Elk Grove City Council Approves Bus Route Reinstatement

UPDATED 4:36 PM - Cooper and Scherman defend e-Tran service, Hume calls it a ‘failed experiment’ At last night’s special meeting of ...

UPDATED 4:36 PM - Cooper and Scherman defend e-Tran service, Hume calls it a ‘failed experiment’

At last night’s special meeting of the Elk Grove City Council, bus riders of the highly utilized and popular routes 52 and 53 were able to persuade the council members to reinstate services that were slated for reduction as of today.

By a 3-2 vote, the council decided to reinstate two morning and evening runs on city’s e-Tran bus service route 52 and fully restore runs on route 53. In their vote, the council also decided to initiate a weekend shopper bus route. (See complete list of route service adjustments here.)

Voting in favor of were council members Gary Davis, Steve Detrick and Mayor Patrick Hume. Council members Jim Cooper and Sophia Scherman vote against the reinstatement. Funding for the reinstated routes, which is approximately $300,000 annually, will come from the general reserve funds according to city finance manager Rebecca Craig.

While the council had just the one item on the special agenda, it took almost four hours of deliberations and public comment to reach the decision. Much of the time was used listening to public comments.

The majority of speakers appealed to the council to reinstate the routes citing everything from safety concerns of crowded buses to the societal cost of reducing mass transit services in the face of recession and escalating energy cost. Many of the speakers also said the proposed planned route cuts were poorly communicated.

Mayor Pat Hume expressed ire toward Elk Grove transit system manager Tiffani Fink for the poor communication. Speaking directly to Fink Hume said “that [communication] breakdown shouldn’t have happened.”

City manager Laura Gill said public information officer Christine Brainerd would conduct an audit of the the communication plan. In her defense Fink noted that there were four public outreach meetings held in addition to the council deliberations in July.

’Failed experiment’

After listening to public comments, the city council reacted to public comments during their deliberations. Council members Jim Cooper and Sophia Scherman, who were council members when the city dropped Regional Transit in favor of MV Transportation (operator of e-Tran), defended their decision in light of several broken promises and numerous service failures.

“We were sold a bill of goods,” Scherman admitted. “There is nothing we can do about it now.”

Cooper was more strident in his defense of the decision to switch providers saying that e-Tran offers more routes than RT did. “We have a good bus system here,” he said.

Cooper also said if bus services were reinstated cuts would have to come from other areas such as public safety. “Where are we going to pull that money from,” Cooper queried.

Mayor Pat Hume made perhaps the most controversial comments when he expressed frustration over the cost associated with reinstating service and the transit systems inherent deficits.

“e-tran is a failed experiment,” Hume said. “Now we can talk about how much money we can throw at it.”

Detrick urged the council to make a decision on the matter immediately as the financial numbers were unlikely to change and delaying the decision would accomplish nothing. Davis reiterated the stance he took in July that cutting service would be detrimental to the community.

Even though Hume expressed frustration with the deficit, he sided with Davis and Detrick in favor of reinstating the service. The council also said it will consider raising fares at its October 28 meeting.

“We are spending money we don’t have,” Cooper said in his opposition.

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18 comments

Anonymous said...

Remember, nobody put a gun to Elk Grove's head and told them to get into the transit business. In fact, they practically started a war with RT to get their way on that issue. So if the city is "spending money it doesn't have" in the amount of about $300,000 to continue to fund a pair of popular e-Tran routes just where is the city planning to go to get the money (in similar amount or more) to fund the Sphere of Influence expansion boondoggle????

Over a period of six days Pat Hume was only able to round up a total of seven (7) of his best buds to vote with him for the SOI expansion on an EGN.net poll as opposed to 270 people who opposed it. Either Pat Hume's friends are internet incompetent or he doesn't have many friends. Never the less, he is undeterred and is pressing forward with his SOI plans with gusto!

That transit money was going to be available to fund the SOI expansion, but now it's gone, taken back by the wrath of Elk Grove's enraged residents. Wonder what other public money he's gonna have to dip into to fund that SOI now????

Anonymous said...

Perhaps his friends have a life and don't blog on this site. Wait, that would be logical. The SOI folks are more in bed with the other members folks, keep your facts straight. Why are the SOI people funding Gary Davis' congressional race? Why have poured thousands into Cooper and Scherman's re-election and Detrick's debt? If you want to make arbitrary statements, be consistent.

Anonymous said...

Who is ramrodding the SOI????

Even Cooper and Scherman don't have the nerve to take point on that issue. Oh they'll be along when it comes time to vote, maybe even Davis and Detrick, but Hume will be the one out in front holding them all by the nose.

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize Hume had that much power. Seems like a BS statement to me. A vote is a vote, no matter who is leading the effort. They are all held accountable to same people- you and me. A mayor is nothing more than a ceremonial position that has no extra clout. It didn't get Soares re-elected.

