Combining its commitment to environmental responsibility with providing a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region, San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) made history in 2017 by announcing the conversion of its existing Metro Express-Airport Way Corridor BRT route to the first all-electric BRT route in the nation.
Spanning approximately 7.2 miles in distance, Route 44 extends to serve passengers from the Downtown Transit Center (DTC) in Central Stockton to as far south as Qantas Lane near Arch-Airport Road. The change has enabled people who work or study at locations such as PG&E, Dorfman Pacific, Venture Academy, San Joaquin County Office of Education, and the Economic Development Department Qantas Lane office, to commute rapidly and economically.
“We at RTD are proud of our history of commitment to clean energy initiatives,” said Donna DeMartino, RTD’s CEO. “With the nation’s first all-electric BRT route, RTD and Stockton are now leading the charge in providing safe, efficient, reliable, and exceptionally clean transportation to people who live and work in south Stockton.”
In further support of RTD’s commitment to its clean air initiatives, RTD’s Board of Directors approved an official resolution to declare its intent to convert to 100% electric, zero-emission buses for all routes serving the City of Stockton by 2025.
Express: Bus Rapid Transit
In January 2007, RTD began using hybrid buses for Stockton’s Bus Rapid Transit service, “Metro Express.” This service was developed jointly with the City of Stockton.
Bus Rapid Transit is similar to light rail service in terms of frequency and convenience but retains the flexibility of bus service while avoiding the costly infrastructure of rail. RTD’s Bus Rapid Transit service operates on El Dorado and Center Streets and Pacific Avenue, connecting the Downtown Transit Center and Hammer Lane.
To distinguish the new buses, RTD created a branding scheme that complements the buses’ design features, created to RTD’s specifications. Among the features, riders can enjoy are: wider doors, lower floors, and wheelchair ramps instead of lifts for quicker boarding; and quieter rides as a result of the hybrid drivetrain and regenerative braking.