Merced County Transit

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Merced County Transit
Merced TheBus logo.png
Mercedthebus M-101.jpg
ParentTransit Joint Powers Authority for Merced County
Headquarters1950 Wardrobe Ave
Merced, CA 95340
Service areaMerced County
Service typeBus service, Dial-a-Ride
Annual ridership1,000,000 [1]
Fuel typeGasoline, Diesel, CNG
OperatorFirst Transit [2]

Merced County Transit, also known as "The Bus", provides transit services throughout Merced County in the Central Valley area of California. Vehicles are owned and maintained by the county with daily operations being privately contracted.[3]

Merced Transportation Center[edit]

Located in the former Southern Pacific railway station, the downtown transportation center serves as the hub for Merced's local, regional and national bus service.[4] Greyhound provides bus service to Sacramento, the Bay Area, and Los Angeles. YARTS and VIA Adventures provide bus service to Yosemite National Park. Situated at the same location, the California Welcome Center carries souvenirs, maps, and brochures for visitors, as well as YARTS bus tickets.[5]


Currently the fleet consists of 43 fixed-route transit buses (24 of which are larger heavy-duty buses and 19 of them are smaller cutaway buses) as well as 21 ADA Paratransit and Dial-A-Ride vehicles. The fixed-route fleet consists of seven 2011 Gillig Low Floor 29' coaches (numbered M-150 through M-156), two 2012 and five 2013 Gillig Low Floor 40' coaches (M-157 and M-158 are the 2012 models and M-159 through M-163 are the 2013 models), six 2015 Gillig CNG 35' coaches (numbered M-164 through M-169), and four newer 2017 Gillig CNG 35' coaches (numbered M-170 through M-173) which replaced four 2003 Gillig Phantoms that were retired in late 2017. The fixed-route fleet also consists of 19 2014 and 2015 Chevrolet Arboc cutaway buses (numbered M-419 through M-437) for use on local routes with more frequent service. They began the greening of their fleet in 2006 with the purchase of 9 "clean air" Orion VII models and planned the construction of a compressed natural gas fueling facility. These buses were later replaced in 2015 by a combination of six Gillig CNG buses and a small fleet of Arboc cutaways.[1] In late 2019 and early 2020, both The Bus and YARTS were awarded grant funding to begin the transition to a zero-emission electric bus fleet in which the first of these buses are expected to arrive some time in 2021.


17 fixed bus routes (2 of them route deviation services) are provided 7 days a week (with the exception of the UC route which is Weekdays only) operate within the city of Merced and throughout the county, as well as the cities of Newman and Turlock in neighboring Stanislaus County. However, the unincorporated community of Hilmar-Irwin which has a combined population of over 5,000 appears not to have any of The Bus services, even though it is located within Merced County.[6]

Rte. No. Route Days Destinations
Fixed Routes (as of 2020)
A1 Atwater Cross-Town Mon-Sun Bellevue Rd, Winton Way, Broadway, Buhach Rd, Castle Air Force Base, Atwater Target
A2 Winton Way Mon-Sun Connects Atwater and the town of Winton via Winton Way
DP Dos Palos Link Mon-Sun Connects Dos Palos and Los Banos
G Gustine Link Mon-Sun Connects Gustine with Los Banos, Santa Nella, Newman, and Downtown Merced
L Livingston Commuter Mon-Sun Connects Livingston with Winton, Atwater (Castle Air Force Base), and Merced College (Merced)
LB Los Banos Commuter Mon-Sun Los Banos-Dos Palos-Downtown Merced
M1 Merced West Mon-Sun Southwest Merced-Downtown-Merced Marketplace-Northwest Merced
M2 R Street Route Mon-Sun Downtown-Merced Mall-Merced Marketplace via R Street
M3 M Street Route Mon-Sun South Merced-Downtown-Merced Mall-Merced College-via M Street
M4 G Street Route Mon-Sun South Merced-Downtown-Merced College-Mercy Hospital-via G Street
M5 Merced Southeast Mon-Sun Southeast Merced-Amtrak-Downtown-via Childs Ave & 21st St.
M6 Merced Northeast Mon-Sun Downtown Merced-G Street-Hoover Middle School-Save Mart
P Planada Commuter Mon-Sun Le Grand-Planada-Downtown Merced
T Turlock Commuter Mon-Sun Turlock-CSU Stanislaus-Delhi-Livingston-Atwater-Downtown Merced via Freeway 99
UC UC Route Mon-Fri Downtown Merced-Amtrak-Merced College-UC Merced-via M Street and Yosemite Ave.
W1 Winton Commuter Mon-Sun Winton, Atwater(Bellevue Rd), Buhach, Beachwood-Franklin, Downtown Merced
W2 Winton Communter (North) Mon-Sun Winton, Atwater, Buhach, Beachwood-Franklin, Merced Walmart, Merced College


External links[edit]