FREE Rides until 2022 with MAX and StaRT!

FREE Rides until 2022 with MAX and StaRT!

The Stanislaus Regional Transit Authority (StanRTA) Board approved simpler fare options for Modesto Area Express (MAX) and Stanislaus Regional Transit (StaRT) services. The fares will go into effect in January 2022. Until then, rides on all MAX and StaRT services are free!

The Board approved the new fares to simplify the 40-plus different options that are currently available on MAX and StaRT. Some highlights about the new fares include:

  • Youth 0-18 are free.
  • Most fares are reduced.
  • A day pass will replace the single ride for $2.00.

StanRTA is providing free fares as it reviews all existing routes, creates a new name and logo to represent MAX & StaRT in 2022.

Rideshare Week is HERE!

Commuters using public transit and dibs carpools and vanpools Oct. 18-22 can net smart travelers a $50 Amazon gift card or an Apple Air Pods Max.

Rideshare Week is an annual event across the United States that invites commuters to explore other ways of getting to work. Commuters can enter to win by creating an account at dibsmyway.com (or the dibs Commute Tracker app) and record a carpool, vanpool or public transit trip during Oct. 18-22.

Nine new registrations will be selected from Merced, San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties. That’s 27 total gift cards up for grabs. In addition, one lucky trip logger will be selected from each county to win Apple AirPods Max.

Using smart travel methods makes it easier to save money, helps save the environment and reduces traffic. Find out more about how dibs can help at dibsmyway.com/rideshareweek.

Any person 18 or older who works or lives in San Joaquin, Stanislaus, or Merced counties is eligible to win. Trip logging will be done via dibsmyway.com or through the Commute Tracker app. Only new members are eligible for Amazon gift card prizes.

Rideshare Week as an annual event to promote alternative methods of transportation. When commuters drive alone to their destination, it increases air pollution, congestion, and negatively impacts physical and mental health. Rideshare Week invites commuters to try something new and transit organizations to offer incentives to commuters for sharing their ride.

Survey: Lodi Greenline Trail

San Joaquin Council of Governments, Bike Lodi and the City of Lodi are studying the feasibility of converting an unused Union Pacific rail spur into the Lodi Greenline Trail to connect Downtown Lodi to Woodbridge for biking and walking. Please take this short survey to share your vision for the Lodi Greenline Trail. The survey will close Nov. 5, 2021. Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.

The Lodi Greenline is envisioned to provide safe, convenient and comfortable access to local destinations for people walking, biking and rolling. The study will seek to understand physical, social, and cultural context of the railroad and the local community, engage the public in a series of virtual and in-person workshops, and develop alternative concepts for the Lodi Greenline.

SURVEY: Unmet Transit Needs

The San Joaquin Council of Governments needs your help. Tell us what your unmet transit needs are by following the link in the QR code or by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PF5P5SH. The survey ends Dec 31, 2021. We thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your unmet transit needs.

SJCOG determines the amount of public transportation funds available for the cities of Escalon, Lathrop, Lodi, Manteca, Ripon, Stockton, and Tracy, and San Joaquin County. Prior to disbursing Transportation Development Act (TDA) funds, SJCOG must identify any unmet public transit needs that may exist in San Joaquin County. The Unmet Transit Needs (UTN) assessment is developed to ensure that all unmet transit needs that are “reasonable to meet” are met before funds are expended for nontransit uses, such as streets and roads.

Take our Survey – win $100!

We want to know how you get around and how dibs has affected your commute! We’re inviting our users to take a moment to tell us your experiences with dibs and effects on your commute habits. Your opinions and feedback will be used to improve our program. As a way to say thanks, at the end of the survey you’ll be able to enter a raffle for a $100 VISA giftcard!

Take the survey HERE

 

The last day to take the Survey is September 20. 

This August: Buy 1, Get 2 Free Bus Fare with Vamos!

