Beginning Aug. 6, a public transit bus will begin serving Galt college students directly from the city to Cosumnes River College. Previously, they had to transfer at a main station in Elk Grove.
"With the price of gasoline as expensive as it is and with unemployment as high as it is, it seemed like this would be a way to serve our youths to continue their education. At the same time, we could get some cars off the highway and help reduce pollution," Mayor Barbara Payne said, adding that she has been talking it up among people involved in the schools and they seem excited about it.
The weekday-only service will be provided by South County Transit's Highway 99 Express route. The current Florin Center stop is being swapped out for stops at Cosumnes, Kaiser Permanente South and Methodist Hospital, according to SCT spokeswoman Kimberlie Hollingsworth.
Student fares will cost $1.50 between Galt and Cosumnes, or $45 for a monthly pass.
The new service will improve connections with both the city of Elk Grove's bus system and the Sacramento Regional Transit District's network of rail and bus lines, according to Dolores Martinez, who oversees bus service for the city of Galt.
"Future transit development will further improve connection to Light Rail services (in Sacramento)," she said.
Cosumnes River College is the closest junior college to Galt and where most high school graduates who don't attend immediately a four-year university go. Others go to San Joaquin Delta College in Stockton.
But getting to Cosumnes by public transportation has not been easy, according to Payne.
Galt riders heading north would need to take an SCT bus and either transfer onto Sacramento Regional Transit's bus 54 at Florin Center for a 30-minute ride to the college, or catch Bus 52 on e-tran, Elk Grove's city bus service, along Elk Grove Boulevard.
Earlier this year, SCT launched thrice-daily Galt-Sacramento Commuter Express bus trips and has seen a record number of riders. In June, 948 passengers rode it, according to Hollingsworth.
"Until we get the schedules and distribute them, it is hard to know if it will be as successful as the Galt/Sacramento Express bus," Payne said.
That full-size bus is equipped with reclining seats and Wi-Fi access.
In addition to making regular stops, the service links riders to midtown and downtown transportation connectors including Light Rail, Sacramento's regional train system. Some stops have access to shuttles to medical buildings and to California State University, Sacramento.
For more information including route maps, visit www.sctlink.com. For trip planning, call 209-745-3052 or 800-338-8676.