The San Joaquin Regional Transit District presented two possible options to the board of directors of the Mountain House Community Services District at the public meeting Wednesday night.
The buses would start at the new Tracy Transit Center, travel down Tracy Boulevard or Corral Hollow Road to Grant Line Road and continue to the Delta College campus on South Central Parkway. From the college, the buses would also stop at in Mountain House at Arnaudo Boulevard and Central Parkway, and again Mascot and De Anza boulevards.
Nate Knodt of the transit district estimated the new route would cost about $225,000 per year and could be in place within a year if the money was available.
He said the district has lost 21 percent of its budget over the past two years and reduced bus service 14 percent, but suggested teaming up with Tracy and the Mountain House district to find money for the project.
“Funding is going to have to come from multiple sources,” Mountain House board vice president Eric Payne said. “I don’t see that as being a problem.”
Knodt said no official proposal has been filed yet, but transit officials have met with Mountain House district employees, residents and Delta College officials to gauge interest and set the plan in motion. Last year, the transit district took a survey at the college and held meetings in Mountain House at the library and Delta College campus to get feedback from the community.
“One of the greatest advantages is having that link between Mountain House and Delta College,” Payne said. “It just makes it easier.”
It costs $1.50 for adults and $1.25 for students for a one-way ride on a Regional Transit District bus. Unlimited passes are available for one day, 10-days, and 31-days at reduced rates.
He said many residents want to bring buses to Mountain House so they can get to Tracy easier.
The first buses would leave the transit center at 6:35 a.m. and Delta College at 7:28 a.m. The last buses would leave Tracy around 4:05 p.m. and the college around 5:05 p.m.
Delta College Associate Dean Jessie Garza-Roderick said public transportation would help enroll more high school students to give them a chance to take college classes as early as freshman year of high school. She said they started to work on bus service plans about two years ago.
“I’ve been a very strong advocate of getting transportation,” she said. “It’s critical that we get this program set up as soon as possible.”
She's optimistic about getting money for the new route and said everyone involved will need to work together to make it happen.
“Budgets are tight for everybody right now and we understand that, but education is critical and you don’t stop educating students just because the economy is bad,” she said.
Contact Tracy Press reporter Jaclyn Hirsch at 830-4269 or email@example.com.