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Expanded bus service links Galt to Sacramento

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Posted: Tuesday, April 10, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:52 am, Tue Apr 10, 2012.

Galt commuters can leave their cars at home and hop on a bus to Sacramento beginning this month.

Senior citizens wanting an easy way to get to one of several state or county buildings midtown are also expected to use the new service.

“We’re not just looking to go from Galt to Sacramento. People from Sacramento will also be able to access things here in Galt like the Strawberry Festival and the Galt Market,” said Delores Martinez of the city’s Public Works Department.

The thrice-daily Galt-Sacramento Commuter Express bus trips start April 30. The full-size bus will be equipped with reclining seats and WiFi access.

On weekdays, Galt bus riders will be able to access a number of Sacramento County offices, shopping centers and hospitals along the route. It will take about 25 minutes to get from Galt City Hall to Sacramento.

Kimberlie Hollingsworth, South County Transit manager, said the route was designed to not only have stops at locations Galt bus riders need to get to, but also to link them with midtown and downtown transportation connectors including Light Rail, Sacramento’s regional subway system. Some stops have access to shuttles to medical buildings and California State University, Sacramento.

It will also connect Sacramento riders to Lodi, through Galt, using the SCT/Link bus service.

The commuter bus is being operated by Storer Coachways through a partnership between South County Transit and the city of Galt.

Discounted monthly passes for $120 and 10-ride ticket books for $35 each are available at the SCT office, 140 Enterprise Court, Suite B, in Galt. Cash fares on the bus will also be accepted. Fares will be $4 for general ridership, and $2 for seniors and children 5 to 12.

The service has always been a part of SCT’s short-term transportation plan, according to Hollingsworth.

It was discussed at a public hearing earlier this year and ultimately approved by the Galt City Council.

The service is a pilot program, and it is required to meet certain

ridership levels annually to continue, according to Martinez.

“What we found out was people were very interested in getting service to the midtown area, especially state and federal workers,” she said of the preliminary response.

Mayor Barbara Payne is excited about the new service. “It will help people who live in this small town rural community and work downtown,” she said.

“Hopefully it will give commuters an alternative to $4.50-a-gallon gasoline.”

The bus will be on display at the city’s bike rodeo on May 12.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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