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Public Transportation service in Porterville dates back to 1980 when the City began offering curb-to-curb (origin to destination) demand-response service to the general public through Dial-A-COLT (City Operated Local Transit). In response to increasing ridership the City implemented Porterville Transit, a full-time fixed route service, in early July of 1997. Porterville Transit began as a two route system, but quickly matured to the nine route system of today.

In August of 2006, Porterville's Dial-A-COLT service was changed to a seniors and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-preferred service. Porterville continues to provide transit service to the general public through its fixed route system and on Dial-A-COLT (waiting list only).

Porterville Transit and Dial-A-COLT services are provided within the city limits and to designated unincorporated urban areas of the county, including "county islands" within the city limits.  Service to county areas is provided under service agreement between the City and the County.

Organizational Structure

The Porterville City Council is the policy-making body for the Porterville Transit and Dial-A-COLT services. It adopts the Short Range Transit Plan, and through the annual budgetary process, establishes operational and funding levels for the system. The City Council also sets operational policies and parameters for both services.

Management of Porterville Transit and Dial-A-COLT is an integrated function of the City of Porterville. The Public Works department is responsible for the overall management of the service. The City's Public Works department is also responsible for the maintenance of the transit fleet, through its Field Services Division.

The City has contracted with Sierra Management, a local private contractor, to perform program administration as well as daily operations of both Porterville Transit and Dial-A-COLT.  The Transit Manager is responsible for the overall administration, planning, monitoring, and marketing of the system. The Transit Manager also act as liaisons to TCAG, Caltrans and the FTA.  The Transit Operations Manager is responsible for the day-to-day operations management; the hiring, testing, training and supervision of all drivers and dispatch staff; fare collection; reporting; ridership data collection; and the operation of Porterville Transit and Dial-A-COLT vehicles in accordance with City Policy and all State and Federal regulations.  The County of Tulare contracts with the City of Porterville to provide transit service to unincorporated areas surrounding Porterville. The County reimburses the City for service provided to County residents using Local Transportation Funds (LTF).

Geographic Area

The City of Porterville is located in Tulare County, which is part of the Central San Joaquin Valley of California. The San Joaquin Valley is a rich agricultural area, and Tulare County is recognized as the largest agricultural-producing county in the world.

Porterville has a land area of approximately 14.3 square miles (9,161 acres), situated at the base of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. It is approximately 30 miles southeast of Visalia (the County seat); 60 miles northeast of Bakersfield, 165 miles northeast of Los Angeles, and 254 miles southeast of San Francisco. State Routes 65 and 190 bisect the community. The City's sphere of influence includes rural areas surrounding the incorporated city and an urban area known as East Porterville.



Planning and Scheduling

The plan approach focused on seeking input and data related to Porterville's transit system that would provide a solid base from which to most effectively plan the future use of transit services within the Porterville area. Efforts focused on garnering input from those people directly involved in the day-to-day operation of the service, as well as those people that use the service. Information is collected in a variety of ways, including:

  • A review of current and past operational and financial data
  • An assessment of current and planned City development
  • Management and staff interviews
  • Passenger surveys

Public involvement is a primary key to the success of transit planning within any community. Public involvement includes on-board surveys to assess current ridership patterns, and to gather passenger perceptions.


The Porterville Transit System receives funding from various federal, state, and local sources. The primary sources are the California Transportation Development Act (TDA), the Federal Transit Administration Section 5307.

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