Wheels to Dedicate new Art Shelter Mural Project in Livermore

Wheels invites all to attend the dedication of its new Art Shelter Mural Project located on east side of Vasco Rd at the Mesquite gate in front of Lawrence Livermore National Labs in Livermore on Thursday, June 2th at 4:00 p.m.

The newest piece entitled “Wheels – Ticket to Paradise” was created by Granada High School art students under the supervision of Ms. Laura Thournir.
Please join Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) Board members, Stephen Spedowfski and Laureen Turner and Livermore Mayor John Marchand in acknowledging the talents of these students and the contribution they have made to beautify the City of Livermore.

Date: June 2, 2016
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Location: Vasco Rd at the Mesquite gate; in front of the Lawrence Livermore National Labs

Wheels Approves Major Changes in Bus Service Effective August 13th

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) Board of Directors approved major changes to the Wheels bus system that include improved access to BART and ACE stations, Las Positas College, and other important destinations in the Tri-Valley. The changes are slated to go into effect August 13th.

Highest priority in the new service changes is improved access to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. Eight new and modified routes will serve BART, including two routes that will operate on a 15-minute Rapid frequency all day on weekdays. This provides an alternative for BART riders looking to avoid the hassle of trying to find a parking spot. As a result of the approved service plan, over 18,000 Tri-Valley households, and over 32,500 jobs, will be within a short walking distance to quality bus service to BART, which will be operated with premium Rapid buses offering comfortable seating and near-future Wi-Fi service.

“After nearly a year of hard work, public input, and discussions with stakeholders, we’re launching a new Wheels bus service plan that represents increased convenience to key destinations in the Tri-Valley. The new service focuses on providing frequent and reliable connections to both BART and ACE, eliminating unproductive bus routes,” states Board Chair Don Biddle.

The plan provides Las Positas College students and faculty with 15-minute all day Rapid service directly connecting to BART and ACE from the college. This service will greatly improve the connections to the college, and will give students commuting from the inner East Bay and the Central Valley a viable alternative to driving.

The following is a description of the approved bus service changes:

• Route 1 – Route is streamlined to provide direct service to and from the Santa Rita jail and BART via Hacienda and Dublin Blvd. Service along Central Parkway and Rosewood Drive is eliminated due to low ridership.

• Route 2 – Route is eliminated due to low ridership. It will be replaced with additional school-focused bus service.

• Route 3 – Route is eliminated in Dublin and is realigned in Pleasanton to provide a direct connection between the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and Stoneridge Mall. County Connection routes 35 and 36 will provide service in Dublin.

• Route 8 – Route is realigned to a bi-directional line between the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and south Pleasanton. Route will no longer operate on Santa Rita Road (service will be provided by Route 10).

• Route 9 – Route is eliminated due to low ridership.

• Route 10 – Service is increased to every 15 minutes during the day on weekdays. The route will begin/end at the Livermore Transit Center and the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.

• Route 12/X – Route is eliminated (coverage on this route will be provided in large part by the Rapid and Route 14).

• Route 14 – Route is realigned to provide service from central Livermore to the San Francisco Premium Outlets, Stoneridge Creek retirement facility, and Hacienda to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.

• Route 15 – Service will increase to every 30-minutes all day on weekdays. Route is streamlined on Junction Ave.

• Rapid (Route 30) – Route is realigned to serve Las Positas College, replacing the local route 12 service. Route will terminate at the West Dublin Pleasanton BART Station and no longer directly serve the Stoneridge Mall. Route will run seven days per week.

• Route 51 – Route is consolidated with a restructured and extended Route 14.

• Route 70X – The two Route 70XV trips are eliminated.

• Route 401 – Route is eliminated.

• Route 402 – Route is eliminated.

• Route 403 – Route is eliminated.

• Route 501 – Route is restructured to address capacity issues for Dublin High School students.

• Route 502 – Route is restructured to address capacity issues for Dublin High School students.

• Route 504 – New route is implemented in East Dublin to connect to Dublin High School.

• Route 505 – New route is implemented in East Dublin to connect to Fallon Middle School.

The following routes continue to be reviewed for potential changes by the LAVTA Board of Directors:

• Route 11
• Route 20X
• Route 580X

It is anticipated that the LAVTA Board will review and consider alternatives for these routes at their June 6th meeting. Full details on the service changes can be viewed at: www.wheelsforward.com

20th Consecutive Financial Excellence Award Received by Wheels

For the 20th consecutive year, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) has earned the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award in Financial Reporting. This award was received for LAVTA’s excellence in financial reporting in their 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Government Finance Officers Association (GOFA) established the award to encourage government agencies to exceed the minimum requirements in preparing their annual financial report.

“This award demonstrates that LAVTA has shown great responsibility and transparency in its use of federal, state, regional, and local taxpayer resources,” says Don Biddle, Chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors. “Having received it for a 20th year in a row shows commitment to our fiduciary duty.”

