San Joaquin Regional Transit District

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San Joaquin Regional Transit District
San Joaquin RTD logo.png
Overview
Locale Stockton, California
Transit type Bus
Operation
Operator(s) San Joaquin Regional Transit District
Official website
Technical
System length San Joaquin County / 1,489 mile2 (3,854 km²)
A San Joaquin RTD "Metro Express" BRT bus boarding at Delta College in Stockton, California.

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (known as "San Joaquin RTD" or simply as RTD) is a transit district that provides bus service to the city of Stockton, California and the surrounding communities of Lodi, Ripon, Thornton, French Camp, Lathrop, Manteca, and Tracy. San Joaquin RTD operates 36 fixed routes to the Stockton metropolitan area, including 2 Metro Express routes, RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service. RTD currently contracts with MV Transportation for the operations of 14 RTD Interregional Commuter routes that serve Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Dublin/Pleasanton’s BART station, with subscription service available for commuters. In addition, MV operates five RTD deviated fixed routes that are served by Metro Hopper buses connecting Ripon, Manteca, Lathrop, Thornton, Woodbridge, French Camp, Morada, and Linden to Stockton, Tracy, and Lodi. MV also operates two RTD Intercity routes connecting Stockton with Lodi, Tracy, and Manteca. Total annual ridership for calendar year 2008 was 5 million trips, and Interregional ridership for fiscal year 2008 totaled 328,476 trips.

History[edit]

In 1963, legislative groundwork began for the establishment of a public transit special district in Stockton, and in 1965, the Stockton Metropolitan Transit District (SMTD) began providing service for the residents of Stockton. In late 1979, SMTD moved operations from Grant and Channel Streets to its current Lindsay Street facility. In 1985, SMTD adopted the nickname “SMART.” In 1990, SMART began providing fully accessible fixed route and Dial-A-Ride services for the elderly and persons with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. In 1994, enabling legislation expanded SMART’s service area to the San Joaquin County border, bringing with it a name change to reflect its expansion - San Joaquin Regional Transit District, or SJRTD for short. That same year, SJRTD expanded its Interregional Commuter service to offer additional routes to commuters traveling to the Bay Area and Sacramento. In 2004, SJRTD adopted “San Joaquin RTD” as its new corporate identity and developed a new logo. That same year, RTD introduced low-emission diesel-electric hybrid buses via its “Flower Bus,” with a full-wrap sunflower display designed to complement the slogan “A Breath of Fresh Air.” At the end of 2006, RTD opened the Downtown Transit Center for the public, with a floor for employee offices.

Multiple Grand Jury Investigations[edit]

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District has been the subject of multiple Grand Jury Investigations and a lawsuit.

The 2004/05 San Joaquin County Grand Jury received complaints from RTD staff about the General Manager's handling of the termination of Union Officials, procurement practices, and the use of agency credit cards. The case (#1904) was further investigated by the 2005/06 Grand Jury.

In November 2007, as a result of further complaints by RTD staff, another Grand Jury investigation[citation needed] was launched into agency practices and procedures. Issues under investigation included: the GM's use of agency credit cards for the purchase of personal gifts and meals, and other agency cards being used for over $11,000 in meals, the use of a consultant who had a conflict of interest to negotiate for construction of the Downtown Transit Center, the ongoing use of a sole-sourced training consultant for several years in a row at the rate of $9,000/month not including expenses, ongoing practice of hiring employees and consultant without going through a competitive process, the GM not providing updates to the Board of Directors of contracts executed by her and exceeding her authority in executing contracts, consultants consistently paid for undocumented services against a retainer, the agency deliberately withholding contracts from the Grand Jury and had to be subpoenaed, GM not following proper procedures for change orders.

On Friday, June 20, 2008, it released a nine-page report for[citation needed] finding, among other things, inappropriately spending taxpayer money. The report cites excessive use of consultants, credit card abuse and inappropriate hiring practices.

Further in the report RTD was cited for having “some witnesses were evasive, self-serving and deliberately misleading in their testimony and did an inadequate job in providing documents," Furthermore the grand jury goes on to state. "this made the investigation more difficult and lengthier than it should have been" and in turn required the grand jury to obtain a subpoena.

RTD is publicly funded and has a $37.5 million budget. RTD is citing that this coming fiscal year in the state budget that they are being cut out of $3.5 million in state funding. RTD has already implemented an Inter-regional Commuter service fare increase to help offset the impacts associated with the increase in fuel costs and the decrease in available state operational funds.

