bus | 511 Contra Costa - Part 2

SolTrans 31-Day Pass 2-for-1 Offer 2015 (Routes 78, 80 & 80s)

Do you commute to work by riding SolTrans Route 78, 80 or 80s? If so, you might qualify for their current ‘Buy One Get One’ offer.
SolTransOfferThrough June 30, 2016, qualified individuals can get two 31-Day Passes for the price of one! Eligibility requirements include living or working in Contra Costa, commuting to work by SolTrans and being willing to take a short survey.
To see if you qualify, click the image to the left to read the promotion details. Eligible individuals can apply at SolTransRide.com.

Dump the Pump Day: June 18, 2015 – Free Rides & More

Dump The Pump
June 18 is National Dump the Pump Day! It’s a great opportunity to change up your routine, ride public transportation (instead of driving) and save some money. A recent report from the American Public Transportation Association shows that a two-person household downsizing to one car can save, on average, more than $9,569 a year!
Saving money isn’t the only reason to try riding transit on Dump the Pump Day. This year Spare the Air, WestCAT, BART, Wheels (LAVTA) & SolTrans are all offering something extra to encourage you to ri5de the bus or train. We’ve compiled their tweets (showing what they’ve got going on for June 18) below.
And if Dump the Pump Day inspires you to take transit more often, you might qualify for the $25 Drive Less Commuter Incentive! Find out more on our Public Transit page.

The 2015 Summer Youth Pass Is Back – 3 Months of Unlimited Rides

The Summer Youth Pass is back for 2015! Youths 17 and under can get 3 months of unlimited rides on Tri Delta Transit and WestCAT fixed-route buses for just $50.
WestCAT, Tri Delta Transit and 511 Contra Costa have teamed up to offer this year’s Summer Youth Pass. Passes are available to anyone 17 years of age and under for just $50 each.
Tri_Delta_Transit_logoThe pass is in the form of a waterproof wristband and is good for 3 months of unlimited rides (June 1 through August 31) on all Tri Delta Transit fixed-route buses and all WestCAT fixed-route and express buses (including the 30Z Martinez Link)*.
Passes are currently on sale and can be purchased any one of three ways:
In Person: Pick up a Summer Youth Pass at the Tri Delta Transit administrative office (801 Wilbur Ave, Antioch) or at WestCAT (601 Walter Ave, Pinole) during business hours
Online: Click here to order the Summer Youth Pass via the Tri Delta Transit website
Mail/Fax/Phone: You can fax or mail in a completed order form to Tri Delta Transit (download here), or place your order by phone (credit card orders only) by calling 925-754-6622
For more information about the promotion or either transit agency, please visit WestCAT.org or TriDeltaTransit.com, or call WestCAT at (510) 724-3331 or Tri Delta Transit at (925) 754-4040.

*Summer youth passes not valid on Dial-a-Ride or WestCAT LYNX Transbay service. Summer Youth Passes are non-refundable, non-redeemable, and non-transferable.


WestCAT Testing Double-Decker Bus on LYNX Route (2015)

If you ride WestCAT’s LYNX route, get ready to start seeing double!

Photo Courtesy WestCAT
Photo Courtesy WestCAT

AC Transit handed off a shiny, new 80-seat double-decker bus (on loan from manufacturer Alexander Dennis) to WestCAT earlier this week, and it went into active use today!

The double-decker bus will be part of the LYNX fleet for a demonstration period through March 26-April 13. In order to give everyone an opportunity to experience the new vehicle, the bus will be scheduled for use on various LYNX runs. WestCAT will use Twitter (
@wccta), Facebook (facebook.com/wccta), and their website to advise customers on which runs the bus will be traveling on a particular day.
WestCAT is testing the bus to see if double-deckers would be a useful addition to the LYNX fleet. Those who ride the double-decker bus will be asked for feedback, which will be used to help the agency determine whether to consider acquiring similar buses. If the WestCAT Board of Directors decides to purchase double-decker buses, customers could see them in service as early as 2017.
For more information about the double-decker bus demonstration, visit westcat.org or call (510) 724-3331.

Schedule & Services Changes: County Connection, Wheels, Tri Delta Transit (Feb. 2015)

WHEELSWheels (LAVTA) – The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority is making minor changes to several of its regular and school-focused bus routes effective Saturday, February 21:

  • Route 2 – The afternoon schedule has been modified to improve timings for Fallon Middle School students; trips now depart E Dublin BART at 30 minutes past each hour instead of at the hour.
  • Route 9 – Trips that previously operated as Route 70X now operate as Route 9 in the Hacienda Business Park. The Inglewood/Chabot loop has been discontinued.
  • Route 10 – The morning starting time of service has been modified; westbound service now begins
    approximately 30 minutes later, while eastbound service starts approximately 30 minutes earlier than in the
    previous schedule.
  • Route 11 – The previous 5:57am trip has been discontinued, and a new 8:12am trip added to the morning service. In the afternoon, all trips now depart the Transit Center 15 minutes later compared to the previous schedule.
  • Route 70X – See notation for Route 9 above; passengers will continue to be able to travel between the Walnut Creek and Hacienda areas and vice versa without the need to transfer buses.
  • Route 605 – The route has been extended to Martin Avenue, and now operates the segment similar to Route 608.
  • Minor timing adjustments have been made to the schedules of routes 10, 12, 15, and Rapid.

