San Joaquin Regional Transit District


San Joaquin Regional Transit District

Infobox Public transit
name = San Joaquin Regional Transit District


imagesize = 150px
locale = Stockton, California
transit_type = Bus
began_operation =
system_length = San Joaquin County / 1,489 mile2 (3,854 km²)
lines = 66
stations =
ridership =
track_gauge =
operator = San Joaquin Regional Transit District
[http://www.sanjoaquinrtd.com Official website]
employees = 335

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (known as "San Joaquin RTD" or simply as RTD) provides bus service to the city of Stockton, California and the surrounding communities of Lodi, Ripon, Thornton, French Camp, Lathrop, Manteca, Tracy, Escalon, and Modesto.San Joaquin RTD operates 365 days a year, providing 41 fixed routes to the Stockton metropolitan area, including Metro Express, RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service, and four Downtown Trolley routes. 19 RTD Interregional Commuter routes serve Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Dublin/Pleasanton’s BART station, with subscription service available for commuters. Five deviated fixed routes are served by RTD’s Hopper buses connecting Ripon, Escalon, Manteca, Lathrop, Thornton, Woodbridge, French Camp, Morada, and Linden to Stockton, Tracy, and Lodi. 22 Dial-A-Ride buses provide deviated fixed route service for Stockton and the general public countywide. RTD has four Intercity routes connecting Stockton with Lodi, Tracy, Manteca, Ripon, and Lathrop, and one fixed route connecting Escalon with Modesto. Total annual ridership for fiscal year 2008 was 4.7 million trips, and Interregional ridership totaled 319,194 trips (avg. 1,267 per day).

History

In 1963, legislative groundwork began for the establishment of a public transit special district in Stockton, and in 1965, the Stockton Metropolitan Transit District (SMTD) began providing service for the residents of Stockton.In late 1979, SMTD moved operations from Grant and Channel Streets to its current Lindsay Street facility.In 1985, SMTD adopted the nickname “SMART.”In 1990, SMART began providing fully accessible fixed route and Dial-A-Ride services for the elderly and persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990.In 1994, enabling legislation expanded SMART’s service area to the San Joaquin County border, bringing with it a name change to reflect its expansion - San Joaquin Regional Transit District, or SJRTD for short. That same year, SJRTD expanded its Interregional Commuter service to offer additional routes to commuters traveling to the Bay Area and Sacramento.In 2004, SJRTD adopted “San Joaquin RTD” as its new corporate identity and developed a new logo. That same year, RTD introduced low-emission diesel-electric hybrid buses via its “Flower Bus,” with a full-wrap sunflower display designed to complement the slogan “A Breath of Fresh Air.”At the end of 2006, RTD opened the Downtown Transit Center for the public, with a floor for employee offices.

RTD's Hybrid Buses

In 2006, RTD led a consortium of 11 transit agencies in purchasing 157 GM diesel-electric hybrid buses consisting of eight other California transit authorities, RTC RIDE (formerly Citifare) of Reno, Nevada, and ABQ RIDE of Albuquerque, New Mexico. ABQ RIDE eventually backed out of the consortium, choosing to order buses directly from New Flyer instead. San Joaquin RTD's first low-emission hybrid bus was delivered and introduced into service in 2004. In September 2007, RTD had 33 hybrid buses, representing 30% of its full-size Metro fleet.RTD chose hybrid buses because they use an electric motor and a smaller diesel engine to save fuel and protect the environment. RTD’s low-emission hybrid buses reduce carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and particulate matter (PM) up to 90%, and oxides of nitrogen (Nox) up to 50%.

At the present time RTD has several different configurations of its Gillig Advantage Diesel/Electric Hybrid buses

The 6000 series is currently the buses being operated on RTD's Metro Express Route 40. These buses produced by Gillig have been specifically designed for Bus Rapid Transit. They have a unique design to distinguish them from other RTD coaches. The 6000 series buses have a low floor special design that is wider in the front of the coach to create easier access for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users board the coach using a ramp deployed out the front door. These buses also have a wider rear door for faster boarding/exiting.

The 6200 series is RTD's convert|29|ft|m|sing=on configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have one door for entering/exiting.

The 6300 series is RTD's convert|35|ft|m|sing=on low floor configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have dual door access for boarding and alighting.

The 6400 series is RTD's convert|40|ft|m|sing=on low floor configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have dual door access for boarding and alighting.

These hybrid buses are equipped with Continental-Siemens TransitMaster CADAVL technology which provides ADA-compliant voice announcement and interior LED destination signs. For passenger and operator safety, the buses are equipped with GE Digital Security cameras. Hybrid bus headsigns are produced by TwinVision. Each hybrid bus is equipped with bike racks for two bikes.

