The incident was reported on Saturday at 11:25 p.m. at 701 S. Walnut Rd. in Turlock, directly behind Turlock Fire Station No. 32. Firefighters were on scene in less than one minute and began firefighting suppression efforts. Due to their efforts, damage was restricted to the four buses and some adjacent slow-fill CNG fueling equipment. No buildings, facilities or individuals were involved or harmed in the incident.
"Our firefighters did an excellent job containing the blaze to just four vehicles," said Mayor Gary Soiseth. "While losing just one bus in our fleet would create a huge challenge, city staff and I met this morning to create a strategy that will provide bus riders with reliable service for this upcoming week. We will continue to exhaust every option to make sure our buses provide the same level of quality service come Monday morning and throughout the coming weeks."
Despite the loss of four buses, the City plans to maintain normal fixed-route and dial-a-ride services on Monday and throughout the week. However, the damage has left the City with no spare service vehicles, so service disruptions may occur if unexpected maintenance issues arise. If that occurs, Turlock Transit will share updates to help keep riders informed. Coincidently, the City is expected to receive two (2) new 26 foot Champion Low Floor buses on Monday for dial-a-ride service and will work to inspect and certify those buses for active service as quickly as possible.
To meet the demand of Turlock's routes, the city needs a minimum of seven operating vehicles. The strategy to meet this demand will include expediting the use of two new buses to be delivered Monday, finishing repairs to buses that are currently out of service, and potentially using a bus that does not have an operating electronic fare box. In this latter case, some rides might be provided at no cost.
Additional information and updates regarding service impacts will be provided in flyers posted in bus shelters and on buses, posted at www.turlocktransit.com and also on Turlock Transit Facebook and Twitters accounts. Questions regarding this event may be directed to Wayne York, Transportation Engineering Supervisor, at (209)668-6039 or firstname.lastname@example.org.