Bus system could hit end of line

archive_import /


Public buses in Calaveras County might be nearing their final destination.

At yesterday's Board of Supervisors meeting, three of five supervisors refused to sign a new agreement with the Calaveras Council of Governments that would have kept buses rolling in the county through June 30, 2007.

Supervisors also tabled hiring a new company to manage the transit system. Laidlaw is in charge of hiring drivers, covering the routes and maintaining the county-owned buses but Laidlaw's contract ends June 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Supervisors have until then to approve some type of contract for a transit system.

If they don't, people who use county transportation could lose their ride, and the county could lose out on more than $400,000 in state Transportation Development Act funding, Calaveras Council of Governments Executive Director George Dondero said.

"According to standards set by the state, this system is succeeding," Dondero said. "In the eyes of the supervisors, it's failing."

The Calaveras Council of Governments oversees Calaveras Transit, which operated on a budget of about $725,000 last year.

According to state law, Dondero said, the transportation development funds must be spent first on local transportation planning and administration, then on public transit. The funds can only be used for other projects such as roads and bike paths after a functioning public transit system is up and running.

Dondero has said before that the county could open itself up to lawsuits if it fails to provide public transit.

However, supervisors Victoria Erickson, Tom Tryon and Paul Stein all questioned why the county spends so much money on a bus system that generated just 130 rides per day in the 2001-02 fiscal year.

Erickson, who became District 5 supervisor in January, said she wants a more cost-effective way to provide public transportation.

Erickson, Tryon and Stein each suggested a "dial-a-ride" service in lieu of a bus system.

"We have less than 1 percent of the county's population using this service," Erickson said.

The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Tuesday May 3, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Body found near Pinecrest


Unidentified human remains were found Thursday in the Pinecrest area. At 5:55 ... more

Agencies eye upgrade for 1970s-era software


Tuolumne County has changed quite a bit since the 1970s, but its ... more

Spring in the Sierras: Dangerous and beautiful


Joseph McHardy ran up the sloping ramp Friday at the top of ... more

Rim Fire recovery plan released


Federal custodians of the Stanislaus National Forest are publishing a plan today ... more

Cal Fire confirms PG&E caused Butte Fire


Bill and Aileen Charamuga said in September they believed they knew exactly ... more