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Transportation

Rail hearing draws standing-room-only crowd

Rail hearing draws standing-room-only crowd

About 200 business and community leaders from throughout the northern Central Valley turned out Friday to voice their support for improvements to passenger rail service in Northern California.

Merced’s Assemblyman Adam Gray, who chairs the Assembly Select Committee on Rail, held the meeting in downtown Modesto to get public input on the expansion of Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) and Amtrak’s San Joaquin service in the Central Valley... Read More

San Joaquin County’s Highway 99 project done and under budget

San Joaquin County’s Highway 99 project done and under budget

SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY — One of the region’s biggest road construction projects is finished and came in $92 million under budget, Caltrans said Wednesday.

Caltrans, along with the San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) and the city of Manteca partnered to widen the freeway from south of SR 120 in Manteca to north of Arch Road in Stockton.

The project was initially budgeted at $250 million in 2007 but only cost $158 million, Caltrans said.

 ... Read More

RTD wins $6.8 million grant for new routes

RTD wins $6.8 million grant for new routes

STOCKTON — San Joaquin Regional Transit will receive a $6.8 million grant for two new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes along the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Corridor and Crosstown Miner Corridor in Stockton, RTD announced Tuesday.

“This project will build upon RTD’s existing and highly successful BRT network of three routes that serve the Pacific, Airport, and Hammer corridors,” said RTD General Manager and CEO Donna DeMartino. “The project is a product of RTD’s mission to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region.”

RTD’s project was one of just 14 selected in the competitive grant process. In all, Caltrans awarded $224 million from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which uses proceeds from California’s cap-and-trade auctions... Read More

Summer gas prices could be lowest since 2009

Summer gas prices could be lowest since 2009

MODESTO — Summer travelers can look forward to the lowest gas prices since 2009, AAA said Monday.

Nationally, the gas prices averaged $2.75 a gallon. While that’s the highest of the year so far, experts expect gas prices in the United States to drop soon because crude oil costs are stabilizing and refineries are finishing their season maintenance.

“This could be the year of the summer road trip with lower gas prices motivating millions of people to travel,” said AAA spokesman Avery Ash. “Many drivers are likely to save hundreds of dollars this summer as gas prices remain more affordable than in recent years.”

Local gas prices

In California, the average price of gas was $3.69 for a gallon of regular unleaded.

Modesto drivers saw gas prices drop to $3.38 for a gallon of regular unleaded, down from $3.45 a week ago and way down from $3.99 a year ago... Read More

Port of Stockton to double rail capacity

Port of Stockton to double rail capacity

STOCKTON – The Port of Stockton will add more than 22,000 feet of new railroad track over the next year —  more than double its current rail capacity. The $7.4 million project will allow the port to handle up to 12 bulk trains per week, up from its current six.

The improvements will be paid for through a loan from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Railroad Rehabilitation & Improvement Financing (RRIF) program.

“This sets the port up for long-range development,” said Senior Deputy Port Director Mark Tollini. “Right now we have seen a lot of businesses opting for rail-based transport.”

Each bulk train that comes into the port can be miles long and made up of hundred of cars. The port managed more than 97,000 rail cars last year... Read More

RTD unveils new bus times and routes

RTD unveils new bus times and routes

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) is changing some of its routes, starting June 7. Most of the changes are minor route or map changes aimed at improving on-time performance, providing better connections and increasing service availability.

A few of the more notable changes are occurring on ... Read More

Low income families get assistance to go green

Low income families get assistance to go green

The California Air Resources Board is starting a pilot program that will help low-income families in the Greater Los Angeles area and San Joaquin Valley afford to scrap old polluting vehicles in favor of newer cleaner cars, such as a Toyota Prius, Honda Insight or Chevy Volt.

The program gives up to $12,000 to families that meet income criteria toward the purchase of an electric car. The program gives increasingly larger payouts to the lowest-income families to move up to the very cleanest cars... Read More