South Coast Area Transit (SCAT) was established in 1973. On July 17, 1973, the Cities of Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and San Buenaventura executed a Joint Powers Agreement that created SCAT to develop and operate local and intercity public transportation in western Ventura County. The County of Ventura became a SCAT member agency in October of 1977.
Prior to SCAT's creation, two municipal bus lines operated the region's public transit service. Ventura Transit City Lines operated local service in Ventura and intercity service to Ojai. Oxnard Municipal Bus Lines served Oxnard and Port Hueneme. Following a national trend, the bus systems flourished through the mid 1940's but both ridership and service levels declined in the years following. By the late 1960's it became increasingly difficult for cities to maintain municipal bus lines with local general funds. The outlook for public transit systems in California brightened in 1971 when the State Legislature created a source of dedicated transportation funding through passage of the Transportation Development Act (TDA). The availability of TDA funds to local governments provided an impetus for forming a single regional transit entity to operate coordinated transit services across municipal boundaries and in some unincorporated areas of western Ventura County.
After SCAT's creation in 1973, the operating systems of Ventura Transit City Lines and Oxnard Municipal Bus Lines were merged to create the SCAT regional transit system. Bus service was implemented on November 4, 1973. SCAT originally operated from two facilities located in Ventura and Oxnard. In February of 1980 all SCAT functions were consolidated in a single administrative, operating and maintenance facility on a three-acre site at 301 E. Third Street in Oxnard. In June 2007, SCAT's Joint Powers Agreement was amended to, among other changes, rename the agency from South Coast Area Transit to Gold Coast Transit; this change became effective July 1, 2007.
GCT provides fixed-route bus and paratransit services in the cities of Ojai, Oxnard, Port Hueneme and Ventura, and in the unincorporated County areas between the cities. The service area is approximately 91 square miles with a population of 375,000. GCT's fixed-route buses served 3.8 million passenger boardings in fiscal year 2013/2014, an increase of 7% from the previous year, and operated 2 million miles of revenue service. GCT operates a fleet of 54 transit buses using clean burning compressed natural gas (CNG). GCT operates its own onsite CNG fueling station. In fiscal year 2013, the ACCESS paratransit system transported 70,927 passengers, an increase of 3.4% over the previous year. The GCT paratransit fleet has 24 CNG buses and vans.
GCT's mission is to provide safe, responsive, convenient, efficient, and environmentally responsible public transportation that serves the diverse needs of our community.
Gold Coast Transit is a joint powers agency governed by a Board of Directors. Each of GCT's five member agencies appoints one elected official from its governing body to serve on the Board of Directors and a second to serve as an alternate member. The Board of Directors regular monthly meetings are held on the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. Learn more.
The General Manager is appointed by the Board of Directors and is charged with carrying out the Board's policies and directives. The General Manager leads a management team made up of four internal directors who head departments. Members of the management team are:
GCT has 178 employees, the majority of whom provide or supervise bus service. The operations department has 136 employees including 125 bus operators, nine transit supervisors, an operations safety and training officer and a director. The maintenance department has 23 employees and the administration department has 19 employees. Service Employees International Union Local 721 represents all bus operators, most maintenance employees and five administrative staff members.
In addition to its directly operated fixed route bus service, GCT contracts with MV Transportation for the management and operation of GCT ACCESS, a regional paratransit service providing curb-to-curb transportation for people with disabilities and senior citizens.