Needles Area Transit
Needles Area Transit logo.png
ParentCity of Needles
Headquarters817 Third Street Needles, CA
Service areaColorado River [1]
Service typebus service, paratransit
Annual ridership34,000 passengers [2]
OperatorRATP Dev[3]

Needles Area Transit (NAT) is the public transportation system, including a Dial-a-Ride program for seniors and persons with disabilities, serving residents of the City of Needles in San Bernardino County, California. The NAT system transports approximately 34,000 riders each year.


Needles Area Transit provides deviated fixed route service on a single route within Needles. The service operates hourly, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and for 4 hours on Saturday. NAT serves most of the area within the City, with the exception of some trailer parks on the north end of the city.[3]

The single NAT route operates as two loops, starting and ending at the same stop on G Street and Broadway, near the city's Chamber of Commerce. At the start of each hour (nn:00), the bus departs on the West Loop, returning to G and Broadway at 25 minutes past the hour (nn:25). At the half hour (nn:30), the bus departs on the North-South Loop, returning to G and Broadway at 55 minutes past the hour (nn:55). Both loops service the city's major shopping center (Needles Towne Center), departing at 20 and 50 minutes past the hour on the return leg along Broadway to the route's origin/end point.[4] Deviations from the fixed route are allowed, schedule permitting, if pre-arranged with the dispatcher.[5]

In 2014, NAT offered a seasonal route with service to Jack Smith Park, which offers recreational access to the Colorado River. Riders were not allowed to carry rafts, but deflated river inflatables were allowed, as long as they were stowed in a bag.[6][7]

In addition to the single NAT fixed route, the City of Needles operates the Needles Dial-a-Ride (aka Senior Shuttle), with curb-to-curb service for persons age 55 and over or persons with limited mobility, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday; Dial-a-Ride Medical, open to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis, with trips to medical facilities in Bullhead City, Arizona on Tuesdays and Thursdays; and Shopper Shuttle Pilot to major retail stores in Fort Mohave, including Walmart and Safeway, on Wednesdays.[8]: 4 


Public transportation within Needles started with a 1984 agreement between the city and the Needles Senior Citizens Club; the city let a contract with the Club to provide specialized transportation services, and the city eventually became responsible for hiring and providing drivers, and for purchasing the paratransit vehicles. In 2016, McDonald Transit Associates took over operations for the Dial-a-Ride services.[9]

NAT began operating in May 1995; the initial operator was Laidlaw,[10] and the operations contract subsequently was taken over by McDonald Transit Associates, the transit affiliate of RATP Dev,[11] from 2006 to 2019.[12] Transportation Concepts, the transit division of Parking Concepts, Inc., took over the operations contracts for NAT and Dial-a-Ride services starting in October 2019.[13][14]

The NAT office and garage are in the west end of the historic El Garces Intermodal Transportation Facility.[15] NAT uses two 18-passenger buses and the Dial-a-Ride service uses a single 9-passenger bus.[16]

New shelters and benches were installed at bus stops in February 2019, and new signs informed riders when the bus was scheduled to arrive.[17]

In 2019, NAT was seeking funding from SBCTA for a pilot program named Shopper Shuttle. It would have taken residents to Fort Mojave for their grocery needs, as the city lost its only grocery store.[18] The Pilot program was going to start late 2019 and continue until 2023.[19] The pilot program official began in July 2021.[20] SBCTA in 2021, recommended extending the Shopper Shuttle pilot into a limited stop fix route, twice weekly service, to Bullhead City as a way to reduce cost on the transit system by combining the shopper shuttle with its separate dial-a-ride medical service into bullehead city.[21]


Needles Area Transit fares[8]: 5 
  Regular[a][b] Discount[c]
Regular Route 1.35 1.25
Deviation Service 2.00 1.90
Single Boarding Pass 1.35 1.35
30-ride Punch Pass 39.00 N/A
  1. ^ Adults and youths age 6 and older
  2. ^ Up to two children age 5 and under may ride without charge, accompanied by a fare-paying adult
  3. ^ Seniors age 60 and over and persons with disabilities


  1. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-10-09. Retrieved 2009-09-20.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ San Bernardino Associated Governments information on Needles Area Transit Archived 2008-12-22 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b Public Transit-Human Services, Transportation Coordination Plan for San Bernardino County 2007
  4. ^ "Route Map". City of Needles. Retrieved 1 April 2021.
  5. ^ "How to Ride the NAT". City of Needles. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  6. ^ Lopez, Zachary (April 9, 2014). "Video Alert!!: Needles, CA: Needles Area Transit (N.A.T.) Jack Smith Park Seasonal Express route". ZachNews. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  7. ^ Denevan, Jennifer (April 14, 2014). "NAT to provide service to Jack Smith Park". Needles Desert Star. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  8. ^ a b AMMA Transit Planning (November 2019). Needles Transit Services Short Range Transit Plan 2020–2025 (PDF) (Report). Draft. City of Needles. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  9. ^ Agreement for Dial-a-Ride and Dial-a-Ride Medical/Shopper Shuttle Pilot Program Services (PDF) (Report). City of Needles. September 24, 2019. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  10. ^ Smith, Cat (May 3, 2006). "City seeks new operator for Needles Area Transit". News West. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  11. ^ "McDonald Transit Offers Management Services". Mass Transit Magazine (Press release). September 1, 2014. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  12. ^ Richards, Robin (February 11, 2019). "What must city do to retain bus service? Needles City Council meets Feb. 12". Mohave Valley Daily News West. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  13. ^ Lopez, Zachary (September 30, 2019). "Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council Meeting". ZachNews. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  14. ^ "Needles Area Transit Rider's Guide" (PDF). City of Needles. October 1, 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  15. ^ Denevan, Jennifer (April 2, 2015). "More change orders for Needles Area Transit garage". Needles Desert Star. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  16. ^ Flores, Saul A. (November 18, 2016). "NAT, Dial-a-Ride to get new vehicles". Needles Desert Star. Retrieved 5 April 2021.
  17. ^ Lopez, Zachary (February 19, 2019). "Needles, CA: New bus stop shelters, benches and signage installed for the Needles Area Transit". ZachNews. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  18. ^[bare URL PDF]
  19. ^ "Needles, CA: Summary and voting results from the Needles City Council Meeting". 30 September 2019.
  20. ^[bare URL PDF]
  21. ^ "Transit Committee Meeting, September 2021" (PDF). San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. San Bernardino County Transportation Authority. Retrieved 12 March 2022.