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Fall’s legacy lives on at new transit center
transit center 1
Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth introduces former roads and transit manager Roger K. Fall’s wife during the dedication ceremony of the City’s new transit center named after Fall (KRISTINA HACKER/The Journal).

For the majority of local residents, the opening of Turlock’s new transit center on the corner of N. Golden State Boulevard and Hawkeye Avenue means a more convenient way to access bus services. For the family, friends and former colleagues of Roger K. Fall, however, the center dedicated in Fall’s name is the legacy of his dedication to serving the citizens of Turlock.

“Those of you who knew Roger know what a soft-spoken and humble man he was. What you may not know is how much he loved this town and the people that he worked with. He loved each and every one of you like family and he worried about you, just like family,” said his daughter Jamie Julian during the dedication ceremony for the transit center on Sept. 21.

“He also loved this community.”

Roger K Fall
Roger K. Fall

Julian reminisced about the many evenings they spent as a family driving around the streets of Turlock, looking for burnt out street lights so he could write down the location for replacement — and getting it fixed by the next day, if at all possible.

Fall’s dedication to serving the community of Turlock was a common theme among those who spoke about him.

Transit Planner Scott Medeiros called the transit center Fall’s “full-scale, lifetime achievement award.”

“As sad and confusing as it was for us when we heard that he passed in his spirit, today there’s some healing and satisfaction as we honor his life and recognize his long career of accomplishments by putting his name on this sweet, new transit facility,” said Medeiros.

Medeiros went on to extol Fall’s versatility, work-ethic and his skill in “treading the sometimes-muddy waters of federal and state funding” to secure money for much-needed projects.

“His talent for crafting language for grant applications has brought millions to the city for much-needed street and transit projects and his persistence and ability to adapt when dealing with obstacles along the way solidified concepts into form, needs into grant awards and construction contracts into realized improvements,” said Medeiros.

Fall spent the majority of his 30-year career with the City of Turlock managing traffic and transit related services in a variety of areas, including bidding and procurement, contract administration, grant management and coordination with regional entities.

transit center
Turlock’s new transit center facility, located on the corner of N. Golden State Boulevard and Hawkeye Avenue, is named after former roads and transit manager Roger K. Fall (Photo contributed).

Fall was also instrumental in securing the funding for the transit center that now bears his name.

“This building meets the transit needs of so many individuals, both locally, regionally and also interregional,” said Stanislaus Council of Governments Executive Director Rosa De León Park.

“On a personal note, I was fortunate enough to work with Roger Fall…I always enjoyed working with him on various road and transit projects. When I say road and transit projects, people that work with the COG (Council of Governments) they realize that there’s the public works directors that are focused on the roads and the funding goes to the roads. And then there’s the transit operators fighting for their funding for their operations and transit centers. Roger had that balance to work with both and I don’t know how he did it, but he had a skill. We were always amazed by that. He was an outstanding individual who truly understood the needs and priorities of his city of Turlock,” she continued.

Turlock Mayor Gary Soiseth and Fall’s wife unveiled a plaque in honor of the former roads and transit manager.

Finished improvements at the transit center will include:

· A 6,092 square foot, single story building with office space for the City’s transit operations contractor, Storer Transit Systems;

· A public lobby, public restrooms and a ticket window for ticket sales;

· Office space for City transit administration personnel;

· Three shade structures covering 7,225 square feet in the passenger waiting areas near the bus bays;

 · A new parking lot with 77 parking spaces, along with electric vehicle charging equipment to charge up to four vehicles concurrently;

· A pedestrian plaza area encompassing approximately 3,500 square feet and adjacent to both the building and passenger loading areas; and

· Various landscaping, site lighting, and underground utility improvements.

Funding for the project was comprised entirely of transit-specific funding, including Federal Transit Administration funds, California Proposition 1B funds, as well as Local Transportation Funds. No General Fund monies were used on the project. Total construction costs are expected to be less than the established budget of $5,814,280. Funding is also available for ongoing maintenance and operational costs, including on-site security services.