Metro Express

Metro Express is RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service, and uses uniquely-branded, low-emission diesel-electric hybrid buses that arrive at their stops every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours and every 30 minutes on weeknights, weekends, and holidays.Metro Express passengers are required to have a valid, pre-paid RTD bus pass or ticket to ride. Fare Vending Machines, located at Metro Express stops and the Downtown Transit Center (DTC), are available for passengers to purchase single ride, 10 ride, 1-day, and 31-day unlimited ride passes before boarding. Metro Express uses the same fare structure and passes as RTD’s regular fixed routes, and passes issued by the Fare Vending Machines can be used on any of RTD’s regular fixed routes.

The Downtown Transit Center (DTC)

Completed December 2006, the DTC has three off-street bus lanes, two passenger boarding platforms, and a two-story building. Nearly all RTD routes connect at the DTC, which has 20 sheltered, off-street bus stops as well as additional streetside stops on the north and south sides. The DTC building incorporates the façades of three historic buildings (Hart & Thrift, Bower, and Delta) on its front elevation.The first floor of the DTC has a waiting area, public restrooms, and a customer service center where riders can get maps and schedules, purchase fares, and make customer comments. RTD leases convert|2100|sqft|m2 of retail space for a restaurant on the east end, and a police satellite station provides the DTC with two RTD-contracted police officers. A boardroom available for public meetings occupies the west end of the first floor and RTD administrative offices occupy the rest of the building.

On average, 6,000 people use the DTC each weekday.

Grand Jury Report

Friday, June 20, 2008, San Joaquin RTD was cited in a nine page report released by the San Joaquin County Grand Jury of inappropriately spending taxpayer money. The reports cites RTD’s excessive use of consultants, credit card abuse and hiring practices that are along the lines of nepotism.

Further in the report RTD was cited for having “some witnesses were evasive, self-serving and deliberately misleading in their testimony and did an inadequate job in providing documents," Furthermore the grand jury goes on to state. "this made the investigation more difficult and lengthier than it should have been" and in turn required the grand jury to obtain a subpoena.

RTD is publicly funded and has a $37.5 million budget. RTD is citing that this coming fiscal year in the state budget that they are being cut out of $3.5 million in state funding. RTD has already implemented an Interregional Commuter service fare increase to help offset the impacts associated with the increase in fuel costs and the decrease in available state operational funds.

The jury cited RTD for inappropriate use of credit and purchase cards. It goes to state that American Express cards held by Donna Kelsay, General Manager/CEO of RTD and her administrative assistant were used to buy gifts and meals for RTD employees. The district spent $1,038 for a dinner for 40 employees at the now defunct Stockton restaurant, Mallard’s. Kelsay has also admitted to going to Costco and spending $500 on 40 lidded coffee mugs so her employees wouldn’t spill coffee on the new carpet in the Downtown Transit Center facility. Also cited were the fact that purchase cards were used to spend $8,790 on movie tickets which were given to employees for their birthdays or resold at the cost paid. Kelsay was also accused of awarding contracts without the consent of RTD’s board of directors.

Bobby Kuhn, former Director of Maintenance for RTD, has claimed that his employment with RTD was terminated as the result of his cooperation with the grand jury. Donna Kelsay states in an interview with News 10’s Tim Daly, that it was “absolutely no retaliation” but instead attributes it to the high rising cost of fuel.

The report is available on the San Joaquin County court website at: http://stocktoncourt.org/grandjury/2008/2007-2008_Final_Report.pdf

External links

* [http://www.sanjoaquinrtd.com RTD Main Site]
* [http://sanjoaquinrtd.com/press_releases/pdf/20080620NR_Grand-Jury-Report.pdf RTD's Response to the grand jury report]
* [http://stocktoncourt.org/grandjury/2008/2007-2008_Final_Report.pdf Offical Grand Jury Report]
* [http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080621/A_NEWS/806210334 Stockton Record, June 21, 2008 article detailing the grand jury report]
* [http://www.news10.net/news/local/story.aspx?storyid=43516 News 10, June 20, 2008 interview with Bobby Kuhn and Donna Kelsay]
* [http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/A_OPINION01/806250302 Stockton Record, June 25, 2008 editorial about RTD and the grand jury report]
* [http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080707/A_OPINION02/807070311/-1/a_opinion0611 Article from 'Letters to The Editor' section of "The Record" July 7, 2008]
* [http://www.kcra.com/news/16815569/detail.html KCRA, June 11, 2008, story by Rich Ibarra detailing RTD's plans to raise fares]
* [http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080707/A_NEWS/807070319 Stockton Record, July 7, 2008 article about RTD's plans to increase fares across the board]


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