California’s 12-cent gas tax increase went into effect this month, and you’ll soon see the impact at gas stations throughout the state. We have a couple of ways for you to beat the tax hike: Share the Ride – Whether you call it ridesharing or carpooling, it’s the same thing – sharing a ride and splitting the cost. Now that most people have smartphones, apps make it possible to carpool to work with just a little advance notice. The first step: visit our Carpooling Page. We’ll walk you through your options (some app-based, some not) and even tell you how carpooling might qualify you for a $25 incentive.
If you commute by driving to BART, there’s an additional perk for you: Scoop carpools are guaranteed a parking spotat a number of Contra Costa BART stations when they arrive before 10am. No need to get up super-early to get a space or roll the dice on a spot being available when you arrive – use Scoop to find a passenger for that empty seat & parking is yours! Plus, parking is free. Get an Electric Vehicle – If you’re not ready to commute without driving, leasing or purchasing an electric vehicle not only lets you avoid paying the gas tax, but vehicles which are 100% electric get toll-free access to the Express Lanes. Electric vehicles are also allowed in the HOV lanes during carpool hours, even if it’s a solo commute.
For more information on the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, visit our Electric Vehicle Incentive Programs page.
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 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:
Today’s proposed BART extension into Livermore. Image via: BART
In the spirit of the school of thought that everything old becomes new again, let’s look at a proposed Livermore extension– from 1976, only four years after BART launched service in the Bay Area! Note BART running roughly along Stanley Boulevard rather than the I-580. Images via: Eric Fischer Proposed extension of BART, from Livermore-Pleasanton BART Extension Study 1976. Images via: Eric Fischer A whole host of proposed route alternatives of BART in east Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Map from Livermore-Pleasanton BART Extension Study, Final Report, July 1976. Images via: Eric Fischer
Examining the former proposals one can’t help but to wonder how regional transportation would be different today if BART had developed its system earlier or with different routes. We may not be able to change past decisions but we have the pleasure of seeing BART’s system unravel before us today to improve transportation for future generations.
The City of Pleasanton will host the 6th Annual Transit Fair at the Pleasanton Senior Center on Thursday, March 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. This free event is open to all ages and will feature representatives from local transit agencies such as WHEELS, the AARP, the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Pleasanton Paratransit Service, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the ACE Train to share information on transportation options.
Veronica Conley, an Ombudsman for the Department of Motor Vehicles, will be the keynote speaker at a special presentation at 10:30 a.m. The primary function of the Ombudsman program is to represent the interest of public safety for all Californians, with a special interest toward the concerns of senior drivers. The Ombudsman ensures that senior drivers are treated fairly, consistent with laws and regulations, and with the dignity and respect they deserve.
Free Car Fit assessments sponsored by AAA of Northern California and the Pleasanton Senior Center will also be offered. These free evaluations for seniors over 65 years of age consist of trained professionals leading participants through a 15-minute, 12-point checklist with their vehicle to recommend adjustments and adaptations that can make the vehicle ‘fit’ better and enhance safety. Those interested in a Car Fit evaluation can call (925) 931-5365 to make an appointment.
Participating transit agencies will also sell their reduced cost senior discount passes and cards during the event. These include the popular Clipper Card for seniors 65 years of age and older with an accepted identification such as a birth certificate, driver’s license, state identification card, or Alien Registration/Permanent Resident card. The Clipper Card is an all-in-one transit card that keeps track of any passes, discount tickets, ride books and cash value that is loaded onto it. Clipper Cards can be used on Muni, BART, AC Transit, VTA, SamTrans, Caltrain and Golden Gate Transit and Ferry. Non-senior Clipper cards will also be issued at the event.
Also available will be a $9 Senior BART pass (a $24 value), the Pleasanton Paratransit $30 punch card for residents of Pleasanton, the Pleasanton Paratransit Downtown Route which offers 8 rides for just $12, Dial-A-Ride’s 10 rides for $35, and a Wheels monthly senior bus pass for $18.
The Pleasanton Senior Center’s ‘Snappy Café’ will offer a St. Patrick’s Day meal for $5 for adults and $3.50 for seniors. Reservations must be made by 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 9. For more information or to make a luncheon reservation, please contact the Pleasanton Senior Center at (925) 931-5365.
“I truly never thought this would happen in my lifetime. [This project] will give kids a chance to have a feeling of neighborhood.”
That’s how Pleasanton City Councilmember Cindy McGovern closed a public meeting earlier this month. During the meeting, councilmembers heard comments on a project to close the 1.6 mile gap in the Iron Horse Trail between the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and Santa Rita Road.
