The city of Davis' bus service, known for its red double-deckers, turns 50 this week.
The UC Davis Student Association started Unitrans back in 1968 with the purchase of two red double-decker buses from England. They ran two routes. There are now nearly 50 buses, including four double deckers, that carry 22,000 customers a day on 18 different routes.
"If you look at ridership across California you have San Francisco Muni, which has the most passengers per hour, then LA Metro and then Unitrans. So it really is a service that does a lot for the city," says Unitrans General Manager Jeff Flynn.
Flynn says the service helps Davis reduce traffic, pollution and parking problems while providing jobs to students.
"All of our drivers are students. All of our supervisors are students. And a majority of all of our other positions are students including administrative staff and mechanics. So we employ about 250 people, 90 percent of those are undergraduate students at UC Davis," Flynn said.
Flynn was a Unitrans driver when he was an Aggie undergrad.
To mark the 50th anniversary the university is throwing a celebration Friday, March 2 at its Memorial Union terminal. It's also cutting fares all week from one dollar to 15 cents... the cost in 1968.
Undergrads ride free all the time on Unitrans thanks to a quarterly fee that dates back to 1990, when students voted to help pay for the bus service.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that the quarterly student fee began in 1970. The fee began in 1990.
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