County Connection | 511 Contra Costa - Part 2

Christmas 2015: 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 day before Christmas.
Click any link below for additional schedule information.
Christmas Eve (December 24)

  • Tri Delta Transit: Routes 392, 393, 394 and 395 will operate on a Sunday schedule; no other service
  • Wheels (LAVTA): Enhanced Saturday service; no service on Rapid
  • WestCAT:
    • DAR, Local Fixed Route, C3, JPX, 30Z, JX – Modified Holiday Service, 7pm Close (Approx.)
    • LYNX – Limited Service
    • Express J – Regular Service
  • All other transit on regular weekday schedule (BART, AC Transit, County Connection, Capitol Corridor)

Christmas Day (December 25)

December 26th

  • All transit on regular Saturday schedule

Thanksgiving 2015: Holiday Transit Service

thanksgivingOn Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 26), all transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be running on modified schedules. In addition, some agencies will run on modified schedules the day after Thanksgiving (Nov. 27).
Click any link below for detailed schedule information.
Thanksgiving Day – Nov. 26

Day After Thanksgiving – Nov. 27

Clipper Expands in Contra Costa (Nov. 2015)

Color Clipper LogoThe wait is over! Clipper is now accepted on County Connection, WestCAT, Wheels (LAVTA) and Tri Delta Transit buses. Here is some information to help you get started using Clipper:
How to Get a Clipper Card: If you don’t already have a Clipper card, you can order one by phone, visit ClipperCard.com, or purchase one at transit agency ticket offices and select retail stores. (Details)
31-Day Pass vs. Cash: You can use a 31-Day Pass or cash value on a Clipper card. To determine the best value for you, visit the appropriate fare page:

Clipper Discounts: Clipper offers discount cards for youths and seniors. Customers with disabilities may also receive a discount card through the Regional Transit Connection (RTC) program. (Details)
Clipper Applies Transit Agency Discounts: Each transit agency offers its own discounted fares, passes, and/or tickets for adults, youths, seniors and passengers with disabilities. When you use cash value on a Youth, Senior or RTC Clipper card, Clipper automatically applies any available discounts for which you are eligible.
Routes Which Now Accept Clipper:

  • Tri Delta Transit: All fixed routes.
  • County Connection: All regular and express fixed routes except routes 250 and 260 and the Alamo Creek Shuttle.
  • WestCAT: All routes except the local portion of the Lynx route. If you ride a Lynx bus for a local trip, you should pay your fare in cash, or Clipper will charge you a transbay fare.
  • Wheels: All fixed routes.

How to Use Clipper: Tag your card by holding it flat against the Clipper logo on the Clipper card reader, and wait for the beep and green light. If your card balance is low, the reader will beep twice and display a yellow light. You can still board the bus, but you will need to add value to your card before your next trip. If you do not have enough value on your card, the reader will beep three times and display a red light, and you will not be able to pay your fare with Clipper.
Transfers Between Bus Systems: Clipper automatically grants you one free transfer from other Wheels, County Connection, Tri Delta Transit and WestCAT routes. If you are transferring to a transit service that does not accept Clipper, you should request a paper transfer.
Day Pass: A Day Pass gives you unlimited rides on a single day: $3.75 for adults and youth, $1.75 for senior and RTC customers. The Day Pass is a regional pass good on most Tri Delta Transit, County Connection, WestCAT and Wheels routes. You get the Day Pass discount automatically – once you pay $3.75 in fares in a day on any combination of the participating transit services, your rides will be free of charge for the rest of that day. Free transfers and fares paid on WestCAT Lynx Transbay service do not apply toward a Day Pass.
For more information on how using Clipper works with regard to a specific transit agency, visit ClipperCard.com and click the logo of the transit agency you’re interested in.

