Contra Costa County – 511 Contra Costa

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2017: Transit Schedules (Monday, January 16)

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 16), 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.

New Year's Eve 2016 & New Year's Day Transit Schedules

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.
explosion-firework-new-year-s-eve-december-31Special 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
  • WestCAT:
    • J – Saturday service
    • 11, 19, DAR – Saturday service until 7pm
    • All other routes – no service
  • Wheels (LAVTA): Weekend service – Routes 1, 3, 8, 10R, 14, 15 & 30R on a weekend schedule
  • All other transit on regular Saturday schedule (AC Transit, County Connection, Tri Delta Transit, Capitol Corridor)

New Year’s Day (January 1)

January 2 – Monday (New Year’s Day Observed)

  • AC Transit: Sunday schedule
  • WestCAT: Sunday service
  • Tri Delta Transit: Routes 392, 393, 394 and 395 will operate on a Sunday schedule; no other service
  • Wheels (LAVTA): Weekend service – Routes 1, 3, 8, 10R, 14, 15 & 30R on a weekend schedule
  • County Connection: Weekend service
  • All other transit on regular weekday schedule (BART, Capitol Corridor)

Christmas 2016: Holiday Transit Service Information

lightsOn 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
  • WestCAT:
    • Route J – Saturday service
    • Routes 11, 19, and Dial-a-Ride – Saturday service until 7pm
    • All other routes – no service
  • Wheels (LAVTA): Weekend service – Routes 1, 3, 8, 10R, 14, 15 & 30R on a weekend schedule
  • All other transit on regular Saturday schedule (BART, AC Transit, County Connection, Capitol Corridor)

Christmas Day (December 25)

Day After Christmas (December 26)

Thanksgiving 2016: Holiday Transit Service – Thursday & Friday

On Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 24), all transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be running on modified schedules. In addition, some agencies will have modified schedules the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 25).
Click any link below for detailed schedule information.
Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 24

Day After Thanksgiving – Nov. 25

Photo courtesy Alasam

Labor Day 2016: Transit Schedules (Monday, Sept. 5)

511_logoWe’ve collected the transit schedules for Labor Day to make it easier to know which buses and trains are running and how often to expect them. For more information about specific schedules, click the links below.
Transit Operators Running Sunday Service on Labor Day

No Service

Community Workshop on Transportation (June 2015)

The public is invited to a community workshop being hosted by supervisors Karen Mitchoff and Candace Andersen tomorrow, June 2,  to share potential transportation safety and congestion relief projects related to the Central County Area of Benefit (Central Contra Costa County).  Staff from Contra Costa Public Works will provide updates on intersection improvements, traffic calming measures, bicycle lanes and walkable shoulders.
Come prepared to share your ideas.
When: Tuesday June 2, 7-9 p.m.
Where: Downtown Walnut Creek Library, Oak View Room, 1644 N. Broadway, Walnut Creek

Bike to Work Day 2015 in Contra Costa – Wrap-up & Photos

On Thursday, May 14, over 100,000 people across the Bay Area commuted by bike in celebration of Bike to Work Day! The Bay’s 400-plus energizer stations saw more than 51,000 riders stop in or ride by on their way to work. In Contra Costa, morning energizer station hosts counted over 3,585 cyclists!
Even with the threat of rain, thousands of people still grabbed their bikes for the commute to work – some for the very first time! 511 Contra Costa wants to thank all the participants for making this another successful Bike to Work Day and for helping reduce CO2 emissions!
IronHorse_8We’d especially like to thank the hosts and all the volunteers who helped coordinate and staff the energizer stations throughout Contra Costa. By providing encouragement, snacks, mechanical assistance, and even shelter from the rain, you helped make bike commuting a reality for so many!
If you participated in Bike to Work Day and want to keep commuting by bike (or want to try bike commuting for the first time), we’ve got resources that can help make it fun and easy. Visit our biking page for a guide on how to become a bike commuter, to sign up for a BikeLink (bike locker) card, to learn about taking bikes on transit, and to find out how you can get a cash reward for making the switch to commuting by bike!
We collected all our Bike to Work Day photos in the galleries below. If you volunteered at a Contra Costa County energizer station or stopped by one on your commute, check below and you might just see yourself! (Click any photo to see a larger version.)
Bike to Work Day 2015 was a huge success and we’re thrilled about how many people got involved. Whether you participated this year or not, we hope to see you on your bike next year… if not sooner!
 

