Work has started at the construction site for a new hub for the future of bus routes connecting Stockton and joining the city to different parts of San Joaquin County and spots beyond. The $51.1 million Regional Transportation Center will be the largest construction project undertaken by the San Joaquin Regional Transit District. According to officials, the new center, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, will make the operations of the district more efficient and give it the space to grow in the future.
It is also expected to replace the former metro yard of the district where the district kept and maintained its city buses for years. That had space for about 50 buses, about half of the districtís current fleet. The new transportation center will have room for about 250 buses and allow the district to consolidate with the districtís county services.
RTD spokesman Paul Rapp said that the districtís operations were spread out in different locations, and sometimes that meant buses would have to travel back and forth from one maintenance yard to another, something that racked up fuel costs, emissions and time.
The district moved out of the old yard for city buses at Fremont Street and Wilson Way in recent months, where there was a one-lane facility to wash buses. Non-city buses would have to drive back and forth between the city bus yard whenever they were washed. And now that the old metro yard has been sold to a developer and demolished, the district is using a mobile bus-washing service.
The officials also informed that the new site will count a four-lane bus-washing area among its state-of-the-art features. Rapp said that the increased efficiency should be able to save money for the district. The district has been working toward making this project for years, and the current project falls short of everything the district wanted in its original plans. A new building for administration is not included in this phase of the project.
Money for the projects comes from a mix of local, state and federal funds. It includes $11 million from Proposition 1B, approved by state voters in 2006, and $16.2 million from Measure K, the San Joaquin County sales tax renewed by voters that same year. Of the funding, $17.8 million comes from federal grants. Last year, the transit districtís governing board awarded the construction contract to McCarthy Building Companies Inc.