Veterans Day 2015: Transit Schedules

flagVeterans Day is Wednesday, November 11. While most transit agencies serving Contra Costa County will be running on regular weekday schedules, both Tri Delta Transit and WestCAT will be operating on holiday schedules.
Holiday Schedule

  • Tri Delta Transit: Routes 392, 393, 394 and 395 will operate on a Sunday schedule; no other service
  • WestCAT:
    • DAR, Express J, Local (11, 19) – Saturday Service
    • LYNX – Limited Service
    • JX – Regular Service
    • 30Z, JPX, C3 – No Service

Weekday Schedule

  • BART
  • AC Transit
  • County Connection
  • Wheels (LAVTA)
  • Capitol Corridor

Transit Schedules for Labor Day – September 7, 2015

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

Upcoming Service Changes: County Connection, AC Transit, Wheels, SolTrans (Aug. 2015)

County Connection, AC Transit, SolTrans & Wheels (LAVTA) have all announced upcoming service changes. Here’s what you need to know:
County Connection logoAgency: County Connection
Changes Take Effect: August 16
Full Details: http://www.countyconnection.com
Digest:

  • Route 1M – New Service: Service to the Marchbanks neighborhood is being restored between WC BART, John Muir Medical Center and Marchbanks
  • Route 3 – New Martinez Community Shuttle: New route will serve Amtrak, CC Regional Medical Center, Adult Education Serivces, Kaiser, Arnold Dr, and the Senior Center
  • Route 19: Alignment changes to serve Sun Valley Mall and Diamond Blvd
  • Route 310: Two AM and two PM trips added between Concord BART and Clayton/Kirker
  • Route 314: Trip added leaving DVC at 6:10pm
  • 600 Series: Changes to the 611, 613, 616, and 619 school day service

Agency: AC Transit
Changes Take Effect: August 23
Full Details: http://www.actransit.org
Digest:

  • Line 800 will operate more frequently on Friday night/Saturday morning and Saturday night/Sunday morning, with service every 20 minutes from 12:30am–6:30am On Sunday mornings, buses will operate every 30 minutes from 6:30am–7:30am
  • Line 76: Two new trips added heading toward El Cerrito del Norte BART on weekdays, leaving Hilltop Mall at 7:13am and 2:24pm
  • Minor schedule changes to Line 72R and G

WHEELSAgency: Wheels (LAVTA)
Changes Take Effect: August 22
Full Details: http://www.wheelsbus.com
Digest:

  • Route 70X has been modified to bypass Walnut Creek in the non-commute direction, operating directly from Dublin to Pleasant Hill in the AM and directly from Pleasant Hill to Dublin in the PM
  • Route 12/12X: Certain trips of the 12X and trips that begin at the Airway Park-n-Ride have been re-arranged within the schedule
  • Route 54: The 5:36am trip is to be discontinued
  • Route 503: The PM schedule has been re-arranged to accommodate Wells Middle School and Dublin High School with separate trips; the previously operated 5:30pm trip has been moved to 5:00pm in order to accommodate the after-school program at Dublin High School
  • Route 501: A second, later departure has been added in the PM to accommodate the after-school program at Dublin High School
  • Schedule changes to Route 3, 10, 12, 54, 70X, 501, 502, 503, 603, 607, 609, and 610

Agency: SolTrans
Changes Take Effect: August 15
Full Details: http://www.soltransride.com
Digest:

  • Minor adjustments to printed schedules for Route 80 & 80s (1-2 minutes) to accurately reflect travel time

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.

Transit Service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015

Some transit agencies will be operating on non-weekday schedules on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – Monday, January 19. Here are the transit schedules which will be in effect:

  • County Connection: Regular weekday schedule
  • Capitol Corridor: Regular weekday schedule
  • BART: Saturday schedule
  • Wheels: Enhanced Saturday schedule; No service on Rapid
  • WestCAT: Express J, DAR, Local (11, 19) – Saturday schedule; LYNX – Limited Holiday service
  • AC Transit: Sunday schedule
  • Tri Delta Transit: Sunday schedule (only Route 392, 393, 394 and 395 in operation)

Christmas 2014: Holiday Transit Service Information

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. Here are the holiday service changes for December 22-26th:
Christmas Eve

