Williams considers Sacramento route from county transit

Against the wishes of Mayor Charles Bergson, the Williams City Council is taking a wait-and-see approach when it comes to the issue of out-of-county transportation – or the lack thereof – for the City of Williams and Colusa County residents as a whole.

At the request of Bergson, the council last week considered making a request to the Colusa County Transit Authority to add a regularly scheduled route to Sacramento. The City of Williams, and the county as a whole, are effectively isolated, Bergson said, from the jobs, cultural activities, medical services, and “links to planes and trains and boats” that are found in the City of Sacramento. 

City Administrator Frank Kennedy pointed to a potential project in the works by the Shasta Regional Transit Agency – which has gone after a grant to provide regular bus services up and down the Interstate 5 corridor – that would connect to cities and counties east and west of I-5 in three different spots, with stops in Redding, Red Bluff, and Williams.

“I have contacted them, and they are going to learn by April 30 if they will receive an operational and capital grant,” Kennedy said. “That grant, the capital would be to secure facilities at those three stops, and to get the project funded. If they get that, and they’ll know on April 30, to get regular bus-service to the Sacramento area – which we would like our transit agency to do – would be accomplished. If for some reason they don’t get that grant, we could move forward with the request to the local transit agency, but our best hope really is the Shasta grant funding.”

Kennedy added that he didn’t know when the service would be operational, if it gets the grant funding.

Bergson disagreed that the Shasta Regional Transit Authority project was the city’s “best hope” for connecting with the Sacramento area.

“I appreciate that there is going to be an outside service,” Bergson said. “I don’t know when it’s going happen, or what the frequency is, but the Colusa Transportation Commission (sic) has the ability to do this next month, or the month after.”

Bergson said he would simply like to request the Colusa County Transit Authority consider a regular route to Sacramento, run the numbers, and report back to the public. 

Councilman John Troughton said that a regularly scheduled route to Sacramento would be costly and inefficient, and that it would not be utilized enough to be justified. He agreed with Kennedy, saying that the Shasta Regional Transit Agency was the most prudent answer to Williams’ lack of out-of-county transportation services.

While the rest of the council indicated they would like to see the City of Williams connected to services in Sacramento, they elected to wait until they received news on the Shasta Regional Transit Agency project before approaching the Colusa County Transit Authority regarding a regular route. The item was continued to the city council’s May 16 meeting. ■

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Brian Pearson is the Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects include reporting on local government and the newly feature sports page. To contact Brian about this article, or for future articles, please email him at brian@colusacountynews.net