County transit system gaining ground

archive_import /

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Passing a benchmark as daunting as the 1 million-plus miles amassed by Calaveras County's six buses, the Calaveras Transit system is expected to earn enough farebox revenue through June 30 to satisfy state requirements.

George Fink, transportation planner for the Calaveras Council of Governments, made the announcement at the council's board meeting Wednesday.

Despite meeting the state requirements, though, the transit system's future remains iffy.

In Calaveras Transit's budget for the upcoming year which directors approved Wednesday the council's executive director, George Dondero, included the purchase of two new buses for $150,000.

That request irked board member Paul Stein and Merita Callaway, who was there Wednesday in place of board member Terri Bailey. Stein, Callaway and Bailey are also county supervisors.

Because of other budget factors particularly a $40,000 loss of State Transit Assistance funds the budget called for an extra $239,000 of the county's Local Transportation Funds. The funds would otherwise be used for road maintenance.

Callaway and Stein both voted against the budget, which was approved by a 5-2 margin.

"I'm here to tell you that I don't think we can afford it," Stein said, referring to the new buses.

As it stands now, county supervisors are unlikely to approve the transit budget when they vote on it July 22.

District 4 Supervisor Tom Tryon has never supported spending $1,650 on the system each day to move 130 riders.

In March, Bailey said the system fails to serve her constituents.

But Fink said the county must buy two new buses to keep the transit system reliable.

"Right now we'd settle for just about anything," said Fink. "This problem is not going to go away in the near future."

Calaveras Transit's six buses have logged more than 1 million miles in two years. If the fleet is not replaced within the next three years, Fink said, maintenance costs will skyrocket.

11700380
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

Thursday May 26, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more

High Sierra passes closed again

05/20/2016

Days after authorities opened Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass for ... more

Teens uninspired by election process

05/23/2016

An April survey by The Union Democrat of 375 high schoolers in ... more