ENERGIZER STATIONS

Alamo: Iron Horse Trail at Stone Valley Rd West – Hosted by RPM Mortgage

Photo courtesy Michele O.
Photo courtesy Michele O.

Antioch: Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center – Hosted by Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center

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Antioch: Delta de Anza Trail at Lone Tree Way – Hosted by the City of Antioch & Sutter Delta Medical Center

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Brentwood: Marsh Creek Trail at Central Blvd – Hosted by East Bay Regional Parks District

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Brentwood: Ron Nunn Elementary School – Hosted by Ron Nunn Elementary School

Ron Nunn_1 Ron Nunn_2

Brentwood: City Park – Delta Pedalers Bicycle Club

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Brentwood_4 Brentwood_5 Brentwood_6

Concord: Cambridge Elementary School – Hosted by Monument Impact

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Concord: Concord BART Station – Hosted by Bank of America & County Connection

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Danville: Iron Horse Trail at Sycamore Valley Rd – Hosted by The Studio

Photo courtesy Michele O.
Photo courtesy Michele O.

Danville: Iron Horse Trail behind Lunardi’s/Danville Train Depot – Hosted by Street Smarts San Ramon & the Town of Danville

Photo courtesy Michele O.
Photo courtesy Michele O.

San Ramon: Iron Horse Trail at Bollinger Canyon Rd – Hosted by Sunset Development Company, City of San Ramon & Whole Foods Market

Photos courtesy Michele O.
Photo Courtesy Michele O. Photo Courtesy Michele O. Photo Courtesy Michele O.
Photo Courtesy Michele O.

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse Trail between Broadway & Newell Ave – Hosted by Whole Foods Market

Photo courtesy Michele O.
Photo courtesy Michele O.

Walnut Creek: Iron Horse & Contra Costa Canal Trail intersection – Hosted by CCTA, 511 Contra Costa & East Bay Regional Park District

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IronHorse_4 BTWD Photo IronHorse_6
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Photo by Michele O.

Walnut Creek: Ygnacio & Contra Costa Canal Trail Intersection – Hosted by Encina Bicycle Center

Photo courtesy Michele O.
Photo courtesy Michele O.

Walnut Creek: Ygnacio Canal Trail & Wiget Ln – Hosted by Renaissance ClubSport

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You're Invited: Plan Bay Area 2040 Open House – Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Give feedback to help shape the future of Contra Costa County and the Bay Area at an MTC Plan Bay Area Open House – Wednesday, April 29!
Plan Bay Area 2040
Plan Bay Area is a roadmap to help Bay Area cities and counties adapt to the challenges of future population growth. Attendees will have the opportunity to view displays and offer comments on long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks, house the region’s projected population, improve public health, maintain the region’s transportation infrastructure and preserve open space. Developing Plan Bay Area 2040 is a collaborative process, so community input is vital in shaping the finished plan.
There will be one Open House held in each of the Bay Area’s nine counties. People are welcome to attend the session(s) of their choosing. There are two Open Houses this week:

Contra Costa County Alameda County
Wednesday, April 29 Wednesday, April 29
7pm-9pm 7pm-9pm
Marriott Alameda County Fairgrounds – Palm Pavillion
2355 North Main Street 4501 Pleasanton Avenue
Walnut Creek Pleasanton*

*Wheels will be running extended bus service on Route 53 to accommodate those attending the Plan Bay Area Open House in Pleasanton.
For more details, visit the Plan Bay Area Open House webpage, contact info@planbayarea.org or call (510) 817-5757. For transit route information, visit 511.org.
 

