California Transit Association

Member Profiles

San Joaquin Regional Transit District

Operating Revenue

$31,800,000

Operating Expenditure

$33,200,000

Capital Revenue

$33,200,000

Capital Expenditure

$27,000,000

Fleet Inventory

120

History

Year Founded

1965

Context for Year Founded

Established through legislative groundwork in 1963, the Stockton Metropolitan Transit District (SMTD) began providing service for the residents of Stockton on June 1, 1965. The special district was formed in response to public outcries of inadequate services by private transportation companies.

Governing or Corporate Structure

RTD is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of five members: 2 Members appointed by the Stockton City Council; 2 Members appointed by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors; and 1 Member appointed jointly by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors and the Stockton City Council.

Significant Historical Milestones

San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), formerly known as Stockton Metropolitan Transit District, proudly celebrates its 50 years of service in June 2015. As the regional transit provider for San Joaquin County, RTD provides public transit services in the Stockton Metropolitan Area, as well as Intercity, Interregional, and Rural Transit Services countywide. SMTD has proven to be effective in the delivery of efficient and reliable public transit to the community. Even as bus ridership across the nation steadily declined, SMTD thrived through the delivery of efficient and reliable public transit to the community. In 1979, SMTD moved its operations yard from its original headquarters on Grant and Channel Streets to a new larger facility. This new facility, called the "Metro" building by RTD employees, provided more space for maintenance and administration, and replaced the previous outdated building. Services expanded throughout the 1980s to accommodate rapidly developing residential and shopping areas throughout Stockton. SMTD adopted the nickname "SMART" in 1985 as a result of a public naming contest. In the early 1990s, San Joaquin Council of Governments and San Joaquin County asked SMTD to legislatively expand the District's boundaries to include all of San Joaquin County, with the new District to be known as the San Joaquin Regional Transit District (SJRTD). Following this legislation, SJRTD began operating Intercity services and Interregional Commuter Services in October 1994. In 2004, SJRTD was rebranded to become referred to as simply RTD. In 2006, RTD opened the Downtown Transit Center (DTC). The DTC created a transit hub in Downtown Stockton to support the growing need for increased transit services. RTD preserved and integrated the facades of three historic buildings in the heart of Downtown Stockton to create the DTC. In addition, the DTC spurred economic development and helped decrease blight in a challenged area. The addition of the DTC also allowed RTD to begin introduction of their Metro Express/Bus Rapid Transit System (BRT). Since 2007, the BRT has expanded to include three corridors: The Pacific Corridor, the Hammer Corridor, and the Airport Corridor. RTD's BRT vision includes the addition of ten total corridors throughout Stockton. In 2009, RTD added the Mall Transfer Station, creating a safer crossing and loading area near Stockon's two malls and BRT stops, including a lighted crosswalk and covered shelters. Four years later, RTD transformed an abandoned video store into the Hammer Triangle Station (HTS), connecting two BRT corridors, and further advancing the BRT Vision. In 2013, RTD became the first agency in Northern California and the fourth in the nation to adopt 100% zero emission electric buses, adding the first two buses and a charging station. RTD received a grant to purchase five additional buses and charging station in 2015. In response to the high-demand of Metro Express services, RTD expanded its fleet to include 60-foot diesel-electric articulated buses which would allow higher capacity in one trip. In 2015, RTD will complete construction on its new Regional Transportation Center, a cutting-edge facility to support RTD's growing fleet and services.

