STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Taking the bus from Stockton to other cities in San Joaquin County could soon be harder and more expensive.
That's if a staff proposal from the San Joaquin Regional Transit District gets approved to start cutting as many as six different intercity routes from Stockton to Lodi, Manteca and Tracy.
“We do have a funding deficit and what we typically do is we look at the routes with the lowest ridership and the least amount of fare recovery and we look at those to see if those are ones we should discontinue,” said San Joaquin RTD spokesperson Jean Foletta-Morales.
Foletta-Morales would not comment on how much money RTD would save by cutting those routes. But she said getting the board’s approval is just the first step in a long process before any routes are permanently canceled.
“We're asking our board tomorrow to do is to give us the authority to go out and talk to the public, talk to the cities about those routes and if we are indeed going to cancel them at the end of the fiscal year,” she told FOX40.
Cutting back those intercity routes could potentially affect hundreds of riders, many of whom RTD admits are students.
One alternative, however, is RTD's Van Go service.
“It's a rideshare type service that RTD operates,” Foletta-Morales explained. “So, it connects the county, even the rural parts of the county, to Stockton and to the other cities.”
But Van Go is more expensive than normal bus fare.
If the proposal is passed, Foletta-Morales said on Friday, public feedback from riders and their partner cities about how important each route is will be essential in the outcome.
“We don’t ever want to cut service. We take all of our service very seriously,” Foletta-Morales said. “We take all of our riders and our community as a whole very seriously and we know what we provide is essential to many, many people. So, it's not a lighthearted decision that the Transit District makes any time there's even a proposed service cut.”
Intercity routes from Stockton to Sacramento and the Bay Area are not being considered for cancellation.
For more information about which routes may be impacted visit the San Joaquin RTD website.