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San Joaquin Regional Transit District operates mostly within San Joaquin County, with extensive coverage throughout metropolitan Stockton and a network of commuter services linking the county with the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento. It also operates its own Bus Rapid Transit service within Stockton, currently with three lines in operation, and is branded as Metro Express.

Metro Express

The Metro Express is Stockton’s answer to streamlining its bus services. With three lines in operation (see map on right), this fast-growing bus rapid transit network allows commuters to travel around the city quickly and efficiently. It offers the following features:

  • Dedicated buses with their unique livery
  • Frequent headways (as frequent as every 10 minutes on Route 40 all-day)
  • Proof-of-payment system (using either a day pass or a single-ride ticket)
  • Streamlined all-doors passenger boarding and disembarking
  • Timed transfers to many bus lines at Hammer Triangle and Downtown Transit Center

Three bus types are used on the Metro Express:

Nova Bus LFS Artic HEV (60-footer articulated, low-floor bus)
Used exclusively on Route 40, operating along Pacific Avenue between Downtown Transit Center and Hammer Triangle.

Gillig BRT Hybrid 40-Footer Low-Floor Bus
Used on all services except Route 44.
Proterra 40′ All-Electric Bus (164xx Series)
Used exclusively on Route 44, operating between Downtown Transit Center and Stockton’s industrial area close to the city’s airport.

San Joaquin Commuter

San Joaquin RTD operates, under contract to National Express since 29 April 2018 (formerly MV Transportation), a fleet of MCI D4500 commuter coaches (with rolling headsigns), providing intercounty services to and from San Joaquin County. These services (1xx series) are aimed for commuters traveling between the county and:

  • Dublin/Pleasanton BART
  • Various employers in Livermore, Milpitas, Mountain View, San Jose, and Sunnyvale
  • Sacramento

Some of these services have very early departure times (earlier than 4am) to avoid congestion along Interstates 5 and 580, as well as California Highway 99 and other ancillary routes. And the coaches offer features such as:

  • High-back, reclining seats
  • Overhead lights and air conditioning vents
  • Overhead baggage racks
  • Foldable tables
  • Audio jack and a station selector
  • WiFi connectivity

Local Bus Service

San Joaquin RTD operates frequent local services within the City of Stockton, with some operations being handled by the agency itself while others (like the Metro Hopper, below) are contracted out to MV Transportation. It operates a diverse set of Gillig hybrid-powered buses for its local services, and it also operates two all-electric Proterra buses that operate on two routes within Stockton.
Gillig LF35 Hybrid (35-footer bus) (63xx Series)
Gillig LF40 Hybrid (40-footer standard bus)
Two variants can be found:

  • District-operated: 134xx series
  • Operated by National Express: 64xx series
Proterra All-Electric Bus (EV1 and EV2)
These all-electric buses are used on the following routes, both of which complete a round trip within one hour from Downtown Transit Center:

  • Route 55 (DTC – Weston Ranch via Stanislaus)
  • Route 60 (DTC – Pixie Woods via W Fremont)

A unique feature of this bus is, once it pulls into DTC, it goes into a special recharging station hanging over the bus, which powers the vehicle for ten minutes before continuing its next trip.

Ripon Blossom Express

Ripon, the southernmost city in San Joaquin County, operates a unique bus service linking the Almond Blossom City with nearby Modesto in Stanislaus County. Known as the Ripon Blossom Express, it is operated by San Joaquin RTD under contract to National Express. Its sole bus, a Gillig BRT Plus 35-footer Hybrid bus, runs twice weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with four round trips per day, serving the city of Ripon and two large attractions in Modesto: Kaiser Medical Center and Vintage Faire Mall.

Metro Hopper

Metro Hopper is a service provided by San Joaquin RTD as a response to addressing low-density transit routes that used to be served by full-sized city buses. Partly as a result of budget cuts in years past, Metro Hopper fills the void in communities within Stockton that do not support large bus service yet still provide adequate transit options for residents. The main hubs for the Metro Hopper include:

  • Malls Transfer Center
  • Downtown Transit Center
​Ford E450 Cutaway Van
This is the basic vehicle type used for the Hopper service, operating on all routes.
Chevy 4500 ARBOC Spirit of Mobility Shuttle Bus (17xx Series)
This low-floored passenger van has replaced the Ford E450 cutaway vans above. With 20 units, these can carry 19 seated passengers (with three rows of two being able to be flipped up for up to two wheelchairs), a flip-up ramp operable by the driver using a button (instead of going through a cumbersome procedure which can take several minutes to load and unload a wheelchair), a row of seats wide enough to have a stroller or walker on board, and front mounted bike racks (for two bikes each).
Gillig LF30 Hybrid (30-footer Baby Bus) (62xx Series)
This type is used on the busier Hopper routes within Stockton, notably Route 7. It is also used for many of its Intercity Hopper services that operate between Stockton and points in southern San Joaquin County, namely Tracy, Lathrop, and Manteca.