RIO VISTA — The transit system in Rio Vista is in dire need of an overhaul.
Missing records, ineffective routes, financial documents based on estimated numbers and programs reliant upon discretionary funding sources are among the concerns. The Delta Breeze is also losing some money due to a discontinued agreement and loss of a grant.
The information was put together recently by the transit consultant, Jim McElroy, hired part-time in May to oversee the city’s transportation system after the departure of John Andoh.
The news, especially about the missing records, said City Manager Joe Tanner Jr. was not a surprise. Rio Vista has been plagued with missing records issues in several departments over the years.
“That’s been an issue in some areas,” Tanner said. “It’s a process to fix that (and) we’ve been working on it.”
He said that the hiring of McElroy, who works with the Solano Transportation Authority as well, will help to fix the issues.
The report included a quick summary of each of four service lines operated by city’s buses, which go to Fairfield and Suisun City, Isleton, the Pittsburg Bay Area Rapid Transit station and a special shuttle that goes to a variety of different places; an overview of the taxi scrip program for seniors and disabled; Faith in Action volunteer transportation service; and the contracted personnel at the Amtrak station in Suisun City who handle Greyhound travel for Rio Vista residents.
The study also indicates that only about 25 residents use the bus service on any given day.
McElroy said in his report that he was unable to find “reliable records” for the usage of the city’s taxi scrip programs and Faith in Action usage has not been kept up to date.
Annual operating costs of the transit program are about $450,000 with revenue received from a variety of sources, such as $250,000 from the Transportation Development Act and State Transit Assistance. Discretionary sources include federal operating assistance, net sales from Greyhound and grants.
The transportation fund also took a hit when Isleton elected not to continue a service agreement that added $5,000 annually to the coffers. Another $20,000 was lost when River Delta School District didn’t get a new grant for its after-school program. The report indicates that this loss could be mitigated by not servicing the hours the revenue anticipated.
The report did contain some good news. The city has a “reasonable” balance of Transportation Development Act funds that will allow the city flexibility in determining what it wants to do for the future.
McElroy also said the fleet passes California Highway Patrol inspections with no issues and in compiling his report, McElroy said he did not find complaints from passengers or those who do not ride the bus.
However, the positive was tinged with a “flaw,” in that the report states that McElroy “cannot find documented records on customer service complaints, compliments or suggestions.”
In the report, McElroy compiled a list of issues the city will need to address, by priority:
“I think we need to regroup what transit services we offer,” Tanner said.
He said he would like the main focus to be on getting residents to Fairfield and Vacaville for their medical needs, getting Trilogy residents into Rio Vista’s downtown and helping students get to and from school.
“I would recommend the focus be on those three things,” he said.
During a recent City Council meeting, McElroy was directed by council members to focus on the list of four issues.
“I would like to see a plan for our transit system,” Councilwoman Constance Boulware said during Tuesday’s council meeting. “That’s what I would like to see.”
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.