The City Council also unanimously approved changes to Tracer, the city’s public bus system.
According to Ed Lovell, a management analyst for the city, the changes will increase the frequency of bus stops along the most traveled routes during the busiest hours. On routes A and B, the 60-minute wait between buses will be cut to 30 minutes beginning Aug. 1.
“There are a lot of potential passengers, even existing passengers, if frequency increases,” he said.
Commuter routes are also being realigned to mirror Tracy, West and Kimball high school boundaries.
“That way, we can serve more students and take them to the schools they’re actually trying to get to,” Lovell said.
Jane Pramod, transportation coordinator for the city, added that Tracer will offer free rides the entire month of August, which she said should help passengers get familiar with the new routes.
Also debuting Aug. 1 along with the new routes and schedule is a phone feature. Riders waiting at a Tracer stop will be able to send a text message to learn when the next bus will arrive.
Tracer operates from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays, with no service Sundays.
Maps of the routes and changes are available at the city website, www.ci.tracy.ca.us.
The council also received a report about business prospects along the Interstate 205 corridor.
Councilman Robert Rickman had asked city staff members at several previous meetings about the possibility of attracting establishments such as Trader Joes, a supermarket, and Dave & Busters, a family entertainment center, in addition to warehouses and distribution centers.
A presentation by Development and Engineering Services Director Andrew Malik showed that Tracy lacks the rooftops or daytime population to meet those business’ demographic targets.
Rickman urged staff members to “look beyond the immediate” when it comes to attracting businesses to the city and said long-range planning should be just as important as bringing in jobs in the short-term.
“Just because we can’t get these things today doesn’t mean we can’t get these things 10 years down the road,” he said. “And where are we going to put them?”
Malik said city employees try to “push the envelope” when it comes to business attraction by partnering with developers and using nonmonetary incentives, such as an expedited permitting process.
• Contact Jon Mendelson at 830-4231 or firstname.lastname@example.org.