BY SABRA STAFFORD

Photo contributed
The San Joaquin Regional Transit District is hosting Your Transit Needs Workshop, where the public can give feedback on the changing face of public transportation, like the recent change to electric buses.

The San Joaquin Regional Transit District is hoping to hear from the public on what transportation-related issues need to be addressed in the community.

The District is searching for feedback and ideas on how to change the face of public transportation at their Your Transit Needs Workshop. The workshop will be from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Downtown Transit Center, located at 421 E. Weber Ave., in Stockton. Individuals also can provide their feedback by completing one of the District’s surveys, available online at http://sanjoaquinrtd.com/public-hearings/.

As an incentive for getting the public’s input, the District will be giving away Amazon gift cards, bus passes, and other prizes.

The District has already made one significant change to their transportation network when they converted the existing Bus Rapid Transit Express Route 44 to 100 percent electric, zero-emissions buses. The change, which was done in August, makes the District the first in the nation to feature all-electric bus service.

At the time of the conversion, Route 44 will be extended to serve passengers from the Downtown Transit Center in Central Stockton to as far south as Qantas Lane near Arch-Airport Road. The change will enable people who work or study at locations such as PG&E, Dorfman Pacific, Venture Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the Economic Development Department Qantas Lane office, to commute rapidly and economically.

“We at RTD are proud of our history of commitment to clean energy initiatives,” said Donna DeMartino, RTD’s CEO. “With the nation’s first all-electric BRT route, RTD and Stockton are now leading the charge in providing safe, efficient, reliable, and exceptionally clean transportation to people who live and work in south Stockton.”

The benefits of using electric buses include:
• Cleaner air
• Quieter operation
• Reduced maintenance cost

Electric buses can travel up to 40 miles or 2 hours on a charge. The RTD charging stations take about 10 minutes to completely recharge a bus.

The price of each bus is approximately $850,000. RTD received grant funding to cover the cost of the new electric buses.

RTD will launch a second all-electric BRT route in January 2018 along the MLK corridor in South Stockton. That route will connect with RTD’s existing three BRT corridors.

BRT routes move passengers to desired destinations faster than other types of bus routes.

In further support of RTD’s commitment to its clean air initiatives, RTD’s Board of Directors will be asked to pass an official resolution to declare its intent to convert to 100% electric, zero emission buses for all routes serving the City of Stockton by 2025.