Street Smarts Diablo Bike & Roll to School Events: March 31 – May 6, 2015

National Bike to School Day is Wednesday, May 6. As a lead-up to the big day, Street Smarts Diablo is teaming up with select middle schools in Contra Costa for a series of individual Bike & Roll to School events. Middle school students will be accepting the challenge to get to school on wheels by riding their bikes, skateboards and scooters!
Drivers are advised to exercise extreme caution from late March through early May as bicycling and walking events will mean an increase in school-aged children walking & bicycling to and from school.
NBM2014_Web_Site_Header_editNational Bike to School Day is a one-day event occurring in May that encourages and celebrates biking to school. Bike to School Day events can include bicycle safety education, parent-led bike trains, and other bicycle-related education and encouragement activities. Street Smarts Diablo’s Bike & Roll events build off of the energy of National Bike Month, encouraging student health and fitness, biking safety, and concern for the environment while decreasing traffic congestion around campus.
As part of the Bike & Roll to School celebrations, Street Smarts Diablo will have some free helmets on hand to provide to students who arrive to school with wheels and need a properly fitting helmet. Parents are welcome to bring students’ bikes to school by car, so that any child starting the day without a helmet can get to school and roll home safely.
If your child is planning on biking school, these two guides from the National Center for Safe Routes to School will help get both of you ready:

Schools participating in the 2015 Bike & Roll Challenge – click any event for more information:
streetsmartsdiabloFoothill Middle School, Walnut Creek – Tuesday, March 31
Pine Hollow Middle School, Concord – Thursday, April 2
Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High, Pittsburg – Wednesday, April 15
Antioch Middle School, Antioch – Thursday, April 23

Walnut Creek Intermediate School, Walnut Creek – Tuesday, April 28
Rancho Medanos Jr. High, Pittsburg – Wed., Apr. 29

For more information on Bike & Roll to School events, contact Street Smarts Diablo at 925-969-1083.

Carsharing Coming to Richmond and El Cerrito (2015)

CityCarShare_Logo_cmykThanks to a nearly $1 million grant from the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), carsharing is about to become a reality in both Richmond and El Cerrito.
The MTC has awarded a $973,864 grant to fund a program called CarShare4All, a collaboration between City CarShare, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative (BACC). The program will deploy vehicles to El Cerrito, Richmond and Oakland, including a wheelchair-accessible van.
“Carsharing is a very important part of our strategy to provide transportation options,” said Kevin Romick, Chair of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, “This project with City CarShare and the Bay Area Climate Collaborative provides critical links to and from public transit, which provides multi-modal travel choices for Contra Costa residents.”
According to a project factsheet released by Richmond Mayor-elect Tom Butt, beyond bringing carsharing to El Cerrito and Richmond, the CarShare4All program will allow City CarShare to expand access to discounted memberships for low- and moderate-income families and increase the availability of wheelchair-accessible vans to its members.
A date for initial service has not yet been released.
For more information about the program, read the CarShare4All fact sheet (posted by Richmond Mayor-elect Tom Butt) or City CarShare’s press release.
For more information on carsharing in Contra Costa County, visit 511CC’s carsharing page.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Coming to Todos Santos Plaza in Concord (2014)

The City of Concord will soon be installing an electric vehicle charging station near Todos Santos Plaza. Although this isn’t the first car-charging station in Concord, it is the first one owned by the City.
The purchase of the charging unit was made possible by a $7,000 grant from 511 Contra Costa using Bay Area Air Quality Management District Transportation Fund For Clean Air funds and Contra Costa Transportation Authority Measure J Commute Alternative funds.  The City of Concord provided $4,325 for installation costs.  511 Contra Costa has also helped fund charging stations in Martinez, Walnut Creek, Contra Costa Centre, Brentwood, Pleasant Hill and Pittsburg.

ChargePoint Stations
ChargePoint Stations in Contra Costa County

The car-charging unit at Todos Santos Plaza, will be able to  charge two vehicles at a time and will be installed on the first floor of the parking garage at 2051 Salvio Street.  The fee for charging your vehicle will be $1.75 per hour with a 3-hour time limit.  The City of Concord has estimated that the fee will generate about $2,362 annually which is enough to cover the City’s management and electricity costs.  See the full  article in the Contra Costa Times.
Concord’s new charging station will be part of Coulomb Technologies’ ChargePoint network. In order to use the station you will need to have an active ChargePoint account.

