Tulare Transit History
In 1980 the system was under the direction of Mr. John Davis and then Mr. Leonard Smith, where ABLE Industries was running two separate transit systems, one for the clients of the center delivering meals to seniors, and one for the general public.
In July of 1984 the City of Tulare took over the transit system from ABLE Industries and Mr. Leonard Smith came on board as Tulare Transit’s first Transit Supervisor. The City’s Transit Office was moved to the second floor above the old Fleet Maintenance facility at the Tulare Corporation Yard where it remained until January 1999. During that time Mr. Smith and Joseph Donabed, a management employee, created 7 new routes in order to cover more area while the City continued to grow.
The current Transit Center at 360 North “K” Street was dedicated and opened for business in January of 1999, and as time went on the city replaced the old buses, vans, cars, and checker cabs, with new transit buses, vans, and cutaways.
On June 20, 2000 Mr. Leonard Smith retired and Gilbert Garza was appointed as the Transit Superintendent and served the City until March 2003.
In July of 2004 MV Transit was contracted to operate the City’s transit system, and remains the transit system operator today, and it was during March of 2007 when a contest was held for passengers and citizens to find a new name for the City service. “TIME” for Tulare Inter Modal Express, whose moto is “Take TIME to go from place to place” was selected.
Throughout the years since ABLE Industries started the Transit system in Tulare, the City has made many improvements such as route changes and expansions, Express Buses to and from COS in Visalia and the Visalia Transit Center.
Buses also now go to COS Tulare, various Tulare shopping centers, schools, senior center, senior living facilities, restaurants, and medical offices. Throughout the routes there have been installed lighted bus shelters at many of the stops. Older buses are now being replaced with more modern and "Green Fueled" CNG buses, and low floor vehicles to make it easier for passengers to board.
The City Transit service has also extended its rider service until 9:45 PM on weekdays, Saturdays until 7:00 PM, and Sunday service until 7:00 PM.