On Monday, Gustovo Reyna will not be able to take his regular bus to his doctor appointments or to go grocery shopping.
"That's not fair, what they are doing," he said while waiting for the bus on Tuesday. "Most of the handicapped people need it."
The four fixed bus lines - routes 1, 2, 3, 4 - provided through the transit company SCT/Link in Galt will no longer run as of Monday, but Dial-a-Ride service will still be available. Also, the Highway 99 Express and the Delta route will continue at the usual time.
Dan Klinker, SCT/Link's contract administrator, said the changes are based on a study that recommended Galt switch from fixed routes to a Dial-a-Ride system. Klinker said such a study is done every five years and the previous study recommended Galt should try fixed routes.
City of Galt Transit Coordinator Jon Johnson said the fixed bus lines usually work more in areas with population centers and different destinations, like hospitals and schools.
Even though the local buses will no longer run, Johnson said the Dial-a-Ride program will still get people where they need to go. Also, Johnson said the program is more convenient because it picks people up directly from their homes.
As 48-year-old Reyna waited with two shopping bags filled with food, he said the bus saves him a half-hour walk, which is painful, because he is disabled. Once the line shuts down, he will probably use Dial-a-Ride, but he is not pleased that it costs $2.50 per trip as opposed to the bus, which is only $1.
Changes to bus service
- To schedule a Dial-a-Ride trip or multiple trips, call 745-3052 or (800) 338-8676. Trips can be scheduled from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.
- Service hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays.
- Fares: General public: $2.50; Elderly (60 and older), disabled and students: $1.75; Children 4 and younger are free with a paying adult.
- Coupon books for 10 rides are also available. They will be sold starting Monday and can be purchased from a driver with exact change. General public coupon books cost $22.50 and coupon books for elderly, those with disabilities and students cost $15.75.
- Recurring service can be scheduled as well. The subscription
service provides repetitive trips daily without the customer having
to schedule each trip.
- News-Sentinel staff
In addition to the change in routes, Storer Transit Systems will also begin managing Galt's bus service. Klinker said the new company plans to hire about 50 percent of the existing workforce.
Dane Voucher, Storer's site manager for SCT/Link, said the company plans to hire 23 people.
"We are looking forward to providing quality service to the area," Voucher said.
SCT/Link bus driver Bill Martin is one of the employees that was not offered a job with the new company.
He said he was pretty upset because he had completed all of the company's requests for fingerprints, driving record checks and physicals, with the expectation that he would be hired. It wasn't until last Thursday that he found out there is not a job available for him.
"I can't support my kids," he said.
Contact reporter Maggie Creamer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's Note: This story was updated at 2:17 p.m. Dec. 1 to correct the amount of the Dial-a-Ride general fare amount.