Changes are coming to Riverbank and Oakdale bus service.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2013, Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) will begin operating transit services in the communities of Oakdale and Riverbank as a result of merging with the Riverbank-Oakdale Transit Authority (ROTA). The service will be operated by the county’s service contract operator, Storer Transit Systems.
Financially, the move should prove beneficial for riders, said county officials.
The merger of StaRT and ROTA transit services means ROTA patrons will pay lower fares, especially seniors and persons with disabilities who will now pay $1.25 for one-way trips resulting in a cost savings of .25 per trip. Members of the general public using Dial-A-Ride service for their transportation and mobility needs will also benefit from the lower fares, as they will now pay $1.50 for one-way trips instead of the current ROTA fare of $2.00 per trip.
In an effort to provide the public with the opportunity to learn about the changes, StaRT has scheduled a number of meetings in both the cities of Riverbank and Oakdale for this month to outline the new service.
On Wednesday, Dec. 12, representatives will be on hand at the Oakdale Merchants Meeting at House of Beef, 201 N. Third Ave., Oakdale, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.; and at the Riverbank Library, 3442 Santa Fe, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., call 869-7008.
On Monday, Dec. 17, meetings are set at the Gladys L. Lemmons Senior Community Center, 450 East A St., Oakdale from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., call 845-3566; and at the Oakdale Library, 151 S. First Ave., 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., call 847-4204.
After serving as a joint operation between the cities of Riverbank and Oakdale for several years, ROTA officials said the inability to meet the required fare box ratio prompted them to seek ways to continue the service and merging with the county transit program was the best viable option.
The county also operates demand response service on the Eastside Shuttle and fixed route service on Route 60 in both communities. Both the shuttle and fixed route services connects residents to the city of Modesto and other segments of the county. The county plans to continue operating the fixed route and shuttle services in addition to the new Dial-A-Ride services to be operated in the cities of Oakdale and Riverbank.
StaRT provides over 320,000 passenger trips in the unincorporated areas and incorporated cities within Stanislaus County with interregional, intercity and intra-city fixed route services, deviated fixed route/shuttle services, as well as Dial-A-Ride services. For more information you can go to www.srt.org.