The jury cited RTD for inappropriate use of credit and purchase cards. It goes to state that American Express cards held by Donna Kelsay, General Manager/CEO of RTD and her administrative assistant were used to buy gifts and meals for RTD employees. The district spent $1,038 for a dinner for 40 employees at the now defunct Stockton restaurant, Mallard’s. Kelsay has also admitted to going to Costco and spending $500 on 40 lidded coffee mugs so her employees wouldn’t spill coffee on the new carpet in the Downtown Transit Center facility. Also cited were the fact that purchase cards were used to spend $8,790 on movie tickets which were given to employees for their birthdays or resold at the cost paid. Kelsay was also accused of awarding contracts without the consent of RTD’s board of directors.

The 2008/09 Grand Jury launched yet another follow-up investigation (Case #09-08A) finding that: itemization of consultant deliverables continues to be inadequate, a training and labor relations consultant is still under contract for his fifth consecutive year and now being paid approximately $6,000 per month, and the agency still budgets excessive amounts for legal services ($960,000) and two security staff ($200,000) and may influence the entire budget process and could result in unnecessary increased fares and cuts in services.

Further adding to the controversy, Bobby Kuhn, former Director of Maintenance for RTD, and three other RTD staff members were terminated just after they testified to the Grand Jury. Mr. Kuhn and two of the other terminated employees have filed a civil action against the District and Donna Kelsay (Case #39-2008-00192086-CU-OE-STK) claiming that their employment with RTD was terminated as the result of their cooperation with the Grand Jury. Donna Kelsay states in an interview with News 10’s Tim Daly, that there was “absolutely no retaliation” but instead attributes it to the rising cost of fuel.

On February 3, 2012 after 3.5 years of delays the case was finally in the hands of the jury. The deliberations were not as delayed as the jury was unanimous in finding that Kuhn's testimony before the Grand Jury was a "contributing factor" in his firing. Evidence produced during the trial showed that RTD staff had presented a fuel budget of 4.4 million dollars to the Board of Directors in effort to support their firings. One year later the actuals showed a more stable 2.2 million dollars which is what was actually spent in fuel. Kuhn gave compelling testimony that using Consultant Phil Pennino, ex Mayor of Lodi, as a negotiator on the F&H Construction negotiations was an organizational conflict of interest and likely led to a significant over payment. Donna DeMartino testified that while Phil Pennino was working for both F&H Construction and RTD at the time of the negotiations, she saw no conflict. In reviewing Donnna DeMartino's contract, her lack of concern was related to her bonus for closing the project regardless of the money spent. The closing argument by Jeff Fulton showed that by March 2009, only 8 months after the terminations, the District had hired on even more positions then when Kuhn was fired. Several post-trial motions are currently pending before the court.

It has been noted publicly that[weasel words], since the rise of Ms. Kelsay to the GM position at RTD, attrition of management employees has been unusually high, and can be attributed to the departure of employees who did not agree with the procedures and operation of the District that has come under such scrutiny from the Grand Jury.[citation needed]

RTD's Hybrid Buses[edit]

In 2006, RTD led a consortium of 11 transit agencies in purchasing 157 GM diesel-electric hybrid buses consisting of eight other California transit authorities, RTC RIDE (formerly Citifare) of Reno, Nevada, and ABQ RIDE of Albuquerque, New Mexico. ABQ RIDE eventually backed out of the consortium, choosing to order buses directly from New Flyer instead. San Joaquin RTD's first low-emission hybrid bus was delivered and introduced into service in 2004. In September 2007, RTD had 33 hybrid buses, representing 30% of its full-size Metro fleet. RTD chose hybrid buses because they use an electric motor and a smaller diesel engine to save fuel and protect the environment. RTD’s low-emission hybrid buses reduce carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (HC), and particulate matter (PM) up to 90%, and oxides of nitrogen (Nox) up to 50%.

At the present time RTD has several different configurations of its Gillig Advantage Diesel/Electric Hybrid buses

The 6000 series is currently the buses being operated on RTD's Metro Express Route 40. These buses produced by Gillig have been specifically designed for Bus Rapid Transit. They have a unique design to distinguish them from other RTD coaches. The 6000 series buses have a low floor special design that is wider in the front of the coach to create easier access for wheelchair users. Wheelchair users board the coach using a ramp deployed out the front door. These buses also have a wider rear door for faster boarding/exiting.

