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RTD Welcomes Back Service With No Fares
August Special
transit
Transit service through the San Joaquin Regional Transit District will return to several areas of the county at mid-month, including the Van Go option, which will have a redesigned service. Marg Jackson/The Times

Effective Aug. 16, 2020, San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) will welcome back most of its services while suspending fare collection through Aug. 29. Like most transit systems across the country, RTD was deeply impacted by COVID-19, resulting in reduced service levels beginning in March. However, after much planning and preparation, RTD is moving forward with its campaign to restore most of its essential services to Stockton and the surrounding San Joaquin County service area, with a budget that is 8 percent less than last fiscal year.

“We are doing more with less and ready to provide safe transit service to our customers,” said Board Chair Gary Giovanetti. “We will also continue our aggressive cleaning and disinfecting procedures on all our vehicles and facilities.”

To ensure public health, RTD continues to uphold safety measures by requiring facial coverings and physical distancing; it is also in the process of installing protective barriers and disinfecting supplies on buses.

The county transit routes returning to pre-COVID service are scheduled to include: Express Routes 40, 43, 44; Routes 510, 515, 520, 525, 576, 580; Metro Hoppers 1, 3, 5, 6, 9; and Routes 710, 715, 720,725, 745.

Routes returning with modifications are: Express Routes 47, 49; Routes 545, 555, 566, 578; and Metro Hoppers 2, 4.

Van Go! has been redesigned to provide improved countywide connections and Dial-A-Ride service options will now include a subsidy-based partnership with UBER. In addition, County Hoppers will return with modified service on weekdays only. Commuter routes will also return with some modifications. A complete list of service changes is available at http://sjRTD.com/service-changes/.

“Over the coming months, RTD will continuously monitor routes to make necessary changes to rebuild our business and regain the public’s confidence,” said CEO Gloria Salazar.

The planned service change met its first challenge when local schools announced their plans to begin 100 percent distance learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

“This announcement tested our organization’s ability to nimbly meet the needs of our community,” said Salazar.

Within days of the announcement, RTD’s Service Development and Transportation departments worked together to create multiple scenarios to respond to the announcement and San Joaquin County’s Public Health Order. RTD stands ready to bring the 300 routes back to meet travel demands of students when in-person instruction resumes.

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) is the regional transit provider for San Joaquin County. RTD’s mission is to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region. For more information, visit sjRTD.com, follow RTD on Facebook and Twitter, or call (209) 943-1111.