The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) plans to launch comprehensive service changes on March 5, 2023. The changes will have significant implications for the cities of Oakdale and Riverbank, particularly on Routes 24 and 60.
StanRTA worked with members of both communities over several months in 2022 to reconfigure routes to provide better access to residents. Senior citizens were among the most active groups, along with the Cities of Oakdale and Riverbank, working with StanRTA to enact changes. Their participation is reflected in the upcoming adjustments to Route 60. “We were able to pull The S Route 60 off Highway 108 in some areas so that it could pass directly in front of residential areas and the Gladys Lemon Senior Center in Oakdale,” said Adam Barth, StanRTA CEO. “Route 60 now travels through retail areas and improves access for residents to run basic errands and stay connected.”
The change is especially impactful to seniors, who are eligible to ride The S at half-price. “With a 31-Day Pass for only twenty dollars, seniors can shop more frequently and make trips less cumbersome,” said Barth, who also noted that the addition of several new stops along the route will provide shorter walking trips to riders.
Route 60 is still designed to be an express route for business workers traveling into Modesto. The service change on March 5 maintains the route’s efficiency and directness but puts the route along more populated, residential streets. The route change will also bring Route 60 to daycares and schools, making the facilities more accessible to families. “Residents let us know these changes would greatly improve the route,” said Barth, noting that Route 60’s new bidirectional travel will help drivers maintain stop times.
In Riverbank, Route 60 changes will also bring The S by the Riverbank Community Center and provide better access to the community pool, the teen center, and the public library. “Route 60 used to focus on riders needing to go between Riverbank, Oakdale, and Modesto,” said Barth. “The March 5 service change makes Route 60 more community oriented as it will now travel by local government buildings, the post office, and grocery stores.” StanRTA was able to double the number of stops in the area.
The S Route 24 will also travel through Riverbank along Roselle beginning March 5. Students attending Enochs High School in Modesto currently need to walk along Roselle to get to the high school. Several community members expressed a desire for The S to address this in the 2023 service change. “With the service change, students will be able to get on the bus to ride to school safely,” said Barth. Changes to Route 24 will also connect students to Johansen High School, the community to shops, and bring shoppers into Modesto from Empire.
Dial-A-Ride (DAR) service will remain available within Oakdale and Riverbank. This premium, curb-to-curb, shared-ride service is available for the general public Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. Service can be booked up to one hour before pick up. The Eastside Shuttle, a premium service providing curb-to-curb shared rides between the cities and Modesto, will make its last trip on March 4 due to low ridership. However, complementary ADA paratransit services, a requirement under federal law, will continue to be offered to locations within three-quarters of a mile of the fixed route service. ADA paratransit service operates 365 days a year. Service hours are Monday through Friday, 4:45 a.m. to 11:15 p.m.; Saturdays, 6:15 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.; and Sundays, 8:00 a.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Complete service change information is currently available at www.RidetheS.org. All services on The S will be free from March 5 through 18 to celebrate Go Green Weeks. Riders are encouraged to purchase and activate multi-day passes accordingly. Passes are not refundable once activated.