The City of Turlock is making a number of changes to the city’s bus routes starting March 1.
The changes follow the City receiving rider complaints about the new route system that was implemented for Turlock Transit on Jan. 2.
Transportation Engineering Supervisor Wayne York said there are three main changes that will start Wednesday.
The first change will affect Routes 1 and 2, which both start at the Transit Center on the corner of Fulkerth and Golden State Boulevard. Route 1 currently goes west along Fulkerth to Countryside, then north along Countryside to Monte Vista Avenue. At Monte Vista, Route 1 heads east to the front entrance of Stanislaus State at Dels Lane. Route 2 currently goes east along Hawkeye and then heads north on Geer Road, turning west on Monte Vista Avenue to meet up with Route 1 at Dels Lane.
Currently, Route 1 changes into Route 2 after Dels Lane and vice versa. This interlooping route was causing confusion among riders, according to York.
“Interlooping routes have worked well in big cities, it’s just not working out here,” he said.
Starting Wednesday, Route 1 and 2 will become two one-way loops along the current routes. Route 1 will go clockwise, as it does now, and Route 2 will be counterclockwise.
This change is more of “labeling thing” said York, rather than a route change.
The second change will occur on Route 4. Currently, Route 4 runs east along Hawkeye from the Transit Center, south along Colorado, over to Berkeley and loops around Alpha before returning up along Colorado.
Starting Wednesday, Route 4 will go east along Hawkeye from the Transit Center, then turn south along Olive Avenue, instead of Colorado. There will be an additional stop at Olive and Wayside, before Route 4 turns east on Canal Drive. Another additional stop will be between Olive and Main in front of Cotta’s Kitchen. This stop will provide more service to the east end of Main Street and is closer to the library, said York. Route 4 will continue along Canal Drive to Crane Terrace and stop there — in response to requests of the senior apartment residents, according to York — before turning south along Colorado and continuing the original route.
While many residents requested a return to a bus stop in front of the Turlock Library on Minaret and Cahill, that is not possible at this time, according to York.
“We are actively looking at ways to serve that. We have not found a way to deviate a route to stop at the library without eliminating service to other critical areas,” said York.
The final changes that will take effect Wednesday involve Route 5. Currently, Route 5 starts at the Transit Center, heads south on Golden State Boulevard, then west along A Street before turning south on Lander Avenue. Route 5 makes a short jaunt east on Linwood Avenue, before looping back north on 9th Street to Lander Avenue.
The changes will see Route 5 continue east on Linwood to 5th Street. A stop will be added at Lander and 5th in front of the Turlock Sikh Temple — as requested by the Sikh community — before heading north on 5th Street to F Street. The route will go east on F Street to Golden State Boulevard, and then back onto the original route.
There will also be stops added on Route 5 at midblock on 5th street and Pinewood, at Jessica Street and F Street and at Minerva Street and Golden State Boulevard by Pop’s Bargain Outlet.
“Instead of making a tiny loop at the end, we’re expanding it to a bigger loop to cover a larger geographical area,” said York.
York said additional stops will be added throughout the Turlock Transit system.
Signage changes are already underway, however, new rider guides are not expected to be available until the end of March.
The changes made in March, along with additional improvements coming soon will be discussed at public meetings scheduled for 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. March 30 at City Hall. Free transit will be available all day on March 30, on all six routes, to eliminate financial barriers for people who want to attend the meetings.