The 6200 series is RTD's 29-foot (8.8 m) configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have one door for entering/exiting.

The 6300 series is RTD's 35-foot (11 m) low floor configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have dual door access for boarding and alighting.

The 6400 series is RTD's 40-foot (12 m) low floor configuration of the hybrid bus. These buses have dual door access for boarding and alighting.

These hybrid buses are equipped with Continental-Siemens TransitMaster CAD\AVL technology which provides ADA-compliant voice announcement and interior LED destination signs. For passenger and operator safety, the buses are equipped with GE Digital Security cameras. Hybrid bus headsigns are produced by TwinVision. Each hybrid bus is equipped with bike racks for two bikes.

Metro Express[edit]

Metro Express is RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service, and uses uniquely branded, low-emission diesel-electric hybrid buses that arrive at their stops every 15 minutes during weekday peak hours and every 30 minutes on weeknights, weekends, and holidays. Metro Express passengers are required to have a valid, pre-paid RTD bus pass or ticket to ride. Fare Vending Machines, located at Metro Express stops and the Downtown Transit Center (DTC), are available for passengers to purchase single ride, 10 ride, 1-day, and 31-day unlimited ride passes before boarding. Metro Express uses the same fare structure and passes as RTD’s regular fixed routes, and passes issued by the Fare Vending Machines can be used on any of RTD’s regular fixed routes.

The Downtown Transit Center (DTC)[edit]

Completed December 2006, the DTC has three off-street bus lanes, two passenger boarding platforms, and a two-story building. Nearly all RTD routes connect at the DTC, which has 20 sheltered, off-street bus stops as well as additional streetside stops on the north and south sides. The DTC building incorporates the façades of three historic buildings (Hart & Thrift, Bower, and Delta) on its front elevation. The first floor of the DTC has a waiting area, public restrooms, and a customer service center where riders can get maps and schedules, purchase fares, and make customer comments. RTD leases 2,100 square feet (200 m2) of retail space for a restaurant on the east end, and a police satellite station provides the DTC with two RTD-contracted police officers. A boardroom available for public meetings occupies the west end of the first floor and RTD administrative offices occupy the rest of the building.

On average, 6,000 people use the DTC each weekday.

Route List[edit]

Stockton Metropolitan Area Service
40 - Metro Express - Downtown Transit Center (DTC) - Pacific Avenue -Hammer Lane
44 - Metro Express - Downtown Transit Center (DTC) - Airport Way -Stockton Metro Airport
51 - El Dorado - San Joaquin - Malls - Amtrak - SJ Co. Hosp.
52 - California - West Lane - Kaiser - DTC - Honor Farm
54 - San Joaquin - Houston - Manthey / Lincoln - Amtrak - DTC
55 - MLK Jr. Blvd - Stanislaus - DTC / Stanislaus - Weston Ranch
60 - West Fremont - DTC - Monte Diablo - Pixie Woods
61 - Fontana - Alpine - Malls - Pershing - Country Club - DTC
61 - Fontana - Pershing - Malls - Country Club - Section/Oro (Weekday Night Service interlined with Route 80 after 7:05 PM)
63 - Malls - Ben Holt - Cumberland / Cumberland - Ben Holt - Robinhood - Malls
65 - Kelley - Don - Otto / Swain - Malls (Weekdays Only)
65 - Pershing - Don - Wagner Heights / Otto - Meadow - Malls (Weekend/Holiday)
66 - Ponce de Leon - Hickcock - Spanos Park West / Davis - Woodcreek - Hammer
68 - Ben Holt - Plymouth - Malls / Swain - Ben Holt - Cumberland - Worchester (Weekend/Holiday)
71 - West Lane - Kaiser - Holman - Bianchi - Malls
73 - West Hammer - Mariners / East Hammer - Holman
74 - West March Lane - Malls - Hammer Lane - Morada / East March Lane - Malls - Social Security (Weekdays)
75 - CalWORKs - Cherokee - Holman - Malls - Bryant - DTC (Weekdays)
76 - Eastland Plaza - Sanguinetti - Wilson - DTC / Wilson - DTC - Los Angeles
77 - Eastland Plaza - Filbert - Waterloo - DTC / Miner - DTC
80 - DTC - Pershing - Malls - Oro / Fontana - Pershing - Malls - Country Club - Section/Oro (Weekday Night Service interlined with Route 61 after 7:05 PM)
81 - El Dorado - Malls - Knickerbocker / El Dorado - Malls - DTC
83 - Airport Way - DTC - Myrtle - Main/Gertrude
85 - Togninali - "B" Street - Airport Way / Ralph - Transworld - Stockton Airport