Click here to see the full press release.
Tri Delta TransitTri Delta Transit – Tri Delta Transit will have a new schedule taking effect on Sunday, March 8. The new schedule will include:

  • Time Changes: Routes 201, 300, 380, 385, 387, 388, 391
  • NEW morning run on Route 385 EB. Service for Liberty High School Students

Printed schedules will be available on board buses the week of March 1. To request a schedule by mail, call 925-754-6622. Click here to view the new timetables.
County Connection – Thanks to the property owners in the Shadelands Business Park, County Connection’s Route 7 buses are now free to all passengers (effective February 16). Route 7 operates M-F every 15 minutes from approximately 6:30–10:00am and 3:00–7:30pm traveling between the Pleasant Hill BART station and the Shadelands Business Park via Treat Blvd and Oak Grove Road. To view the schedule and route map, click here.
AC TransitAC Transit – Although AC Transit’s service expansion does not affect Contra Costa County directly, the addition of weekend service on Lines 46 and 339 make it possible to connect from BART to AC Transit to visit Chabot Space and Science Center and the Oakland Zoo, as well as other worship and recreational facilities.
The service expansion takes effect on Sunday, March 15 and affects Lines 72R, 46, 200, 212, 217, 339 and NL.

From the Archives: Old AC Transit

(Photo credit: AC Transit)
While it’s true all eyes are set on modernizing our transit system, AC Transit uploaded some fantastic pictures of buses and billboard ads from the 1960’s and 70’s.  We salute AC Transit’s fleet and campaigns from half a century ago! (All photos courtesy of AC Transit
Can’t get enough of old-school AC Transit? The agency has dozens of more old photos in its “From the Archives March 2014” flickr set. And if you’re on Facebook, check out the Vintage AC Transit page and give it a “like” for more pictures and history.

New Hillcrest Park & Ride Lot is Almost Ready to Open (2014)

Old Hillcrest Park & RideCommuters catching Tri Delta Transit buses at the current Hillcrest Park & Ride on a typical weekday afternoon

Big changes are coming up for the Hillcrest Park & Ride lot located in Antioch at the corner of Hillcrest Avenue and Sunset Drive.  Starting Sunday, February 16, 2014, commuters will be parking a bit further up on Sunset Drive on Lot A of the upcoming eBART station.

Hillcrest Park&Ride Layout 2

The new parking lot will feature an additional 94 spaces for commuters.  The bus loading area will also be relocated to an area adjacent to the future eBART station.  Tri Delta Transit and other transit operators are recommending that you allow additional time to catch your bus.   In anticipation of some confusion to the new changes, signs and ambassadors will be on site Tuesday, February 18th to help commuters.

Hillcrest Park & Ride
Hillcrest Park & Ride

511 Contra Costa is excited to see that the new Hillcrest Park & Ride lot is almost ready to open to the public.  It looks like finishing touches are being put into place when staff stopped by for a preview.

By the end of 2017, all 1,000 spaces of BART’s Antioch (eBART) Station parking lot will be available for use for drivers who use Tri Delta Transit, eBART and other local public transit systems.  And what will happen to the current parking lot?  The old Hillcrest Park and Ride will be demolished to clear space for freeway onramps and offramps.

Information Source: Contra Costa TimesEast County Today, Tri Delta Transit

Removing The Conflict Between Buses and Bikes

Catching the Bus to Horseshoe Bay

A bicyclist peacefully overtakes a bus loading and unloading passengers. Photo credit: Canadian Veggie

If you commute by bike or bus, the conflict is familiar: a bus will overtake a person bicycling then arrive at a stop to pick up passengers, and while the bus is momentarily stopped the person bicycling will catch up and overtake the bus.

