More riders wanted for bus

archive_import

By ABBY SOUZA

Tuolumne County employees, the county Chamber of Commerce and even area Greyhound promoter Hope Hill are disappointed with the bus line's advertising campaign in the Mother Lode.

"It looks like a half-hearted effort," county Public Works Director Peter Rei said.

At an ad-hoc Mass Transportation Committee meeting last week, Rei, chamber President George Segarini, Hill and others discussed the low ridership numbers Greyhound Lines, Inc. has had since it restarted service in Sonora nine months ago. They compared the low numbers with what they see as a weak public relations effort in the area.

"I'd love to see Greyhound thrive, but they need to take the lead here," Rei said.

Greyhound bus service, which began in December, runs daily from Sonora to Modesto with a stop in Oakdale. Leaving Sonora at 8 a.m. and 7:05 p.m., the 47-passenger buses take about an hour and 45 minutes to make the 48-mile trip to Modesto.

The bus service is funded by a federal transportation grant, which Greyhound's area sales manager Carlos Ramirez said included little money for print or radio advertising.

"In this instance, they opted to put most of the money into operational costs," Ramirez said. "They wanted to get the buses up there."

The company's Web site www.greyhound.com does include Sonora as a destination when searching for passenger tickets.

"That is part of our built-in advertising network," Ramirez said.

Besides passengers, the buses haul freight, including car parts and fresh fish.

Rei said the freight aspect of the route is working out well, but "the ridership numbers are not where we'd hoped they would be."

On average, the Sonora-to-Modesto bus route draws fewer than six Greyhound riders a day, stated a June grant application to fund the bus service's second year.

Last year, Greyhound received a $72,000 grant from the Intercity Bus Program to help pay for the first year of service.

The service generated 35 cents per mile in its first three months of operation.

11509517
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

Wednesday August 31, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Woman dies of injuries in Highway 120 accident

08/24/2016

The woman who spent Monday night pinned in an SUV after an ... more

Regional LGBT alliance rises in response to Orlando

08/30/2016

Like many people across the world, 33-year-old Sean Lewis, of Murphys, watched ... more

“Rebel on the Highway” Filming Comes to Tuolumne

08/30/2016

Charlie Brechtel knows the world of the road-trippin’ motorcycle rider. He’s been ... more

Jobs program seeks to help young adults

08/25/2016

Kristina Contreras was 18, a high school dropout, and the mother of ... more