By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Subsidized taxi service returns July 1 when buses dont run
The Manteca City Council has adopted a five-year plan for the municipal bus system. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Subsidized tax rides in Manteca for seniors and the disabled are returning on a limited basis starting July 1.

The Manteca City Council Tuesday approved a five-year transit plan that includes restoring the subsidized services when the Manteca Transit buses aren’t running. That means they will be available Monday through Friday from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., as well as Saturday, Sundays, and holidays. The vouchers will be sold for 50 percent of the actual value of the ride with the city picking up their half from federal transit revenue earmarked for Manteca.

The subsidized taxi rides were dropped when the city launched the Manteca Transit service – including Dial a Ride – just over two years ago.

The transit plan also includes adding fixed service routes.

The preferred alternate for route changes implements a third route that essentially mirrors the current north-south route but runs in the opposite direction.

Both north-south routes will be modified to take in The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley as well as the Stadium Retail Center anchored by Kohl’s and Costco.

The east-west route also will be modified to allow service in both directions by dropping much of Center Street except the swing by the senior center/civic center complex and dropping a swing down Moffat Boulevard then up Spreckels Avenue. It will retain Target service by creating a loop that goes as far south as Phoenix Drive in Spreckels Park. It also extends farther west to Stadium Retail Center.

The result will be two-way service on most segments that effectively eliminates waits of up to an hour for return trips. The route also will continue to complete a loop in an hour. The transfers between routes would continue to take place at Otis Street and Moffat Boulevard where the city plans to proceed as soon as possible with the first phase of the long-awaited transit center.

The San Joaquin Council of Government has committed $2.1 million for the first phase of the transit station after re-evaluating all transit projects against lower Measure K sales tax revenues at a meeting last week in Stockton.

Two heavily used Manteca Transit bus stops — on Cherry Lane at the Manteca Senior Center and on Spreckels Avenue near Target — will get benches and shelters after July 1.

Both locations will have benches, trash receptacles, and a shelter all put in place that will meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The Spreckels Avenue location will also have a bus pullout created so Manteca Transit buses don’t block traffic. That will require cutting into the sidewalk and grass and some paving as well as new sidewalk work.

The shelters and benches now in place at various locations throughout Manteca were through the efforts of the Manteca Morning Rotary.

The five-year plan calls for additional bus stops and shelters being created over the next several years.

Manteca Transit also will spend $969,612 over the next five years on nine replacement vehicles the city will own. Although no details were mentioned on Tuesday, Councilman Vince Hernandez has been a strong advocate of using fuel-efficient, low-emission vehicles to run on the bus routes.

The $1.3 million in capital improvements over the next five years are being paid for with restricted state and federal funds earmarked for Manteca and will not be from the general fund.

Manteca Dial -A-Ride will also start offering service to and from the Altamont Commuter Express rail station just outside the city limits on West Yosemite Avenue.

An audit of the system showed ridership increased 129 per cent in 2008 with 3.5 passengers on any given hour on fixed routes and 3 riders per hour on the Dial-a-Ride.