**All other transit agencies will offer regular weekday service on Christmas Eve (December 24)
Christmas Day

December 26th

  • Capitol Corridor: Holiday Schedule

**All other transit agencies will offer regular weekday service on December 26

County Connection and BART Offer Free Passes for School Trips

BART School Field Trip ProgramBoth BART and County Connection have announced the return of programs offering free passes for school trips.
Thanks to funding from the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Free BART Rides for School Field Trips’ program is back and will offer 40,000 free trips for students, teachers and chaperones traveling with their schools to cultural and educational destinations. Bay Area schools in Alameda, Contra Costa, San Francisco and San Mateo Counties are eligible to apply and applications are currently being taken on a first-come, first-served basis through December 31st, 2014. Each school will have a limit of six free trips per year. Interested schools can find more information on the ‘Free BART Rides’ page and make a reservation using the program’s online form.
County Connection offers the ‘Class Pass Program’, designed to help familiarize students with public transportation. Teachers are invited to take students on free trips twice per school year using County Connection’s ?xed-route bus system—Monday through Friday, during off-peak hours. In addition to free passes, participating groups will be provided s a specially designed ‘Class Pass’ to use when boarding as well as a personalized trip plan with system maps and schedules. Full program details and an application form are available on the County Connection Class Pass page.

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

County Connection Bus Free Ride Program for Seniors and Disabled (2013)

promotions_county_connection
Good news if you are a senior or disabled County Connection rider: beginning on Sunday, December 22, 2013, rides will be free seven days a week from 10 AM to 2 PM on any regular or express fixed-route service for the next six months.

County Connection is responding to a need in our community for reliable transportation options for the elderly and persons with disabilities,

said Bob Simmons, County Connection Board Chair and City of Walnut Creek Council Member.

Because this group is often living on a fixed income, we are pleased to offer this Free Ride Program during the mid-day, in addition to our already reduced rates to ride at other times of the day.

To take advantage of the Free Ride Program, senior and disabled riders need to show bus operators proof of eligibility.
Seniors need to show ONE of the following:

  • A photo ID showing a birth date of 65 years of age or older
  • A senior Clipper card

The disabled need to show ONE of the following:

  • An RTC Discount Card
  • A DMV placard registration receipt
  • A Medicare Card
  • A Veteran Disability card

The Free Ride Program will be offered by County Connection for a promotional period of six months, after which the feasibility of extending the program will be studied. As a general reminder, the first few seats of the bus are designated to allow easy access for elderly and disabled riders.
County Connection provides fixed route and paratransit service throughout central Contra Costa County.  For information on all transit services, visit countyconnection.com or call County Connection Customer Service at 676-7500.

Get the Transit App to Catch the County Connection

transit app, I appreciate you
A mobile app with a sense of humor, Transit App claims to support Hyperloop service, in addition to a number of local transit agencies. Photo credit: sbma44

Smartphones have quickly become a best friend for those who ride public transportation, often keeping commuters busy while riding or waiting for the bus. Of course, one of the best things about having a smartphone when taking transit is that it can let riders know when the next bus will arrive in real-time. A popular mobile application for getting real-time transit information is Transit App and it now supports County Connection fixed-route services, in addition to other Bay Area transit agencies BART, MUNI, Caltrain, AC Transit, VTA, samTrans, and Golden Gate Transit.

Give Transit App a try!
 
 

Pending BART Strike: Have a Plan (2013)

Photo credit: Cathy Huang
Photo credit: Cathy Huang

BART workers may strike as early as Sunday, October 13th. Here is a comprehensive guide from multiple transit agencies and general information for getting around if there is another BART strike.

  • Up to date information about the pending BART strike can be found at KQED
  • Up to date traffic and transit info at 511 Alert

BART has put together a contingency plan for their limited shuttle buses departing from the following nine stations:

  • El Cerrito del Norte
  • West Oakland
  • Concord
  • Walnut Creek
  • Lafayette
  • Dublin/Pleasanton
  • San Leandro
  • Hayward
  • Fremont

The buses will go directly into San Francisco from 5 am to 8 am and back from a stop near the San Francisco Transbay Terminal (loading zone located at Howard Street between Fremont Street and Beale Street) from 3 PM to 7 PM. Weekend shuttle service will also be available in the event of a strike at the same nine stations listed above. Shuttles will run on Saturday from 6am-9am and 3pm-6pm, and on Sunday from 8am-11am and 3pm-6pm. For more detailed information please visit BART’s webpage.


The County Connection will operate in conjunction with the BART shuttle service.
AM Shuttle

  • Departures from Concord BART to Downtown Oakland – 5:15, 6:15, and 7:15.

