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.