After some 30 years of providing weekday commuter bus service from Sonoma to San Francisco, the Valley of the Moon Commute Club will make its final run on Feb. 25.
The rider-supported Club simply can’t afford to sustain operations.
The loss of the VMCC’s familiar white bus will likely send the 23 members, and scores of casual riders who used the service irregularly, back to their own cars.
In its heyday, the Club ran a fleet of three full-sized buses every day. The schedule options, and a healthy economy, made the stress-free ride a popular alternative to fighting traffic and dealing with city parking.
But once rider numbers started dropping a few years ago, the price of membership crept up. One by one, buses were cut. That left fewer options for workers with inflexible schedules.
“Each time we cut a bus, people would drop out because of the timing,” said longtime rider Jaretta Avery.
Higher costs to fuel and operate the bus forced multiple price hikes over the past several years. The most recent boost, to $350 per month, caused even more attrition.