Buy 1 get 2 FREE bus fare with EZHub! From August 1-15, buy any bus fare on the Vamos Mobility App and great two one-way fares free from any of our amazing county bus services: San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), Lodi GrapeLine, Manteca Transit Center, Ripon Blossom Express, Escalon eTrans, and Tracy Tracer
Visit Sjcog.org/EZHub for more info and download links!

SJCOG sees soaring demand for vanpools in three counties

The San Joaquin Council of Governments’ three-county vanpool program grew sharply in the past two years as workers sought safe, dependable and affordable transportation as an alternative to driving alone to and from work.

In the 2018-19 fiscal year, 8,995 commuters traveled in and out of San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties using 171 vanpools as part of their normal work routines. By the end of the 2020-21 fiscal year, those numbers had soared to 11,267 commuters and 439 vanpools. That is an increase of more than 25.3 percent in commuters and more than 157 percent in the number of vanpools.

That also means that there were 1,866 vehicles off the road because commuters used those vanpools, saving the region from about 31 tons of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming.

“This is a significant and very positive gain in a short time,” said Yvette Davis, SJCOG’s senior program specialist in charge of the agency’s dibs program promoting smart travel alternatives. “The results in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties show that we’re shifting commuter behavior from that of driving alone to using smart travel alternatives, such as vanpools. That reduces greenhouse gases, improves air quality and reduces traffic congestion.”

Air quality in the San Joaquin Valley region exceeds national air quality standards and dibs works in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion. The program promotes smart travel such as vanpooling, carpooling, transit, rail, biking and walking to improve air quality by reducing the number of vehicles on the road. The program does that through employer and community outreach, and offering tools, incentives, and trip planning services to commuters. The vanpool program is sponsored by SJCOG, Stanislaus Council of Governments and Merced County Association of Governments.

And commuters are singing the program’s praises.

“We travel about 80 miles a day round trip between Lodi and Tracy,” said Rudy Carreon, a vanpool user who works at Defense Distribution San Joaquin in Tracy. “This opportunity has allowed for family savings in fuel costs and knowing we are contributing to preserving this world of ours. This program builds a closer work-related culture among people who would not normally cross paths.”

Others agree that vanpools are convenient and help to build workplace comradery.

“The vanpool is great,” said Thomas A. Gaberel. “I have team members that are on the same shift (at Tesla) and we can all meet up at one place. We can relax and enjoy our ride to and from work. We get to leave at the end of shift and just have a good time. We drive 76 miles one way so it’s nice to have good team members who make the drive fun. …It’s nice to have other people who have the same mindset in the carpool.”

Some have enjoyed those benefits for many years.

“I’ve been vanpooling for 12 years and it’s the best way to get to work at Stanford University in the Bay Area,” said Art Lopez Chacon. “We rotate drivers, we share the cost, we’ve enjoyed our adventures for 12 years. We keep the commute less stressful than it would be if I were driving alone every day. It also helps keep traffic congestion down because we’re commuting with each other.”

Beyond saving commuters money on fuel, maintenance, and wear and tear on their personal vehicles, vanpooling:

  • Saves the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving air quality.
  • Saves driving time by reducing traffic congestion.
  • Reduces employee stress since passengers can read a book, listen to music or a podcast, or work during the ride.
  • May provide an option to close transit gaps.
  • Helps reduce parking demand and vanpools may receive preferred parking.
  • Helps heighten employer reputation, especially for employers who provide vanpool incentives.
  • May improve employee recruitment and retention.
  • May reduce absenteeism and turnover since employees who commute together are generally on time.
  • Supports corporate sustainability goals.
  • Means being able to travel in High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV or carpool) lanes.

A vanpool is generally a group of up to 15 people who commute to and from work together in a van. Vanpools work best for people who live at least 20 miles away from their workplace and have a consistent work schedule.

To attract riders, vanpool incentives are offered by SJCOG through a Congestion Mitigation Air Quality grant. The voucher can be combined with other agency and employer incentives.

Visit the dibs website to learn more about vanpooling in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties and all the other programs offered.