Stockton Metropolitan Area (Limited Weekday Service) -
310 - Grant - MLK - DTC / MLK - El Dorado - 8th
315 - MLK Blvd - San Joaquin - DTC / Arognaut - Eighth - Houston (Summer Service Suspended: See Route 54)
325 - Pacific - Waterloo - Myrtle / Eastbound - (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 77 & 83)
330 - Picardy - Pershing - Malls / Pershing - Monte Diablo - DTC (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 60, 61, & 80)
335 - Pershing - Worchester - Thornton / Otto - Kelley - Meadow - Malls
340 - Morada - Holman - Bianchi / Bianchi - Holman - Morada (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 23, 71 & 73)
345 - Kermit - Hammer - Kaiser / Tam O'Shanter - Kermit - Malls
360 - Alpine - March - Holman / West Lane - Sanguinetti - Cherokee (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 75 & 76)
370 - Airport - Myrtle - Rosemarie / DTC - Airport (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 55, 80, 83 & 85)
380 - Myrtle - DTC - Charter / Myrtle - 10th Street (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 80, 83 & 85)
390 - Pock - Oro - Myrtle / Cardinal - Togninali - Frontage 99 (Summer Service Suspended: See Routes 77, 83 & 85)

Trolley Service (Evening/Special Events Loop)
19 - Downtown Stockton (Operates only when an event occurs)

Metro Hopper Service (Weekdays Only)
1 - Northwest Stockton / Malls - West March Lane - Social Security - Quail Lakes - Robinhood
2 - Northwest Stockton / Malls - Pershing - Don - Lincoln Center - Inglewood
3 - Northeast Stockton / Malls - Kaiser - Montauban - East March Lane (Roundtrip)
4 - Central Stockton / Flora - Acacia - Pacific (Miracle Mile) - Malls / University of the Pacific - Pacific (Miracle Mile) - Commerce - DTC
5 - Central Stockton / University Park - California - Fulton - Malls / Essex - Fulton - California - DTC
6 - Northeast Stockton / Malls - Lorraine - Walmart - East March Lane (Roundtrip)
7 - South Stockton - South El Dorado - South San Joaquin - Commerce - DTC / Eastland Plaza - South San Joaquin - VA Clinic - San Joaquin County Hospital

Intercity Service
23 - Stockton - Lodi via Lower Sacramento
27 - Manteca - Stockton Airport - Lathrop - Tracy

County Hopper Service (Weekdays Only)
90 - Stockton - Lathrop - Tracy
91 - Stockton - Manteca - Ripon
92 - Stockton - French Camp - West Lathrop
93 - Stockton - Lodi

Interregional Commuter Service (Weekdays Only)
151 - Livermore 1 / Stockton - Manteca - Livermore
152 - Livermore 2 / Stockton - Manteca - Livermore
153 - Manteca - Tracy - Livermore #1
154 - Manteca - Livermore #2
160 - BART 1 / Stockton - Lathrop - Tracy - BART (Dublin/Pleasanton)
163 - Stockton - Lodi - Downtown Sacramento via Highway 99
164 - Lockheed 2 / Manteca - Sunnyvale (Lockheed Martin VTA Transit Center)
165 - Stockton - Downtown Sacramento via Interstate 5
166 - Lockheed 3 / Stockton - Manteca - Tracy - Pleasanton (Park-N-Ride) - Sunnyvale
167 - Ripon - Manteca - Tracy - Livermore - Dublin/Pleasanton (BART) - Pleasanton Walmart
171 - BART 2 / Stockton - Lathrop - Tracy - BART (Dublin/Pleasanton) - (This bus provides one trip with direct service to BART from the DTC at 5:05 PM and service from BART to the DTC with an arrival time of 8:10 PM)
172 - Lockheed 4 - Stockton - Lathrop - Tracy - Sunnyvale
173 - Northrup Grumman & Sunnyvale / Stockton - Manteca - Tracy - Sunnyvale
174 - Mountain View & Palo Alto / Stockton - Manteca - Tracy - Mountain View - Palo Alto
176 - Sacramento 2 / Stockton - Lodi - Downtown Sacramento

External links[edit]