Escalon in search of catchy bus service name

ESCALON -- City transit officials want a new, flashier image for the city's bus service, now known as RTD Escalon Dial-A-Ride.

The name "doesn't represent the city," said John Andoh, transit coordinator. "It only represents the regional transit district, which is San Joaquin RTD. We're looking for a catchy name like MAX in Modesto. Everyone knows that means Modesto Area Express, so it gives the system an identity. And we haven't had that identity."

The city has launched a "Name the Bus" contest to change that. The person who submits the winning name and logo will get four tickets to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo and a certificate. Entries are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 28.

Andoh said officials are looking for something that ties in with the city's roots, its history and possibly its motto as "The land of peaches and cream." Names can be acronyms such as MAX and BART, or plays on words such as Lodi's GrapeLine and TRACER in Tracy.

Escalon's bus service is running 5,000 passenger trips per year -- the highest number ever, Andoh said, and the idea is to boost the alternative transportation method further with the new image.

Andoh said he intends to have the name and logo before the City Council by late October. After council approval, the city plans to hire an artist to design the name and logo.

For more information on RTD Escalon Dial-A-Ride and Route 96 to Modesto, call 541-6645 or go to www.sanjoaquinRTD.com. To submit a contest entry, send the proposal to Escalon Dial-A-Ride Name The Bus Contest, city of Escalon, Community Development, 1855 Coley Ave., Escalon 95320; e-mail it to transit@cityofescalon. org; fax it to 838-7399; or call 321-1334.