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RT may drop several South County routes

A number of San Joaquin Regional Transit District routes that connect Stockton to the rest of San Joaquin County could be on the chopping block.

On Friday, Jan. 17, the SJRTD’s Board of Directors will meet to discuss the possibility of moving forward with a staff proposal to eliminate intercity transit routes that are current running at a nearly $1 million annual deficit.

And if approved, the cuts would impact the bus route that connects Manteca and Ripon’s Bethany Home – a senior living community – to the Vintage Faire Mall in Modesto as well as the route which connects the Manteca and Tracy Transit Centers.

The meeting will take place at the SJRTD boardroom – located at 421 E. Weber Ave. – at 10 a.m.

While the meeting could potentially lead to the termination of a route between Mountain House and Tracy that will cease to run by the end of the month, the board will consider ending five routes that provide connection between cities in San Joaquin County and even connect points in San Joaquin County to Stanislaus County.

The routes being considered for termination include:

*Route 90 which connects the Downtown Transit Center in Stockton to the Tracy Transit Station via the San Joaquin General Hospital and the Lathrop Save Mart Center.

*Route 91 which connects the Downtown Transit Center to Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall via the Manteca Transit Center and Ripon’s Bethany Home.

*Route 93 which connects the Downtown Transit Center to the Lodi Transit Station via a Mall Transfer Station and Stockton Kaiser.

*Route 797/97 which connects the Manteca Transit Center to the Tracy Transit Center via the Lathrop Save Mart Center.

*Route 723/23 which connects Stockton to Lodi.

While the staff report includes a resolution that would halt those routes at the end of the fiscal year on June 30, SJRTD Marketing and Communications Chief Jean Foletta-Morales said that the item on the agenda is part of the performance of due diligence to allow the public to voice their input on the necessity of said routes and for the board itself to potentially consider finding alternative revenue sources to help offset the deficits that the routes are creating.

While low-ridership and an ongoing revenue deficit for the route between Mountain House and Tracy are what prompted that route cancellation to be suggested – which if approved on Friday would go into effect by the end of the month – Foletta-Morales said that the intercity proposal is being discussed in public for the purpose of full disclosure about what the board may be considering, and to get public input about how such cancellations would impact individual riders.

It costs the transit district more than $2.86 million to operate the five routes that connect those points in San Joaquin County, while it receives less than $2 million in revenue to help offset those costs. And of that revenue, $1.43 million is being subsidized by Measure K – the 30-year, half-cent sales tax increase that was recently renewed by San Joaquin County voters to help cover the cost of necessary transportation and infrastructure projects.

For additional information about the San Joaquin Regional Transit District, or to view the agenda for the board’s upcoming meeting, visit

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.