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Placer County takes over Lincoln transit service

By: Steve Archer, Reporter
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Bus service is still available in Lincoln, but as of July 1, the provider is Placer County Transportation (PCT).

The transition has gone smoothly, according to the city of Lincoln’s senior administrative analyst Angela Frost.

“Placer County Transportation has been great to work with and has been very responsive throughout the process,” Frost said. “We have had several meetings over the past four months to ensure a smooth transition of service for our customers.”

Lincoln City Councilman Gabriel Hydrick said the turnover of transit service is saving the city “quite a bit of money,” which could be used for needed infrastructure.

“This has freed up funds that can now be released to Lincoln,” said Hydrick, adding that the city will now receive a full share of local transit funding. “Those funds can be used for street improvements.”

Frost said Lincoln was not bringing in enough money from bus-riders.

“The city was not meeting the required ‘fare box revenue’ ratio as a stand-alone service provider and was therefore penalized by not receiving the entire portion of Lincoln’s local transit funds,” Frost said. “By merging operations with the county, we can now meet the required fare box revenue ratio and receive the full share of local transit funds.”

Frost added that a “system-wide coordination of transit services within the county” would allow for improved service and a better economy of scale for transit operations.

And Lincoln riders will benefit from less expensive fares.

The general public fare has been reduced by 25 cents; youth and senior fares reduced by 15 cents; a general public monthly pass has been reduced by $7.50 and the senior/youth pass has been reduced by $3.75.

In addition, the 10-ride pass and 14-day pass will now be available to Lincoln riders. Free transfers will be provided between Lincoln Transit buses and between Lincoln Transit and PCT buses.

Frost said the city will also benefit from the implementation of new technologies; capital acquisition, and support of administrative assistance with grant reporting, regulations and other administrative projects.

The Lincoln Loop and Lincoln Circulator have been replaced with a single route. For more information on routes and bus stops, call 784-6177 or (530) 885-BUSS or visit placer.ca.gov.

The two full-time bus drivers for the Lincoln routes kept their jobs.

“Lincoln continues to maintain two full-time bus drivers that now drive the Lincoln fixed route for Placer County Transportation,” Frost said. “Part of the agreement between Lincoln and PCT is that the city will continue to pay the salaries and benefits of the two full-time employees and deduct those costs from the total contract cost of transit operations owed to PCT.”

She added that some of the city’s former part-time drivers went to work for Placer County Transportation.

The idea to allow Placer County Transportation to take over Lincoln’s transit service originated with former city manager Jim Estrep in June of 2013. Agreement was approved unanimously this past Feb. 24 by the current City Council.