On Monday, August 7, RTD will begin construction of the new Route 49, to be known as the “MLK Corridor.”
The east-west direction of the new route will facilitate faster trips to destinations along Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard (MLK), from Edison High School in the west to Mariposa and East 8th Street in the east. Passengers will reach shopping, schools, jobs, and medical services, benefiting the local economy. Route 49 will connect with the existing Bus Rapid Transit Route 44 that extends from the Downtown Transit Center in the north to Arch-Airport Road in the south. Seamless and rapid connections between the two routes will be available in a new transfer station that will be aptly named, “Union Station.”
Both Express Routes 49 and 44 will feature zero-emission, all-electric buses that will help reduce air and noise pollution.
The new service will begin upon completion of construction, which is expected to end in late January 2018. The Pennino Management Group is managing the project, with Teichert Construction heading up construction, and Siegfried Engineering, Inc. handling engineering. New stops will be outfitted with bus shelters and benches produced by Tolar Manufacturing Company, Inc., as well as fare vending machines from Ventek International. The project is funded by federal, state, and local grants totaling $11,037,848. RTD Chief Executive Officer Donna DeMartino said, “The primary mission of RTD is to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region. This new Bus Rapid Transit route will move Stockton residents and visitors more efficiently than ever before. With zero-emissions, all-electric buses, we will bring greater environmental protection to the residents of South Stockton, and reinvent transportation for years to come.”
The public will be able to track construction progress starting August 10 on the RTD website by visiting sjRTD.com/express. A series of on-site videos called “Where’s Bryan?” showing new construction will appear on that page and will be updated about every other week. Bryan Pennino, President of the Pennino Management Group is the project manager and will be able to provide behind-the-scenes updates for those interested in learning more. Updates will also appear on RTD social media pages.