2018 is here, and with it some new laws for transit and vanpool commuter benefits, walking and driving. Pre-Tax Commuter Benefit: If your employer offers a program where you can pay for transit or vanpool commuting expenses with pre-tax dollars, the monthly cap for that benefit has risen to $260 for 2018. The pre-tax cap for biking expenses remains at $20. Pedestrian Crossing Signals (AB 390): For crosswalk signals which include a countdown timer, it is now legal for a pedestrian to enter the crosswalk after the countdown has started, as long as they can make it across by the time the counter reaches zero. It is still illegal to begin crossing at a traditional pedestrian signal (i.e. no countdown timer) after it has begun flashing. Seat Belts on Buses (SB 20):Effective July 1, 2018 – In buses which are equipped with seatbelts, the law requires both the passengers and the driver to wear them. The driver is also responsible for informing passengers of this requirement. Driving Passengers for Hire (AB 2687, 2016):Effective July 1, 2018 – Now lowered to match the current limit for bus and truck drivers, the blood-alcohol limit for individuals driving for Uber, Lyft and similar services has been lowered to 0.04 percent when carrying passengers. New Fuel Taxes and Vehicle Fees(SB 1): A new ‘transportation improvement fee’ will be added to all vehicle registration fees – ranging from $25 to $175 based on the value of a car or truck. No Parking Citations at Broken Meters (AB 1625): You cannot be restricted from or ticketed for parking at a broken meter. However, you must still observe the posted time limit for parking. Alcohol and Marijuana in Vehicles (SB 65, 94): Smoking or ingesting cannabis while driving or riding in a vehicle is prohibited. The law also prohibits the possession of an open container of cannabis or cannabis product when operating a motor vehicle.
To see the full text of any California law above, visit the California Legislative Information website.
BART will be closing the Pittsburg Park & Ride starting Monday, May 15 for construction of the Pittsburg BART station. Duration of the closure is unknown.
During the closure, Tri Delta Transit buses will not stop at this location. Buses cannot stop on Bliss Avenue.
For details including alternate bus stops near the Park & Ride, click here.
Do you use the North Concord/Martinez or Pittsburg/Bay Point BART station? Live or work in East County? BART wants your input!
With plans to expand East Contra Costa service in 2018, BART is conducting a study to identify projects to improve access to stations for pedestrians, bikes, vehicles and transit. They’ve drafted a preliminary document identifying barriers and proposing improvements, and now they want to hear from you!
For more information or to submit feedback, visit the North Concord to Antioch BART Study webpage.
With 2017 just around the corner, we rounded up new laws impacting vehicle & traffic safety we thought you should know about. All of these laws take effect on January 1, 2017. Cell Phone (Electronic Wireless Device) Usage: It will be illegal to hold a cell phone (or other wireless electronic device) while operating a motor vehicle. Phones and devices will need to be mounted on the dashboard or windshield, and may only be operated by hand when activating or deactivating a feature or function can be done with “a single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger” (View full text of AB 1785) School Bus Safety: All school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses & child care motor vehicles used to transport school-age children will be required to have a “child safety alert system”. Since this device requires the driver to contact or scan it before leaving the vehicle, it prompts them to verify that all children have disembarked. Schools will also be required to have procedures in place to, “ensure that a pupil is not left unattended on a school bus.” (View full text of SB 1072) Child Safety Seats: Children under 2 years of age must ride rear-facing in a child safety seat, unless they are more than 40 pounds or taller than 40 inches. (View full text of AB 53)
On New Year’s Day, all transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be on Sunday or Holiday schedules, except for County Connection which will have no service. On New Year’s Eve, BART will run until 3am. Special Note Regarding BART: San Francisco-bound Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond trains will not stop at Embarcadero Station after 8pm on New Year’s Eve. After the San Francisco fireworks show is over, passengers bound for Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond must use Montgomery Street Station. Trains on these lines will not stop at Embarcadero Station on their way out of San Francisco. Free Transit: AC Transit &Muni will be offering free travel from 8pm New Year’s Eve until 5am the following morning. During the complimentary service, there is no need to tag your Clipper card. Click any link below for additional schedule information. December 30 (Friday)
Wheels (LAVTA): Weekend Plus service – All normal weekend service plus Routes 53 & 54
New Year’s Eve (December 31)
BART: Regular Saturday schedule with supplemental New Year’s eve service until 3am
On Christmas Day, all transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be on Sunday or Holiday schedules. Modified service will be offered by some local transit agencies on the days before and after Christmas. Click any link below for additional schedule information. December 23
Wheels (LAVTA): Weekend Plus service – All normal weekend service plus Routes 53 & 54
Christmas Eve (December 24)
Tri Delta Transit: Routes 392, 393, 394 and 395 will operate on a Sunday schedule; no other service
On Presidents Day (Monday, February 15), some transit agencies will run on regular weekday schedules while others will run on holiday schedules. We’ve collected all the schedules for easy reference. Click any link below for additional schedule information.
511 Contra Costa has teamed up with Tri Delta Transit to offer East County commuters a free 20-Ride pass!
You’re eligible for the pass if you:
Commute to and from work
Are 18 years of age or older
Live or work in East Contra Costa
Have access to a car & would drive alone if Tri Delta Transit were not available, and
Agree to complete a follow-up survey
If you meet the requirements, requesting a free 20-Ride pass is as simple as filling out this online form. After that, Tri Delta Transit will send you a free 20-Ride pass (while supplies last).*
Time is of the essence! This offer expires February 14. Passes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so apply today!
*Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements and observe all program rules in order to receive a free pass. Ineligible or incomplete applications will not be processed. Completing the application does not guarantee receipt of a free pass. Passes not valid on paratransit buses (Dial-a-Ride).
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 18), some transit agencies will run on regular weekday schedules while others will run on holiday schedules. We’ve collected the transit schedules for easy reference. Click any link below for additional schedule information.
On New Year’s Day, all transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be on Sunday or Holiday schedules. On New Year’s Eve, BART will run until 3am and WestCAT will offer a Modified Holiday Service schedule. Special Note Regarding BART: San Francisco-bound Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond trains will not stop at Embarcadero Station after 8pm on New Year’s Eve. After the San Francisco fireworks show is over, passengers bound for Pittsburg/Bay Point and Richmond must use Montgomery Street Station. Trains on these lines will not stop at Embarcadero Station on their way out of San Francisco. Free Transit:AC Transit & Muni will be offering free travel from 8pm New Year’s Eve until 5am the following morning. During the complimentary service, there is no need to tag your Clipper card. Click any link below for additional schedule information. New Year’s Eve (December 31)
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. Through 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.
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 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. The 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.
Wheels (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
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 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 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.
(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.
Commuters 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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 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:
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
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
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
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.
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.
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