Coreen Kirk is a recent rider of the Blossom Express.
She along with Patience Carpenter, both of the Town Square independent living complex, hopped aboard the transit bus to Modesto. They made a day of it, dining at the Vintage Faire Mall food court before heading back home.
Kirk is looking forward to riding the Blossom Express, especially with the proposed routes consisting of two round-trips in the morning and two more in the afternoon soon to be in place. Along the way there will be 29 stops including five timed stops, with service to include Kaiser Permanente Modesto Medical Center and the Kaiser Permanente Modesto Clinic.
“That’s good,” she said at the public workshop held Thursday in the Council Chambers. “I belong to Kaiser.”
Kirk also believes more folks will soon take advantage of the transit, especially with the holidays fast approaching.
About a dozen residents attended the workshop on the proposed changes. Some made requests such as including a stop near the mall to include Trader Joe’s.
Many favored the new routes consisting of portions mimicking connections to both the San Joaquin Regional District – in particular, the Route 91 service north to Manteca and Stockton – and, to the south, the Modesto Area Express hub.
They also liked the idea of soft stops. That’s where the driver will pull over and stop only if a passenger wishes to disembark or board the bus at that location.
Among the timed stops – in this case, the driver pulls over, stops, and waits for the designated departure times – will be the Ripon Memorial Library; Wilma Avenue between Main and Second streets in front of Bethany Homes; Goodwin Drive near Colony Road at the SaveMart shopping center; North Ripon Road and West Boesch Drive; and North Manley Road and Stouffer Street in front of Mavis Stouffer Park.
“We’re hoping to capture more people trying to catch the bus (along North Manley Road),” said Mitzi Johnston in the Planning Department.
She along with Barbara Schneider in the Engineering Department and Deputy City Administrator / City Engineer Kevin Werner spearheaded the workshop.
“We’ve appreciated your patience in us while we iron out the kinks,” Werner said to those in attendance.
Schneider indicated that the changes to the routes were made possible by input from bus drivers and riders.
The new bus routes are scheduled to begin Nov. 5.
More information can be obtained by calling Ripon City Hall at 209-599-4102 or logging on to www.cityofripon.org.