Manteca Transit is offering free bus rides on its system next week — Monday, Oct. 14, thru Friday, Oct. 19.
Although the goal is to get everyone to try riding the bus in a bid so they may become an occasional or regular user, Manteca Transit has been concentrating efforts at promoting the five days of free bus rides to teens and older children.
They timed it to coincide with the fall break for Manteca Unified students.
It’s an effort to do not only show youth they have a way to get around town to travel to place like AMC Showplace, the library, shopping, meeting up with friends and even going to and from school, but to also demonstrate to parents that riding Manteca Transit is a safe and reliable venture. They even have an app for that so parents can track their child on a bus in real time.
Manteca Transit officials have shared information on riding the bus at various venues including high school assemblies and at the Manteca Boys & Girls Club where a stop was recently added on Alameda Street in front of the clubhouse.
High school administrators have noted they have seen a drop-off in students seeking driving permits and ultimately licenses until they turn 18. That has led to more parents dropping teens off at campus as well as students walking longer distances to school.
Manteca Unified for almost a decade has stopped providing in town transportation to high school students due to budget concerns. As a result there are a significant number of teens who cannot get rides due to family work schedules. As a result teens sometimes walk 2 to 3 miles in fog or adverse weather. They often need to cross overpasses and their approaches that have no sidewalk or fencing. There are also areas where roads are narrow with no shoulder to walk on.
Manteca Transit is adding an expanded route south of the 120 Bypass that will mean more students would be able to ride a city bus to reach Sierra High or Manteca High. East Union High is also on a Manteca Transit bus route.
Information on Manteca Transit as well as printable rider guides to the fixed route system plus maps of the system are available by going to www.ci.manteca.ca.us/PublicWorks/MantecaTransit
Other times beside next week when all bus rides are free, Manteca Transit youth fares are 75 cents for those ages 2 to 18. It covers any transfers they need to make to switch buses to reach their destination. Transfer points are the Transit Center, the Civic Center at 1001 W. Center St., and Stadium Retail Center anchored by Kohl’s.
Monthly passes for youth ages 2 to 18 are $28. Ten-ride passes for ages 5 to 18 are $7.
Either passes or exact change is needed to ride a bus. Passes can be purchased at the Transit Center, 220 Moffat Blvd., or the Manteca Parks & Recreation Office, 252 Magnolia Ave.
Those who are 12 and older can ride the bus by themselves. Youth between 6 and 11 years of age must ride the bus accompanied by someone who is 12 years or older. Those under 6 are required to be with someone 18 years of age or older.
All Manteca Transit buses also have bicycle racks.
A number of Manteca of Delta College students are currently dropped off at the Transit Center by parents to catch Regional Transit buses to the Stockton campus. Manteca Transit along with Regional Transit and municipal transit concerns throughout the county such as Tracy, Lodi, Escalon, and Ripon are work on a PayPal style app that will allow riders to purchase tickets on any of the transit systems.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email email@example.com