The City of Turlock is moving forward with plans to improve bus service in town — and rebrand the current Bus Line Service of Turlock to Turlock Transit —by asking for public input on the final draft of new routes and schedules before taking the changes to the City Council for approval.
In February, the City presented two initial concepts in rerouting the bus line to better serve the community. Concept A consisted of six routes all connecting at the Turlock Regional Transit Center, located on Del’s Lane between S. Golden State Boulevard and Fulkerth Road. Concept B had four routes that connected to the transit center and a fifth route that ran along the northern, eastern and southern edges of the city.
The final draft is similar to the Concept A presented in February, with six direct routes that all connect to the Transit Center. Four of the routes will have 30 minute services with the other two running every 60 minutes.
"We heard back from folks...and they liked the directness, speed and how simple that design was. Also, we know from best practices that design leads to higher ridership," said Nelson/Nygaard Consulting senior associate James Gamez.
The bus system will also have extended weekday hours to 9 p.m. with Saturday service running until 7 p.m.
Some of the access that was missing from the original concepts is now represented in the final draft, such as stops in front of Emanuel Medical Center on Olive Avenue and Turlock Imaging on Geer Road. The route that goes downtown also changed from Olive to Lander to Marshall to A Street to Lander, giving riders better access to Central Park, City Hall and United Samaritans Foundation.
"Those changes are a direct result of public feedback," said Gamez.
While the proposed new system offers increased service to Stanislaus State, students wanting to go from the Monte Vista Avenue campus to the Monte Vista Crossings shopping center down the street — a desire voiced during the February meetings — will have to make a detour up to Christoffersen Parkway and then back down Walnut Road before continuing west on Monte Vista Avenue to Countryside Drive.
Gamez said they are also looking at ways to improve marketing of the new bus system.
"We want to get the word out so that transit isn't a last resort, it's a true option," he said.
The City is seeking input from the community on the final draft proposal during a meeting set for 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. April 13 at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. Community members can also send comments directly to Wayne York, Transportation Engineering Supervisor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Public engagement is a critical component of any service the city provides to our community,” said Mayor Gary Soiseth. "As always, we want to hear from the community and have them involved in this process.”