Notable Leaders

SMTD's first Board of Directors were Joseph Moffit, C. Robert Coyner, Richard G. Parsons, Roy C. Sanders, and Fred R. Schneider. In 1965, this group acquired the needed buses and warehouse, as well as private transportation lines, including Stockton City Lines and Lincoln Bus Lines, to begin offering public transportation by the Stockton Metropolitan Transit District. In 1964, Miles Hoff was appointed as the first General Manager and the first employee of the Stockton Metropolitan Transit District. Jerald L. Hughes served as General Manager for over a decade, from 1990 to 2001. Under his leadership, SMART's service area was expanded, and new commuter routes to Sacramento and the Bay Area were established. Hughes had a vision and even identified a site to provide RTD customers a convenient boarding location in Downtown Stockton. His vision inspired his successor to create the Downtown Transit Center (DTC), which opened five years after his death. Appointed in 2001, the first female General Manager/CEO Donna DeMartino promoted and stressed the philosophy of putting employees as first priority in the strategic planning process. With her commitment to strategic planning and operational excellence, the support of an engaged and forward-thinking board, and the combined talents of innovative and hard-working staff, RTD revolutionized transit in San Joaquin County. Her vision spurred fleet, service, and infrastructure projects such as diesel electric buses, Bus Rapid Transit, articulated buses, and zero emission electric buses, the DTC, the Mall Transfer Station, the Hammer Triangle Station, and the Regional Transportation Center

Notable Achievements

Despite budget challenges, RTD remained committed to its mantra of providing the highest level of service to the greatest number of people within its available resources. In 2008, with a projected operating budget of $42M, RTD's budget was reduced to $30M. Seven years later, with a budget of $31.8M, RTD has been able to maintain most of its ridership despite a 25% reduction in operating budget. RTD has done this while consistently operating with a balanced budget, successfully applying for competitive grants – receiving over $150M in grants just in the last five years, and most importantly without incurring any long-term debt. RTD is a leader in the adoption of technologies that improve the environment and provide better customer service. Its Downtown Transit Center, Metro Express Service, the electric buses, Mall Transfer and Hammer Triangle Stations, and the upcoming Regional Transit Center are just a few examples of its service, fleet, and facility innovations. RTD has greatly increased its visibility and presence in the region and in the national transit industry as seen from the long list of awards and recognition it has received. RTD's community activities include the annual "Stuff the Bus" food drive, which has collected and distributed over 200,000 pounds of food over the last 16 years. In June 2015, RTD is hosting a big community event at the Stockton Ballpark to celebrate its 50th year in service. RTD is proud of its long history of service to the community for the last half century.

Public Transit and Commuter Rail Agencies

Number of Employees

204

Annual Ridership

Nearly 5,000,000

Number of Bus Routes Provided

56 Total (33 Metro Routes, including 3 BRT Routes, 1 Intercity Fixed Route, 8 Metro Hopper Deviated Fixed Routes, 6 County Hopper Deviated Fixed Routes, 8 Commuter Routes)

Major Planned Investments

Regional Transportation Center: Scheduled to be completed in late 2015, the Regional Transportation Center (RTC) will replace an aging, overcrowded facility originally designed for a fleet of only 50 buses, less than half of RTD's fleet. The RTC will dramatically improve operational efficiency and safety, and provide the required capacity needed to expand transportation services within San Joaquin County. A new Fuel and Wash Building will accommodate servicing up to four buses simultaneously and will also support brake and tire repair. Electric bus expansion: In early 2015, RTD received a $4.7 million competitive grant to fund the expansion of its electric bus fleet. RTD is one of ten agencies that will receive a share of $55 million in funding through the Federal Transportation Administration's Low and No Emission Vehicle Deployment (LoNo) Program. RTD's grant award will fund the purchase of five 40-foot Proterra Catalyst'M battery-electric buses and an additional Proterra fast-charging station. RTD anticipates the charging station installation and bus delivery by the summer of 2016. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) expansion: RTD is seeking to add two new BRT corridors, the Martin Luther King Corridor and Downtown Corridor. These corridors will represent RTD's fourth and fifth BRT corridors identified in its BRT Master Plan. These corridors will connect to RTD's existing BRT corridors and most of RTD's service. To accommodate ridership growth and the customers' demand for BRT service throughout the system, RTD eventually plans to add more BRT corridors that will cover the entire city of Stockton

Year: 1966

Four Stockton Metropolitan Transit District bus operators stand in front of one of SMTD's original GM TD4500 buses.

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Year: 2011

Donna DeMartino has served as RTD's General Manager/CEO since 2001.

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Year: 2013

RTD introduced the first deployment of zero emission electric buses into service in Northern California.

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Learn about past and current champions of transit in our Gallery of Leaders.

Explore significant transit milestones of the last 50 years and beyond.

Read a compendium of California's public transit history in book form.