer services that normal airports do. Ground transportation is available for customers, including rental cars, taxis, ridesharing services, and hotel shuttles.
Some rental car companies like AVIS, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National have rental counters within the terminal building. To make a reservation or find out their hours of operation, you can contact any one of them directly or look on their websites.
For the taxi services offered here, there are two options. Taxi Service Meadows Field is a 24-hour taxi service that is provided through the companies A One Taxi and Blue Star Taxi. Their phone numbers can be found on their website. You can call them ahead of time to arrange a pickup or you can just call them when you have arrived. For ridesharing, this airport operates through Lyft, so you have to download the Lyft app to get a ride outside of taxis. It was advised that customers should collect their baggage before calling a Lyft, as you never know how long it will take for you to get your bags, and you don’t want to keep your Lyft driver waiting for a long time.
Hotel Shuttles operate on routes to Fairfield Inn and Suites Bakersfield North/Airport by Marriot, Four Points by Sheraton, Marriot (Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center), DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Clarion Hotel, and SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western. So, if you would like a shuttle to take you to your hotel, you should choose one of these six hotels to stay at during your trip to Bakersfield. The phone numbers for these hotels can be found on their websites.
Future Options for Bakersfield
The Light Rail has been slowly being constructed for a while now. While it is unclear when it will be completed, eventually it will be a public transportation option for Bakersfield.
The “Making Bakersfield” Station Area Vision Plan was approved by the city in May of 2018. Entering into this agreement was part of the process of planning the future high-speed rail station. One main purpose of this plan was to increase means for walking, biking, and public transit in ways that would establish and maximize growth in downtown Bakersfield.
The designated area for the future station has already been established. There will also be stations in Fresno, San Francisco, and Merced.
What Residents Have to Say
Some users of Bakersfield public transportation have expressed that the Golden Empire Transit District bus is usually not an ideal option because it can take up to two hours to get across the city, and the city is not very big. The majority of people discussed that taxis in this area are awful.
While it seems that Bakersfield has many options for public transportation, when you look into the actual community and see what people have to say about it, it does not seem to be as helpful or effective as it seems to be. Through searching online reviews, at least 5 residents of Bakersfield have stated that if you are thinking about moving here, you will need a car. Most have said that it is necessary. One reviewer even said that while bikes and public transportation are reliable options, neither are very good. They even said that without a car, you are basically stuck in the city.
Despite these seemingly negative reviews of public transportation here. Most of these commenters made sure to add that one perk about transportation in Bakersfield is that it is within 3 hours of everything. If you can find transportation, you can get to lakes, beaches, mountains, theme parks, etc. The only downside with this is that to conveniently and smoothly enjoy these perks, it is most ideal to have your own personal transportation more reliable than a bike.