Vancouver public transit - 01
Buses continuously cross the path bicyclists to pick up and drop off passengers, causing a game of “leap frog” as the two modes alternate overtaking each other. Photo credit: pembina.institute

This effectively creates an unwanted game of “leap frog” in which bicycles and buses are constantly overtaking one another, sometimes causing near collisions since it can be difficult to see a bicycle approaching on the left as the bus driver attempts to re-enter the flow of traffic. As if contending with traffic weren’t stressful enough, this repeated negotiation can be exhausting and tense for both parties.
Thankfully, there is a solution– routing bicycles to the left of bus stops in a separated lane, known as “bike channel” or “bus bypass.”  Here in the Bay Area, San Francisco has pioneered this practice on streets with streetcar stops where it seems to be working just as it should, removing the bus-bike conflict seen on heavily traveled routes throughout the region.
So it comes as good news that the practice will soon expand into the East Bay along AC Transit’s 51 route this summer as part of the “Line 51 Corridor Delay Reduction and Sustainability Project.” Not only is this anticipated to remove the common “leap frogging” conflict between buses and bikes, but this is also expected to help speed up bus times too– a win-win!
While the proposed orientation (which will look similar to the configuration in the lead photo) is unfamiliar in the East Bay, it certainly is not new. In The Netherlands, transportation planners have separated buses and bicycles at bus stops since as early as the 1950’s. To learn more about how this clever design improves conditions for everyone watch the video.

Video credit: markenlei

Have You Been Enjoying A Better Ride? (2013)

Gillig Suburban Inaugural 11.7.13
New AC Transit bus, the “Gillig Suburban,” offers riders free wifi. Photo credit: AC Transit

In March AC Transit began phasing in a new line of buses built by Bay Area based company Gillig to replace some of the fleet’s older models. In August, AC Transit introduced the New Flyer 60’ articulated buses, which feature 52 seats (and additional room for standing) to handle demand along its most heavily traveled routes (click here to check out the specs of the bus).
Now, as of November 8th, AC Transit has unveiled yet another type of bus to improve service quality for riders, one geared to to accommodate long distance commuters, called the “Gillig Suburban.” These buses have the following features:

Gillig Suburban Inaugural 11.7.13
With seats like that, riding the Gillig Suburban bus could make for a very relaxing commute. Photo credit: AC Transit

  • Passenger-controlled overhead reading lamps
  • High-backed cushioned seats
  • Overhead luggage racks
  • Free wifi

All three new models of buses are part of AC Transit’s “A Better Ride” effort to make bus travel more pleasant and efficient. If you have ridden any of the new types of buses, AC Transit encourages you to provide feedback by sending an email to abetterride@actransit.org.
To keep up with the latest news from AC Transit, check out the agency on facebook, twitter, youtube, or sign up to receive their e-newsletters 

A Better Ride With AC Transit (2013)

Gillig interior
A look at the interior of AC Transit’s new Gillg buses. Click the image for additional photos of the new buses Photo credit: AC Transit
Some good news for AC Transit riders– the transit agency recently acquired 65 new buses from Hayward based Gillig! The buses started being phased in March and will be replacing some of the agency’s older buses.
What makes these buses so great? Well, a number of things, including:

  • Low-floor accessibility
  • Stroller and wheel-chair areas
  • Catalytic reduction and gas recirculation system that makes the engines of these new buses 90-percent cleaner than the buses being replaced
  • Low-maintenance seating
  • Digital display of next stops

See the below video for other improvements are on the way for AC Transit and to see some views of what these new buses look like

Video credit: AC Transit

County Connection to change several bus schedules starting December 27, 2009

Effective Sunday, December 27, 2009, The County Connection will implement a number of changes to its weekday bus routes. The changes are intended to address overcrowding on routes, improve BART and bus connections and to help buses stay on schedule.
Affected routes are: 2, 5, 6L, 7, 9, 10, 11, 20 and 28. New schedules have been posted online and will be available next week at current distribution locations.
The County Connection serves about 5 million riders a year on fixed-route and paratransit vehicles across a service area of 200 square miles. Most routes run at a frequency between 30 and 90 minutes. For fixed routes, the regular fare is $2.00 and the express fare is $2.25. For paratransit vehicles, the fare is $4.00 per trip. For discounts through pass purchases, visit County Connection’s Fares page.
For specific schedule information on The County Connection, contact:
Customer Service: 925-676-7500
For other questions, contact:
County Connection Administrative Offices
2477 Arnold Industrial Way
Concord, CA 94520
925- 676-1976
Website: www.cccta.org
Email: customerservice@cccta.org

SF To Get 1100 New Solar Powered Bus Shelters

The first of 1,100 new solar powered bus shelters was unveiled yesterday in San Francisco.  The solar power generated by the structure’s wavy red roof will be used to power LED lighting, the NextBus display, intercom and wireless routers.

New Bus Shelter 02 by Tom Hilton
New Bus Shelter 02 by Tom Hilton (via flickr.)

You can check out the full story on SF Streets Blog.
For more detailed photos have a look at the images from Mike Chino and Ryan Hughes at Inhabitat.

2009 Commuter tax benefit increased to $230 a month.

The Economic Recovery Act signed into law by President Obama  includes an increase in the vanpool and transit tax benefit for commuters to $230 a month.  Employers can enable their employees to set aside a portion of their pretax salary to pay for commuting with costs savings of roughly $1000 per year.  Make sure your employer offers this federal IRS tax benefit.