Share Your Ideas to Help Shape Contra Costa's Transportation (2014)

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is updating the Countywide Transportation Plan and they would like to hear your ideas on how to keep Contra Costa moving. CCTA is responsible for maintaining and improving Contra Costa’s transportation system by planning and funding key projects, like the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, Highway 4 widening, and BART system extensions. The agency also helps maintain local streets, reduce traffic congestion, and make Contra Costa safe for bicyclists and pedestrians all in efforts to get you where you need to go.
ccta_keep_ccc_ moving copy
The CCTA in collaboration with Contra Costa municipalities and cities want to know what transportation issues you think are important so they can prioritize where to spend time and resources – BART? Buses? Highways? Local roads? Pedestrian paths? Bicycle routes? Do you have new ideas? You tell them. This is your chance to participate in setting the priorities for our transportation system and suggest your own bright ideas for new projects and programs in Contra Costa. There are many ways you can provide your input:
Attend a public workshop to hear more about the CTP.  Here’s a list of the upcoming workshops:

    • Southwest County Public Workshop: Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 7pm, Veteran’s Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd, Lafayette
    • West County Public Workshop: Saturday, September 20, 2014, 1:30pm, Richmond Convention Center, Bermuda Room (enter from Nevin St.) 403 Civic  Center Plaza, Richmond
    • West County Public Workshop: Monday, September 22, 2014, 7pm, Hercules Community Center (Gym), 2001 Refugio Valley Road, Hercules
    • Telephone Public Workshop: Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 6pm, Dial 877-229-8493 and pin# 1126642 when promptedP
    • Past event: Central County Public Workshop:  Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7pm, Assembly Hall at Civic Park Community Center, 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Cree
    • Past event: East County Public Workshop: Thursday, August 28, 2014, 7pm, City Council Chambers, Pittsburg Civic Center, 65 Civic Avenue, Pittsburg
  1. Participate in CCTA’s online survey at www.KeepContraCostaMoving.net, to share your priorities, your bright ideas, and see what other ideas have been submitted.
  2. Call 925-256-4720 or email 2014CTP@ccta.net to have a copy of CCTA’s survey mailed to you.

Your opinions and ideas will help shape Contra Costa County’s transportation planning for the next 25 years.  Don’t miss this opportunity!
CTP Frequently Asked Questions
English and Spanish Flyer On How To Participate

Iron Horse Trail Overcrossings Input Requested (2014)

The Iron Horse Trail Overcrossings Project is looking for new design ideas for the bicycle and pedestrian overcrossing on Bollinger Canyon Road and Crow Canyon Road in San Ramon.  Bring your ideas to the workshop on May 20, 2014 from 6-8 pm at San Ramon Community Center Fountain Room.
Iron Horse Trail Overcrossings Project is a collaborative effort between the City of San Ramon, Contra Costa County, and the East Bay Regional Park District.
Iron Horse Crossings

Olympic Corridor Trail Connector Study (2013)

Contra Costa County, together with the cities of Lafayette and Walnut Creek are conducting a planning study to examine a preferred alignment for a feasible alignment and a preferred alternative for a pedestrian/bicycle facility from the Lafayette-Moraga Trail to the Iron Horse Trail in downtown Walnut Creek.  Review the study area map.
The first Community Workshop will be held  Thursday, December 5 at 6:30 p.m. in Walnut Creek.
6:30-8:30 pm
Multi-Purpose Room
Parkmead Elementary
1920 Magnolia Way
Walnut Creek, CA 94595
[google map]

The specific purpose of the Community Workshop is to capture community ideas about the preferred alternative and the criteria that will be used to select the recommended alignment.
After the Community Workshop a preferred alternative will be selected, designed and studied for feasibility and cost.  A second Community Workshop will be held to present the conceptual drawings and design elements for Preferred Trail Alternative and to receive comments.  Public comments will be incorporated into the Final Study Report.

Celebrate the completion of the Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore Tomorrow, Friday November 15, 2013

On Friday, November 15th at 1:30 p.m. U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will join project partners to celebrate the construction of the Caldecott Fourth Bore with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
The ceremony will be attended by:

  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx
  • Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty
  • Metropolitan Transportation Commission Chair Amy Rein Worth
  • Contra Costa Transportation Authority Chair Janet Abelson
  • Student designers of the Fourth Bore medallions

The event will happen near the east portal of the Caldecott Tunnel in Contra Costa County.

