Peggy Gonzalez rides the Turlock bus every day to work and she would like to see benches at every stop, better lighting at the bus stops and a longer time in between route transfers at the transit center. Gonzalez’s suggestions for improving Turlock Transit were among hundreds gathered by the City of Turlock over the past month as part of process to develop a five-year strategic plan for the city’s public transportation system.
City of Turlock transit personnel, along with a representative from consulting firm Nelson/Nygaard Consulting Associates, surveyed 237 bus riders in February and held four public outreach sessions this week seeking input on what Turlock Transit is doing right and what could be better.
Along with more benches and shelters at bus stops, other requests included: Bus stops to be added at popular destinations such as the Turlock Library on Minaret, the movie theater on West Main Street and Costco on Tegner Road; a Turlock Transit app for phones that could provide real-time route updates; Sunday bus service; and free Wi-Fi on buses. Another top issue was marketing of the bus service.
“People just aren’t quite sure where to stand or what the routes are,” said Sam Erickson from Nelson/Nygaard.
All of the input gathered will go into the strategy development. Before a strategic plan is presented to the Turlock City Council, there will be another opportunity for community input on suggested areas of development, which is scheduled to happen in May.
“The purpose of the short-range transit plan is to help guide investments in Turlock for the next five years. It’s really important that we have good feedback from folks. We’ve been getting a lot of that at these meetings and we’re looking forward to getting more of that. Everything is on the table right now — routes, schedules, fares, you name it, we are looking at everything. Our goal is to make sure we have the most efficient and effective transit system possible,” said Turlock’s Transit Manager Wayne York.
Turlock’s transit system underwent an overhaul in 2017, recreating routes and expanding from four to six routes. The name of the bus service also changed from Bus Line Service of Turlock to Turlock Transit with new logos to match.
Since the changes, the City saw an increase in annual ridership by 23 percent from 2016-17 fiscal year to 2017-18.
It’s not too late to submit input for the short-range transit plan. The City is also accepting input by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by fax at 209-668-5563 or mail at 156 S. Broadway, Suite 150, Turlock, CA 95380.