Dixon City Council to Consider Continuation of Free Senior Transportation Program – The Vacaville Reporter

More than a year after Dixon City Council approved a Golden Pass program to provide free Readi-Ride service to residents 80 and over, the city plans to make it a permanent service.

The board will vote at its Tuesday meeting on whether to continue the Golden Pass.

According to a report from the staff of Public Works Director Louren Kotow, the program was inspired by similar programs for transit services in nearby towns, such as City Coach of Vacaville, Fairfield and Suisun Transit (FAST), and Benicia and Vallejo’s Solano County Transit, also known as Soltrans.

Kotow wrote that Dixon residents who meet the age guidelines are allowed to take the SolanoExpress suburban routes operated by FAST and Soltrans, provided they present photo ID confirming their age. However, she added that Readi-Ride was different as it provided on-demand services rather than route-based services.

“As a result, Readi-Ride incurs direct costs in implementing a Golden Pass program (eg fuel to pick up and transport each rider, extra mileage and vehicle maintenance costs, etc.), while the costs of other operators stay the same because they operate the route whether or not a Golden Pass participant takes the bus, ”she wrote.

Kotow wrote that Readi-Ride charges residents aged 62 and over $ 2.25 per trip or $ 4.50 for a day pass for travel within city limits. When the program was implemented, she wrote that staff knew fewer than 20 residents who met age guidelines and were using the service. In the past year, 31 residents over the age of 80 have used the program.

“Despite the increase, staff believe the cost of the Golden Pass program is outweighed by the benefit of providing free transportation service to the city’s older residents, who may have limited incomes and ability to drive.” , wrote Kotow.

Between September 1, 2020 and August 9, the Golden Pass program was used 959 times, resulting in an overall fare loss of $ 1,827.50. A total of 16,929 trips were recorded during the same period, with Readi-Ride making $ 33,661.75 in total.

Staff provided an annual update to the Transportation Advisory Board (CTC) at its August 18 meeting, and Kotow wrote that the commissioners recommended continuing the program. Part of the recommendation was for staff to provide annual updates to both the TAC and the board to determine if the service has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and to review the tax impacts. Kotow wrote that a commissioner had recommended placing a limit on annual trips if a single passenger “generated a pattern of program abuse.”

Staff recommend that council approve the resolution continuing the program and ask staff to report to both TCC and council in a year to discuss the impacts of COVID. Other options include implementing the program without the annual update. extend the program to all county residents aged 80 or over on a pilot or permanent basis or terminate the program.

In other cases, the council will consider allowing staff to work with the Chamber of Commerce on an advertising policy for Readi-Ride buses as well as a resolution approving the list of streets to be repaired through the draft. Law 1 of the Senate.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Town Hall, 600 EA St.

About Georgia Duvall

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