The city of Manteca has a large enough population to qualify for federal assistance for a public bus system. So officials plan to buy buses and start operating two fixed routes next year.
The proposal calls for eliminating a voucher program that helps the elderly and the disabled pay for taxi cabs.
The vouchers costs the city about 300 thousand dollars a year. Transit officials say the money is needed to pay for the bus system. Some of the 500 people who use the vouchers are protesting. They claim taxis are the only way they can get to doctor appointments and to the grocery store.
Manteca Transit Analyst Adam Emmer says the citywide system will include transportation for everyone, even for those not on a fixed route.
"Dial-ride-service is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and would be utilized by to service folks that are unable to access a fixed route service."
Some council members say they're examining the budget to determine if there's a way to implement the bus system, while keeping the voucher program.