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CAT offering free rides during July
The Ceres Area Transit (CAT) fixed route bus system. - photo by Contributed to the Courier

The four transit providers in Stanislaus County, including Ceres Area Transit (CAT), Modesto Area Express (MAX), Stanislaus County Regional Transit (StaRT), and Turlock Transit announced that all rides on all fixed route buses will be free for passengers during July 2019 as part of a joint free ride promotion. This includes MAX to BART Commuter Express, MAX to ACE Commuter Express, and StaRT’s BART Commuter bus services, but excludes ADA Paratransit, Medivan, and Dial-a-Ride services.

“This is a great opportunity for Ceres residents to try the CAT bus as well as the other transit systems in the county,” said Fred Cavanah, CAT’s transit manager. “Many first time riders will find these systems meet their transportation needs much better than they anticipated.”

Funding for the joint free ride promotion is made possible through a grant from the Caltrans under the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP). LCTOP was created to provide operating and capital assistance for transit agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve mobility, with a priority on serving disadvantaged communities.

“MAX is updating its service in July by extending weekday and weekend evening service hours,” said Adam Barth, MAX’s Transit Manager. “By providing free rides all of July, we hope to encourage residents to take advantage of the improved service and become familiar with MAX for free.”

In addition to the free ride promotion throughout July, regional transit operators plan to coordinate additional free ride promotional opportunities over the next twelve months under the same LCTOP grant program. These promotional periods include Rideshare Week (October 2019), Go Green Week (March 2020), Bike to Work Week (May 2020), and Dump the Pump Day (June 2020).

“We think this is a great opportunity working in tandem with all the systems in our region to offer these free rides In July,” said Annette Borrelli, StaRT’s Transit Manager. “Particularly in light of rising gas prices and increased traffic congestion. This would give community residents the opportunity to see how easy and convenient it is to get around Stanislaus County.”

Residents are encouraged to make the most of this free ride promotion by planning their trips in advance. Trip planning tools are available on the websites of the transit operators, as well as through smartphone apps such as Google Maps or the Transit app. These tools make it easy to determine the closest bus stop, the correct route, and in some cases real-time bus arrival information.

“We’re excited to coordinate our efforts with our regional partners to make it easier than ever for all County residents to experience the benefits of transit,” said Wayne York, Transit Manager for Turlock Transit. “Turlock Transit will be extending service on all routes through midnight each day of the Stanislaus County Fair (7/12-7/21/19), including Sundays, and providing a free, direct shuttle between the Fairgrounds Arch Gate and the Turlock Transit Center for easy transfers.”

All public transit buses in Stanislaus County are accessible to individuals with disabilities as required by the American’s with Disabilities Act (ADA). Individuals that have difficulty using fixed route transit services may be eligible for ADA paratransit services by contacting their respective transit operator. Individuals seeking ADA eligibilitycan contact MOVE Stanislaus at 232-5092 for more information or to arrange an in-person assessment.

For more information on CAT and its services, visit Transit-CAT or call (209) 527-4991. For more information on MAX and its services, visit or call (209) 521-1274. For more information on StaRT and its services, visit or call 1-800-262-1516.