Inside the new Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, taken by San Francisco Chronicle transportation reporter Michael Cabanatuan
Inside the new Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore, taken by San Francisco Chronicle transportation reporter Michael Cabanatuan (@ctuan)

The $417 million Caldecott Tunnel Fourth Bore project was completed in less than four years, and under budget, and is expected to provide significant congestion relief to motorists traveling along State Route 24 between Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in the off-peak direction by permanently dedicating two tunnels to travel in each direction.
The Fourth Bore was one of the largest recipients of Recovery Act funding in the nation, and its successful construction has been a partnership of the Federal Highway Administration, the California Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the Bay Area Toll Authority, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and the Alameda County Transportation Commission.
The six students whose designs were chosen in a regional competition will participate in the unveiling of the mounted Art Deco-inspired medallions, which will grace both portals of the new tunnel.

To see all winners and honorable mentions for the contest, see our board on Pinterest.
 

Don't Forget, The County Connection 2013 Summer Youth Passes Now Available!

CCCTA/(Contra Costa) County Connection Gillig Phantom, Dublin, Ca.
Photo credit: La Wad
Just a quick reminder, The County Connection’s Summer Youth bus passes are now on sale– here’s the official announcement:

Following a decades-old tradition The County Connection is offering a deeply discounted Summer Youth bus pass to help students get around during the summer.
The 20-Ride Summer Youth Pass sells for $15 and is available now for youths age 6-18. Summer Youth passes are accepted on all County Connection regular fixed-route buses. If using the Summer Youth Pass on an Express route at additional quarter is needed.
County Connection allows more than one person to use a single bus pass, making it easier for families with multiple children, or for those planning group outings.
The pass is valid from June 9 through September 30th, and is available through the mail, at most sales outlets, or online.  For more information about this program, call Customer Service center 676-7500 or visit www.countyconnection.com

Need inspiration for how you can put a Summer Youth pass to good use? Check out our Transit and Trails post!
 

Two Thumbs Up For The County Connection's Real Time Bus Tracker

About half a year ago, the County Connection introduced “Bus Tracker,” the latest upgrade to County Connection’s on-board computer system that provides real time arrival predictions for any bus stop in the system. Since the upgrade, the agency has received nothing but positive feedback from transit riders. Take, for example, this comment from Gabe Griffith, president of the Contra Costa Chapter of the California Council of the Blind:

“Thank you for introducing Bus Tracker. It works great with the VoiceOver speech output on the iPhone. I’ve used it several times and it’s always been accurate. When I get my message that the bus is due to arrive at my stop, the bus shows up within a minute. I like that if a bus is running a little late, Bus Tracker will give actual arrival times, rather than scheduled arrival times. Two thumbs up!”

Real-time data that allows riders to track buses is the kind of improvement that truly makes transit more accessible, and convenient to the public– two thumbs up, indeed!
For a refresher of what exactly Bus Tracker is and how you can take advantage of it, see the below video

Video credit: h2MediaLabs
(Note: Passengers only need access to the Internet to see where buses are on-route, and to see when the next bus is predicted to arrive at any given stop.  Riders are encouraged to set up a personalized account to receive arrival alerts via text or email messages. Simply visit www.countyconnection.com and click the Bus Tracker button to get started.
County Connection is currently in the process of creating a downloadable application to make using Bus Tracker even more convenient on mobile devices.)

From Country Road to Bay Trail – Carquinez Scenic Drive Restoration (2013)

Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline
A beautiful view from Carquinez Scenic Drive, overlooking the Carquinez Strait Photo credit: renedrivers

Next fall, Central and West Contra Costa County will be better connected for travel by foot and bicycle as the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) will complete work on converting 1.7 mile of the neglected, and outdated, Carquinez Scenic Drive country road, between Martinez and Port Costa, into the latest scenic addition to the regional San Francisco Bay Trail. This portion of Carquinez Scenic Drive has already been closed to motor vehicles for decades and is currently used informally for recreational jogging and hiking, however the EBRPD will be making improvements over the next year to ensure the trail is structurally safe and sound.
Converting less than two miles of old road into a bike and pedestrian path will take over a year because as reported by the Contra Costa Times, the task is not as straightforward as it may seem. The Contra Costa Times reports:

During a recent tour of the trail west of Martinez, only about three feet of the road clung to the hillside in one spot. Not much more of the road remains in some other areas.
To develop the trail, contractors will rebuild hill sections and protect them against slides by driving tall pilings into the ground in nine locations and pouring concrete around them.

