The Amador Transit bus schedule will soon have less routes offered due to a budget deficit.

The Amador Transit Board of Directors approved further cuts to bus service in the Amador upcountry area and approved a rate increase for bus travelers in the same area.

Meeting on Thursday, November 7, the board approved a reduction in service for the bus route that extends past Mace Meadows up Highway 88 to Amador Station. The number of buses that serve this route will be reduced from four to two, with buses scheduled in the morning and evening to help transport those who work in the low-land areas of the county.

The board also directed that bus service in Amador Transit’s Region 3, which starts at Tabeaud Road and runs to the east, will rise in price from $3 a ride to $3.50 and that day passes in the region will increase from $6 to $7.

The cuts in service and price increases are intended to increase the amount that the county’s bus service is supported by bus fares. The system overall is dangerously close to a key 10 percent fair support level, which is required if the system is to continue to receive various grants and subsidies. Earlier this year, the board reduced the number of buses on the Jackson-Sutter Creek shuttle and on the Jackson to Ione route as a way to address the transit systems budget woes.

Reconvening as the Amador County Transportation Commission, the commissioners discussed ongoing efforts to address the pending turnover of State Highway 16 to local governments in Sacramento County. For years ACTC has raised concerns that this relinquishment, combined with planned developments along what is now Highway 16, would dramatically increase travel times along the key route linking Amador County to the Sacramento metro area. Caltrans has responded to the latest ACTC letter of concern, saying that Caltrans has no control over future land use decision and so would not consider traffic impacts from planned developments along the relinquished highway. ACTC board members and staff pledged to continue to raise the traffic issue as the process continues.