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City Bus System May Offer Ads
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Escalon City Council members were due to review several aspects of the city's transit service, eTrans, at their Tuesday night meeting, Sept. 7. Among the items under consideration were ratifying the fare structure, approving purchase of new buses and deciding whether to allow advertisements to be placed on the buses.

The council generally meets the first and third Mondays of the month but the Sept. 6 session was delayed a day due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

Transit Coordinator John Andoh noted in his report to the council that staff "solicited bids from potential vendors to provide advertising sales on board the interior and exterior of all eTrans buses" and received a bid from City Bus Advertising in Santa Rosa. The purpose of selling the ad space, said Andoh, would be to generate additional revenue that could be applied toward the operational costs of the system.

"City Bus Advertising would sell advertisements on eTrans buses and provide the city commission on each sale made," Andoh wrote in his staff report. "Based on the experience of City Bus Advertising and their ability to attract and retain advertisers for small cities in northern California, using a contractor with the experience in selling advertising makes financial sense for the city vs. utilizing existing staff which have other commitments."

Andoh added that other area transit systems, such as those in Modesto and neighboring Riverbank ad Oakdale, sell advertisements on their buses. The city would receive 35 percent of each sale that is made on the side of its buses, said Andoh, with estimates of about $1,000 in revenue coming in for the period that runs though the end of the fiscal year in June.

Andoh also recommended that the council consider purchase of two cutaway buses for eTrans, which would be used to help finance expanded service to Modesto utilizing Measure K and Federal Transit Administration (FTA) funds.

The buses proposed for purchase would be 24 feet long, seat 14 passengers and have space for up to two wheelchairs, Andoh noted. A bicycle rack will be available on the front of the bus.

In a 'housekeeping' item, council members on Tuesday were slated to approve the existing fare structure for eTrans and approve a policy for any fare or service changes.

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) was the initial provider of the service but the city started contracting with new transit operator Storer Transit Systems last November. Approving the fare structure was required as part of that agreement, as well as putting a policy in place to govern any fare or transit service changes in the future.