The Carquinez Scenic Drive is  falling apart and eroding, requiring extensive excavation to make the trail safe  for the next several decades and as a consequence the trail will be fenced off for the work preventing the current informal use.
When the trail is restored, Bay Trail users will have a smooth 10-foot wide path with shoulders on each side to safely enjoy. The projected year of completion is 2014, which will mark the 100th anniversary of Carquinez Scenic Drive, originally built in 1914. What better way to celebrate the value of the old road by giving it new life as one of the most beautiful additions to the San Francisco Bay Trail?
 For additional details, head over to Contra Costa Times.

The Value of Street Smarts Diablo

In Fall 2012, 511 Contra Costa deployed Street Smarts Diablo Region, a traffic safety program, with federal Safe Routes to School funding. Street Smarts Diablo Region intends to educate pedestrians, cyclists and drivers through programs delivered at all public elementary, middle and high schools. In the City of Pittsburg, Martin Luther King Jr Junior High School recently received a three day bicycle and safety pedestrian safety training program and teacher Mr. Knight shared with us this positive testimonial demonstrating the value of providing such a program for school children:

Just wanted to let you know that the recent bicycle safety program really helped one of my students. Just yesterday he was riding his bike when his front tire popped and he went flying over the handle bars. He was wearing his new blue bicycle helmet that was given to him at the Bike Safety Program the day prior to the incident.
The fact that he was wearing his new blue helmet really saved him from serious Injury because he told me this morning that he hit his head on the pavement and the helmet he received Tuesday from the Bicycle Safety Program saved him from serious head injury.   Please pass this along to the Bicycle Safety Program and let them know how much we appreciate their service to our students!!
Thanks, Mr. Knight
Martin Luther King Jr Junior High School

Let’s hear it for Streets Smarts!

Catching the County Connection With Bus Tracker

CCCTA/(Contra Costa) County Connection Gillig Phantom, Dublin, Ca.
 
County Connection. Photo credit: LA Wad

Back in December County Connection launched Bus Tracker – a system that provides real-time information about where the bus is and when it will arrive at the bus stop. With just over two months of operation the Bus Tracker alert system has quickly earned the praise of transit riders. See the article below “Bus Tracker Earns County Connection Passenger Praises” via The County Connection with added emphasis at particularly striking points in the article.

Last summer when David Shen heard County Connection would offer real time bus arrival prediction, he began to spread the word among his co-workers at Chevron in Bishop Ranch. Bus Tracker has now been installed on all County Connection’s fixed-route buses and the software uses GPS location data to predict arrival times. Buses transmit their location every thirty seconds via the Sprint network enabling Bus Tracker to predict arrival times and make bus location information available to the public on the web.
“Bus drivers really do a good job of keeping the buses on time in normal traffic conditions,” said Shen, a regular County Connection passenger, “but all it takes is a little fenderbender during the commute hour for the freeways to back up. Since Bus Tracker went live last month I’ve been able to completely eliminate my wait-time at the stop.”
All passengers need is access to the internet to see where buses are on-route, and to see when the next bus ispredicted to arrive at a stop. The map view uses the familiar Google maps as a base to show buses progressing along the transit routes. Riders can view the upcoming bus arrival times by selecting any bus stop in thesystem.
“Near the end of my day, I open Bus Tracker on my computer or smartphone and keep an eye on the next bus as I finish up, then time my departure based on when the bus is due to arrive,”continued Shen. “County Connection deserves kudos for installing this system.”
The implementation of Bus Tracker is the latest upgrade to County Connection’s on-board computer system. Having real-time arrival information is particularly important for a suburban system because the bus comes less often than in an urban area. “The new system is more appealing to new riders because the uncertainty is removed” said Anne Muzzini, director of planning at County Connection. “We have come to expect up to date, current information via the web and County Connection riders now have this for their bus route.”
Because customer service agents can see where buses are and what the predicted arrival time is, even riders without access to the internet can have more accurate information. Prior to being able to use Bus Tracker customer service agents relied on the“scheduled” times. Now they can see if a bus is caught in traffic. 
Riders are encouraged to set up a personalized account to receive arrival alerts via text or email messages. Simply visit www.cccta.org and click the Bus Tracker button to get started or to set up a personalized account.
County Connection operates a fleet of 112 clean diesel and 9 hybrid diesel buses in fixed route service and 63 gas powered vans in door-to-door service. For assistance with Bus Tracker or get information on bus routes from Customer Service staff, please call(925) 676-7500.

