A nearly three-hour session on the future of transit in Escalon featured several suggestions but no firm decisions on Friday.
The gathering of city officials, transit agencies, county leaders, local EMS and library officials and more was hosted by Escalon Transit Coordinator John Andoh, who said the goal is to make sure transit needs in the city are met, but with more efficiency in the future.
A power point presentation offered by representatives of Jarret Walker Associates provided an overview of the current transit system (eTrans) in Escalon and focused on rider use, costs and more.
Looking forward, noted Andoh, the city could choose to implement Uber, Lyft or other options for transportation in the rural areas of the city or for after-hours use.
The service model hasn’t been defined yet, officials said, but the transportation ‘summit’ was a step in the right direction.
“In concept, we could replace buses with subsidized Uber rides, that’s basically outsourcing Dial-A-Ride at a much lower cost,” Andoh noted.
Funding for the city’s transit service comes from many different sources, from the Federal Transit Administration to San Joaquin County Measure K funds, the California LTF (Local Transportation Fund) to rider fares.
“The bulk of our funding comes from external sources,” Andoh told those attending the session, adding the fares make up a very minimal percentage of the total system budget.
Andoh said comments and suggestions gathered at the Friday session will be utilized to come up with a ‘game plan’ that will be taken to the Escalon City Council, probably in late April or early May.
It’s also about seeing what the council wants to provide for its residents, Andoh said, with the ultimate goal to balance the ridership and coverage of all routes.