The meeting turned into an outpouring of support for the Iron Horse Trail. Consultants and staff are now working on a specific plan to safely wind the trail across five streets, two creeks, two parks, and several housing developments.
The gap closure project is funded with part of the $10 million awarded the East Bay Regional Park District through the Federal TIGER II program last year. When completed next year, the Iron Horse trail will run 33 miles from Concord to Pleasanton, connecting neighborhoods, business parks, and commercial areas in 12 cities.
How did such a long, mostly continuous path find its way into Contra Costa County? The route was originally a segment of the Southern Pacific Railroad (and created in 1891!). Because the path was outfitted for rail, it’s nice and flat without too many sharp turns – perfect for running and biking. Since the railroad abandoned the right of way in 1977, residents along the route have worked to turn the unused railroad tracks into a safe and accessible multi-modal regional trail. As rail conversion projects are gaining popularity around the country, the Iron Horse Trail will always be one of the first “Rail to Trail” projects in the US.
Though only 24 miles of the route are paved today, they already connect to several other regional trails, including the Ygnacio Canal Trail, the Contra Costa Canal Trail, the Las Trampas-to-Mount Diablo Regional Trail, and the Briones-to-Mount Diablo Trail.
A true multi-modal trail, the route is open to bicycles, wheelchairs, runners, walkers, strollers, and horses. Plan your adventure on the Iron Horse Trail today!
When was the last time you rolled into a brand new BART station?
BART’s 44th station, and first in eight years, opens this weekend between Castro Valley and Dublin/Pleasanton stations. The first train in scheduled to arrive at 6:03 am Saturday.
The new station comes with 1,190 new parking spaces. Dublin/Pleasanton station, 1.6 miles away, regularly fills up by 7:30 am, and the new station offers relief in both permit and fee parking. BART began offering monthly reserved monthly parking permits on Feb. 1. Monthly reserved parking permits are available online for $63. Daily reserved parking is $4, and daily fee parking is $1. We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes the West Dublin/Pleasanton lot to fill up on the morning of the 21st.
In addition to offering relief for commuters headed downtown, the station is just a short walk from Stoneridge Mall and several office buildings. Private developers contributed $20 million of the total $106 million to build the new station, and have plans for housing, retail, and other transit-oriented development around the station.
The new fares are already on BART’s website (be sure to use a date of Feb. 19 or later). For example, a one-way trip from West Dublin/Pleasanton to Powell Street Station in San Francisco will cost $5.40.
The new station offers transit connections on both sides. From the Pleasanton side, the station is served by Wheels routes 3/3V, 53, 70XV, and Rapid, as well as the Tri-Delta Transit Dublin/Pleasanton Delta Express. On the Dublin side, the station is served by LAVTA Route 3. Both sides are served by bike racks.
The West Dublin/Pleasanton station is an “infill”, meaning it adds a new stop along an existing line. There are few infill stations in the US and no others in BART. Working around the existing and operating track was tricky, but BART managed to do it by creating two sets of tracks. Workers were able to make progress on one set while BART riders rode through on the other. BART plans to extend rail service to Livermore some day, but West Dublin/Pleasanton offered the opportunity to relief congestion more quickly with fewer funds.
From the Contra Costa Times:
The BART board will hold a public hearing on Thursday on proposed train fares and parking fees to be charged at the new West Dublin-Pleasanton train station when it opens in early 2011.
The board meets at 9 a.m. in its board room at the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall, third floor, 344 20th St., Oakland.
For trips starting at the new station, BART proposes to charge $4.15 for a ticket to Berkeley, $5.40 to Embarcadero, and $10.40 to the San Francisco International Airport. To calculate the fares, BART employs a distance-based formula used to determine fares throughout the rapid transit system.
Parking fees at the new station would be $1 per day for regular parking, $5 per day for long-term parking for airline passengers, and $63 per month for reserved parking.
The board is expected to approve the fares at its Oct. 28 meeting and the parking fees on Dec. 2.
This weekend, July 17 and 18, BART and Caltrans will close a portion of Interstate 580 and 680 between Dublin and Pleasanton.
Crews will be working to complete installation of pedestrian bridges that will provide access to the new West Dublin station.
Eastbound I-580 from the San Ramon/Foothill Road exit will be closed and on the I-680 interchange, partial lane closures will begin at 11 p.m. each Saturday night. The lanes will be completely closed from 2-6 AM each Sunday and will resume with partial closures until 9 AM.
If you are driving on eastbound I-580 during the closure, follow detour signs to use Foothill Road to Stoneridge Drive.
For questions or concerns, call 866-435-2278 or e-mail BART project manager James Gravesande at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Contra Costa Times