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Regional Transit Plans ROTA Takeover
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Due to its inability to meet its portion of operating costs, the Riverbank-Oakdale Transit Authority is having the county take over its dial-a-ride service.

Formed in 1993, ROTA has provided dial-a ride service since 1995 funded through passenger fares and gasoline sales tax to meet its $540,000 budget. In order to receive the gas tax funding, the California Transportation Development Act requires that at least 10 percent of its budget come from collected fares. Storer Transit Systems of Modesto is the service provider on behalf of ROTA.

According to ROTA officials, for the past several years the agency has been working diligently in reducing costs and trying to increase ridership in an effort to meet the fare box revenue requirements. Without its portion, they are subject to penalties.

ROTA has not met the 10-percent requirement in the last several years, with a June 2011 report showing only six percent of revenues collected from ridership fares.

When it became evident that ROTA would not be able to meet the requirement for another successive year, the ROTA board, consisting of representatives from both the Riverbank and Oakdale city councils, began discussions earlier this year with Stanislaus Regional Transit. The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors approved the takeover in July 2012.

Stanislaus Regional Transit will assume dial-a-ride service effective Jan. 1, 2013 and will offer the same level of service as ROTA with a reduced fare expected. The county will evaluate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness for Oakdale Dial-A-Ride service and in August 2013 develop a new individualized plan.

“It may be a rough transition to get a feel for what citizens need,” said Oakdale Councilman Mike Brennan, who serves on the ROTA board.

All ROTA advertising on the buses and the bus shelters is expected be removed by the beginning of the year. By June 30, 2013, Regional Transit will change the buses to their colors and add their logos and the fares for service in the Riverbank-Oakdale area will be reduced.