For a copy of LAVTA’s financial report, visit the agency’s website at www.wheelsbus.com, under the About Us tab, Reports, CAFR 2015. For more information on GFOA, visit www.gfoa.com.

Wheels Bus System Passes Annual CHP Inspection

For the 13th consecutive year, the California Highway Patrol has inspected the Wheels bus system and found no safety violations. The random inspection included a detailed check of Wheels buses and maintenance records, as well as a review of licensing, training and testing of bus operators.

“This signifies a major achievement in providing Wheels customers the highest and most consistent level of safety. Our contractor and valued partner, MV Transportation, has trained and developed staff over the past 13 years to maintain this high standard,” said Executive Director, Michael Tree.

Members Sought for Wheels Accessible Advisory Committee

Wheels Bus is seeking applications for members and alternates to serve on the Wheels Accessible Advisory Committee (WAAC).  Members on the WAAC represent the cities of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, unincorporated Alameda County and Tri-Valley social/human services agencies.

Responsibilities/Duties:

The committee members are expected to provide a forum and advise Wheels staff on accessibility issues facing senior and disabled residents on Wheels fixed route buses and Dial-A-Ride paratransit services.  The committee meets six times per year for approximately 90 minutes.

Qualifications:

Candidates must reside in the cities of Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton and social services agencies must be located in and represent people who use or could use transit services in Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton.  Candidates must be able to solicit and disseminate information effectively to their constituents, be able to meet during regular business hours (typically 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.), and be able to analyze complex issues and reports to make recommendations to the LAVTA Board of Directors.  Candidates must currently use Wheels fixed route buses or Dial-A-Ride paratransit services or represent those who do.  Candidates do not have to be disabled or over 65 years old.

Process:

Interested candidates are required to submit an application to LAVTA. LAVTA’s Board of Directors selects and approves the representatives.

WAAC members will receive a free annual Wheels fixed route bus pass.  In addition, ADA paratransit eligible members can ride Dial-A-Ride service to and from WAAC meetings free of charge.

Interested candidates should request an application by calling (925) 455-7555 or download an application WAAC Application. The deadline is April 15, 2016.

Elected Officials Discuss Expediting BART to ACE Rail Connection

The inaugural meeting of the newly formed Altamont Regional Rail Working Group was held on Wednesday, February 10th at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority offices to discuss potential BART and ACE Rail linkages to better connect the Bay Area-Central Valley region. Focus from the Working Group centered on the decades of planning for BART to Livermore and the need to have BART go to Greenville Road in Livermore to make the inter-regional connection with the San Joaquin Valley via the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE rail service).

Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who was elected Chair of the Working Group, expressed his thoughts, “I’m very happy to be sitting with my colleagues—the Mayors that represent the Tri-Valley cities, elected officials from the City of Tracy and the County of San Joaquin, Directors from BART and ACE, and honored representatives of our congressional delegation. The time for waiting and being patient for BART to come to Livermore to connect with ACE is over. As elected officials I think it is important that we figure out a way to deliver this project.”

The BART to ACE project is planned for construction along the I-580 corridor, with the first phase of the project extending BART as far as Isabel Avenue at a cost of $1.2 billion. The Working Group estimates conclude that each year of delay in the project cost taxpayers approximately $30 million.
“We all understand that there is a lack of balance between jobs and housing in the region,” commented Mayor John Marchand of the City of Livermore. “The result is increasing travel and congestion on I-580 to connect housing in the San Joaquin Valley with jobs in the Bay Area. What’s important to know is that there is now an organization that understands and is planning for this important mega-region corridor.”

Members of the Working Group include Supervisor Scott Haggerty of the County of Alameda, Supervisor and Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Moses Zapien, Mayor David Haubert from the City of Dublin, Mayor Jerry Thorne from the City of Pleasanton, Mayor John Marchand from the City of Livermore, Councilmember Veronica Vargas from the City of Tracy, ACE Board Member Vince Hernandez (Councilmember from City of Manteca), BART Board Member John McPartland, and LAVTA Board Member Steven Spedowfski (Councilmember from City of Livermore).

The Working Group will meet bi-monthly in an effort to plan for the most efficient, cost effective delivery of BART to ACE, with near future meetings focusing on the development of the Working Group’s goals and objectives, to include examples of successful methods of rail project delivery from around the nation.

For more information on the Altamont Regional Rail Working Group please contact Michael Tree, Executive Director for the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority at 925-455-7564.

Wheels to Implement Minor Service Adjustments Effective January 25, 2016

Wheels will be implementing the following service adjustments effective January 25, 2016:

• Route 11 – Schedule adjustments have been made to the afternoon schedule in order to better reflect traffic conditions. The adjusted schedule will continue to serve passengers who make timed transfers between Route 11 and other Wheels routes at the Livermore Transit Center.

• Route 501 – The trip that currently departs Dublin High School at 5:10pm will be discontinued due to very low ridership. An option for passengers using the 5:10pm trip is boarding the 5:14pm departure of Route 3 from Dublin High School, from which connections can be made to other Wheels routes or at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.