PM shuttle

  • Departures from Walnut Creek BART to Downtown Oakland – 4:15 and 6:15 PM
  • Downtown Oakland to Concord BART – 5:15, 6:15, and 7:15 PM
  • Downtown Oakland to Walnut Creek BART – 6:15, and 7:15

Riders are  urged to confirm the number of buses, and departure times each evening after 6:30pm here.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
WESTCAT WestCAT will set up temporary bus stops on Kearny Street outside of the El Cerrito del Norte BART station.

  • WestCAT will make no changes to the JL and JR routes. Subject to traffic delays we will operate this service unaffected.
  • WestCAT will not operate any JX service during the strike. All riders wishing to travel to El Cerrito del Norte BART should use the JPX or J (JL/JR) services.
  • WestCAT local routes will operate without change. WestCAT will operate additional trips on the Martinez link 30Z. These trips will extend service to 8 p.m.
  • BART issued bus tickets will also be honored. Parking at HTC will be free. HTC parking permit holders will be reimbursed for their parking during the strike.

Transbay Service – During the stoppage Lynx routes will operate per the regular service schedule throughout the day. In addition, WestCAT will operate all JPX routes to and from San Francisco.  The last vehicle leaving San Francisco in the evening will depart the Transbay Terminal at approximately 8 p.m.
Find out where to catch your bus on Kearny Street here


AC Transit will run regular service to San Francisco in the event of a strike, supplementing transbay lines to San Francisco with extra service when possible.
Note: AC Transit bus stops located inside BART stations will be moved outside BART property if BART strikes. BART station information sheets contain maps of the alternative locations, as well as information on transit alternatives to BART from each station.
Read more about AC Transit options for commuting to San Francisco.

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.)

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.

County Connection Brings Mt. Diablo to Your Doorstep

County Connection is bringing Mt. Diablo to their customers.  Three of County Connection’s LINKS buses are beautifully wrapped with a photo of Mt. Diablo.
The County Connection LINK paratransit service is an Americans with Disablilities Act (ADA) paratransit service. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires all public transit operators to provide special service to persons whose disabilities prevent them from using lift-equipped public transit. The special service, called “paratransit service,” operates at similar times and in similar areas as existing non-commute (off-peak), fixed-route transit.
For more information about County Connection LINK, or if you have any questions, complaints, or comments regarding service, please phone 676-1976.
AT&T’s California Relay Service is available for individuals with hearing/speech impairments: 1-800-735-2929 (TDD) or 1-800-735-2922 (Voice), or you may dial 711.

This Week's Headlines in Transportation and Transit: Dec. 3-9, 2011

Meter-free holidays for shopping in Walnut Creek, taking the B-icicle Challenge, and more!

http://storify.com/511cc/this-week-s-headlines-in-transportation-and-transi-2.js” target=”_blank”>View the story “This Week’s Headlines in Transportation and Transit: Dec. 3-9, 2011” on Storify]

This Week's Headlines in Transportation and Transit: Nov. 26 – Dec. 2, 2011

Caldecott Tunnel workers see light, BART is one step closer to San Jose, local bike shops you should check out. Read our weekly news & events roundup for Contra Costa County, East Bay & Bay Area for transit, biking and transportation.

Holiday tip: skip parking and take the Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza shuttle

Holiday tip #281 from 511CC: Skip parking and take the Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza shuttle

Skip the parking hassles and take advantage of the Walnut Creek Broadway Plaza shuttle provided by County Connection to find that perfect gift or visit Walnut Creek on Ice.
How do I ride?

Take BART to the Walnut Creek station and ride the Walnut Creek shuttle to the Broadway Plaza.
Image credit: jcoterhals

Back to School means route changes on the County Connection

Bus schedules aren’t set in stone. They can change to accomodate traffic, passenger requests, and even the return of school in the fall.
That’s exactly what happened yesterday on the County Connection. The new schedule went into effect yesterday. Read the summary of changes here, or check out the whole list at the County Connection’s website.
There’s bad news for the 600 route, but great news for Walnut Creek. How is your commute affected? Continue reading “Back to School means route changes on the County Connection”