Manteca Transit buses carried 8,034 less passengers in 2017-2018 than they did four years prior while operating costs have more than doubled to $1,105,745.
As a result the operating cost per passenger has gone from $9.29 in 2013-2014 when ridership peaked at 57,447 passengers last fiscal year when the cost was $22.24 per passenger after ridership declined for the fourth straight year to drop to 49,713. The Manteca Transit operating cost four years ago was just over $533,000.
That is just one tidbit of information gleaned from the short range public transit plan being reviewed by the Manteca City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
Providing public transportation in the city the size of Manteca is mandated by state and federal law as a condition for receiving overall transportation funding including road maintenance. The cost of operating the system is typically covered by state and federal funding sources.
There are a number of recommendations being made on the 10-year planning horizon to increase ridership and efficiency.
*Expand service hours currently at 6 a.m. through 7 p.m. Monday through Friday to 4 a.m. through 8 p.m. and expand Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Extending weekday operating would allow Manteca Transit to bring riders to the Manteca Transit Center to catch one of two busses headed to the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station and one bus departing for the Tracy Defense Depot. Currently all three buses depart the Manteca Transit Center before Manteca Transit service even starts. The expanded evening hours would allow returning riders to catch Manteca Transit buses. The expanded schedule would mean Manteca Transit riders could catch all four departing ACE trains from the Lathrop-Manteca station on West Yosemite Avenue instead of the two that currently can be taken based on the existing Manteca Transit operating hours.
*Adding a fourth route operating more robustly south of the 120 Bypass in a U-shape going between the ACE station on West Yosemite Avenue and the downtown transit center.
*Reconfigure Route 3 and increase the frequency of buses on Route 1 and Route 2 during weekdays to 30 minutes. The new Route 3 route would serve Great Wolf that will become the largest non-medical employer in the private sector when it opens in 2020 with 250 fulltime and 250 part-time workers.
*Adding Sunday service with the same hours of operation as Saturday. The seven-day service strategy along with route changes and adding a fourth route while expanding the hours of service are all aimed at increasing the transit footprint in Manteca to make using Manteca Transit more convenient and more efficient.
*Increase fares to match a regional fare structure for passenger convenience.
*Pursue partnerships with interregional buses traveling the Interstate 5 corridor such as Amtrak and Greyhound.
*Discontinue Dial-a-Ride service on Saturday and to the ACE station. Dial-a-Ride would be only for seniors and persons with disabilities.
*Consider a partnership with TRACER (the City of Tracy’s transit system) for travel between the Tracy Transit Station and the Manteca Transit Center.
*Improve coordination of San Joaquin Regional Transit Hopper and commuter service into and out of Manteca.
*Expand the Manteca Transit Center parking lot to prepare for downtown ACE service by 2021.
*Purchase five replacement and five additional larger heavy duty low-floor transit buses
*Purchase electric support vehicles.
*Build a transit maintenance facility at the current solid waste facility on Wetmore Street. The solid waste division is being relocated to the wastewater treatment plant so collection trucks can be fueled using compressed liquefied gas from the food waste to fuel infrastructure that is now being built.
*Improve passenger amenities and add more bus shelters, benches, and trash cans.
*Build a new ACE station as well as a park and ride lot at McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass.
*Continue transit security improvements as well as transit center upgrades.
To contact Dennis Wyatt, email firstname.lastname@example.org