Congrats to WestCAT!

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to the West Contra Costa Transit Authority, better known as WestCAT!
Westcat 158 JMNHS 6-3-11 2
WestCAT in action. Photo credit: Paul Sullivan
On April 30th WestCAT received California Association for Coordinated Transportation’s (CalACT) prestigious “Outstanding Transportation Agency” award, distinguishing it from fellow agencies on a statewide level.
But that’s not all, 2012 marks WestCAT’s 35th year of operation– happy anniversary!
Read about  the impressive award.
 

Curtis Corlew is 2012's BTWD Bike Commuter of the Year for Contra Costa County

Curtis Corlew, 2012's Bike to Work Day Commuter of the Year for Contra Costa County, CA

Curtis Corlew, an art and journalism professor at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg, has won 2012 BTWD Bike Commuter of the Year award for Contra Costa County.
Curtis Corlew bicycled when he was younger and then he stopped. “Boy was I getting big,” Corlew says. “I was over 190, and I’m a small person.” Corlew’s wife convinced him to get back on a bike in 2004 by starting her own bike commute. Now Corlew rides every day, he’s down to about 140, and is so enthusiastic about riding that he incorporates bike consciousness into his teaching.
This year, for example, as one his graphics class assignments, his students have created Bike to Work posters for the Los Medanos College community, urging students, administrators and faculty to bike commute to school on May 10.
Corlew’s route to the college is mostly on the canal bike path. He’s ridden the 16-mile round trip every work day – except one – this year. “The best thing about the commute is how you’re in touch with the seasons and the aromas of the day,” Corlew says. “So as the seasons change you smell flowers or grasses or lavender or somebody’s cooking bacon in the morning. And every day you notice that the days are longer. You’re not sealed off but rather are a part of the world.”
He adds, “Because I’m a teacher I can keep my bicycle in my office. So people see it and they ask me about it. You do something like this and you realize, gosh this is so great! I get better parking. It’s like a free gym membership. We live in the suburbs. We have a car. But it sits in the garage all week long not using gas, and not getting dirty and not having the sun beat down on it. It’s going to last a long long time. And that’s a real cost saving.”
Julie Haas-Wajdowicz, who nominated Corlew wrote, “On campus everyone knows him by his bicycle and asks him for advice on purchasing a commuter bike, bike routes, and bicycle vacations. Bike commuting morphed into vacation cycling: he and his wife cycled Oregon, Washington, Canada, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming last summer. Curtis’s life has changed for the better, just because he started riding his bike to work.”
For Curtis’s full story click here.
Don’t miss out on Bike to Work Day this year, May 10, 2012! Read more about the event and how you can participate.

Transit & Trails Workshop – May 19, 2012

Image credit: Carl

What
In partnership with the Contra Costa County Spare the Air Resource Team, Transit and Trails will lead a workshop that provides tools, tips and tricks for planning a hike or a camping trip. The workshop is free, and refreshments will be provided.
If you’re in Contra Costa County and you want to take groups outdoors, this is the workshop for you!
When
May 19, 2012
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM
Where
Concord Library: The Meeting Room, 2900 Salvio Street, Concord

View Larger Map
Register
Registration Link
Contact
Jessica Williams, jwilliams at communityfocus dot org.

Updated Help For Senior Transportation Map

511 Contra Costa has an updated Help for Senior Transportation map. The interactive map shows all available public transit services for the elderly and those in need of assistance. Just click on the red marker on the map to find contact information for the transit service offered in that area.

Go to the Seniors page to learn more about senior mobility and interact with the updated map.

Do you know additional services that aren’t listed in the link above? Let us know at trips@511contracosta.org