A leader does what's good for a City, not just a factious group.Civil rights, women's right to vote, freeing the slaves didn't happen by taking a poll but looking beyond that for the interest of the country.

I am not in favor of the SOI but leaders need to do what's right by the City, not you and I individually no matter what issue.

Anonymous said...

We can only hope Hume is every bit as successful in his run for re-election as Soares was in his last attempt. If so it will be for similar reasons.

I'm just glad I'm not his campaign manager. Can you imagine? That's like being campaign manager for Richard Nixon....

Anonymous said...

Well, Nixon actually was elected president twice.

Anonymous said...

Hume's not goin anywhere. Without $$, you cannot get your message out to the voters. Steve won because he had money to compete with Leary, no matter how obscene Leary was. A grassroots campaign cannot be run in this city to win if not matched with at least $100k, there is nobody that can compete with that currently.
If you get a Gary Davis town-hopper though, anything is possible.

Anonymous said...

Standing up for citizens means more than the handful that show up at Council meetings.
The only one that panders to the audience are Gary Davis and Steve Detrick. I think Steve hasn't found his voice yet but Gary is a classic for do anything for a vote. Let's get rid of them all, term limits anyone?

Anonymous said...

Muriel, detrick's campaign was anything but clean and positive. I got several negative mailers from detrick against leary, guess you must've missed that bash leary brawl because it was definately there. I was no fan of leary, so I didn't mind anyway, lol. Personally, I'm glad they bashed leary, people finally knew how leary was. Good Riddance leary! Obviously you weren't part of the campaign, or weren't paying attention? Oh well, the point is leary is gone and detrick is in and doing a good job.

Connie said...

9:33 a.m.

If you are referring to the Leary "Knock-out Punch" mailer, that was the best and most clever mailer of election cycle. In fact, that one was worth framing. And hardly dirty. Leary fighting himself (his own worse enemy; come-on, the irony of it was spot on!)

Otherwise, every other single mailer Steve sent out was factual, i.e., grand jury and more. There was so much on Leary, how could one possibly decide.

Anonymous said...

Hume doesn't need to worry about his re-election. He is a slam dunk and doesn't even need a campaign manager to win.
Detrick's race was not positive people. Call it what you want but those mailers weren't positive. They worked and that's the point of a campaign. Spinning this into something else is ridiculous.
Has Hume actually hired this character or is this more conjecture from the nay sayers? Are you all defact campaign advisors for your folks and will say and do anything to make your point? I just love hypocrits.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, that boxing one!

Anonymous said...

He'll win, that's what he does, that's all he does!

Nice, love the terminator analogy, lmao.

Anonymous said...

“We were sold a bill of goods,”

You guys just didn't do your homework.

Just like when all those fly by night developers came in and pillaged the city.

Now look for huge financial deficits in the future after more of the developers skip out on Mello Roos assessments and leave the City of EG holding the bag.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is a joke within the region.

It is a huge sprawling unplanned mess with no jobs.

People think this is a hick city that grew due to developers paying off the council.

The most common thing that I hear is "how do you like living in South Sacramento, south"?

Elk Grove News said...

Greetings!

Regular readers may have noticed several of the comments posted on this thread have been removed.

The intent of EGN has always been to provide a forum for intelligent conversation. Our policy is "No vulgar language or personal attacks please. If you use it, we will delete it."

When that line is crossed, especially attacks on a private figure, we will remove it. If this trend continues, we may begin to require registration for commenting.

While spirited debate is a benchmark of a healthy democracy, attacking private individuals is not. Let's all please take the high road.

Dan Gougherty

Insania said...

"It is a huge unplanned sprawling mess with no jobs."

A while back I thumbed through what data I could find on the web and I proved to myself that Elk Grove has the worst jobs to house ratio of any city in the three counties of Sacramento, Sutter and Placer.

We might have a high median income but it comes by earning that income elsewhere. Not only do we lack jobs, the jobs we do have aren't of a quality to provide the median.

I was amazed at how many of my newer neighbors, those moving in between 1999 and 2006 came from the Bay Area and how many of them for years continued to drive to San Jose, Oakland, etc. Every third car held a "Stevens Creek" license plate frame.

Either way, most of us commute to Rancho Cordova, Sacramento or the Bay Area for work to support ourselves. Sadly, I can't imagine any future scenario where our city council will attract high paying employment instead of simply more strip retail jobs.

Anonymous said...

I believe with a vision and a well thought out political policy that Elk Grove can be moved beyond strip mall development and offer jobs that support living within the city instead of commuting. This is dependent on really believing Elk Grove is its own city and just not a suburban area of Sacramento. Who will step forward with a vision?

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