Wheels On Demand Demonstration Project (coming soon!)

INTRODUCTION AND LATEST INFORMATION

Providing transit service to low-density suburban areas is one of the most challenging environments for transit. Typically, the housing density is such that frequent fixed-route bus service cannot be operated efficiently. As an example, the former Wheels Route 3, which connected suburban residential areas in West Dublin to BART during peak times, carried approximately 5 passengers per hour and had a subsidy of over $15/passenger trip. Wheels on Demand Service described below allows LAVTA to provide service into areas where traditional “big bus” service does not make sense, and provide first and last mile connectivity into BART and the Wheels bus system to more people at a lower cost.

Wheels on Demand is a partnership with the private sector to provide service to low-density suburban areas where fixed route service cannot be sustained. Wheels on Demand is an extension of a traditional user side subsidy program, which is used by transit systems nationwide to partner with taxi-cab companies, and extends this partnership to Transportation Network Companies (TNC) such as Uber or Lyft.

While it is anticipated that most potential passengers would utilize a smartphone app to access the service, the option to complete the trip with a phone call to a taxicab will also be available to those without a smartphone. In addition, the taxicab option will allow the ability to use cash.

Currently, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority is working through the details of the program with TNCs and the area’s local taxicab. It is anticipated that the program will be available for use in December of 2016.

INITIAL PROJECT AREAS

Two different service areas are planned (East and West Dublin Wheels on Demand), with two slightly different fare structures. Each is described separately in the following pages. It should be noted that Wheels on Demand is a demonstration project and fares, service levels and/or project area(s) are subject to change.

East Dublin Wheels On Demand

East Dublin is predominantly a residential area that is currently served by Route 2. Route 2 only operates hourly during peak times. Ridership on Route 2 is not high, but as a result of outreach with the East Dublin neighborhoods, it is clear there is additional demand to travel to/from the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station during times when parking is no longer available after 8 a.m. on weekdays.

The major purpose of the East Dublin Wheels on Demand service is to provide service within East Dublin, and between East Dublin and the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, where connections to BART or other Wheels routes can take place.

Proposed Service Availability

The East Dublin Wheels on Demand service will be available Monday through Saturday, operating 24 hours a day. The East Dublin Wheels on Demand service will supplement Route 2, which provides service to BART and currently only operates during weekday peak times.

Within the service area, East Dublin Wheels on Demand would not require walking to a designated bus stop. However, the provider may ask riders to walk to a street corner to facilitate service and ensure on-time performance.

Proposed Fare Structure

East Dublin Wheels on Demand is a premium service, as it provides more direct service and more flexible service within the project area, including the BART station. Therefore, a premium fare for passengers will be charged. LAVTA will pay for half the cab or TNC fare up to $5 for passengers travelling within the project area, or to/from BART to the project area. Passenger will be responsible for tips. The average passenger fare would be around $3, which reflects a premium fare.

LAVTA would provide a discount for any trip where both the pick-up and drop-ff locations are within the project area, including the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. In addition, for passengers to receive the discount, they must be willing to share the vehicle with other passengers by using a TNC ridesharing option such as Lyft Line and Uber Pool, which offer shared rides for a reduced price.

Existing LAVTA passes will not be valid on East Dublin Wheels on Demand, and Clipper® cards will not be accepted. Paper transfers to other Wheels buses will not be available.

 

WOD East Dublin with changes proposed to LYFT

 

Estimated Ridership and Costs to LAVTA

In the first year of operation, daily ridership on East Dublin Wheels on Demand is estimated to be 50 passengers per day (25 in each direction). By the third year of operation, this could be up to 100 passengers per day.  The estimated subsidy costs to LAVTA for East Dublin Wheels on Demand, assuming a $5 subsidy per trip, is projected to be approximately $64,000 (~12,750 annual passengers).

West Dublin Wheels on Demand

West Dublin is predominantly a residential area, with a mix of commercial, retail, and schools primarily on Village Parkway. The area is suburban, with pockets of housing that are not always accessible from the major arterials.

West Dublin is currently served by County Connection Routes 35 and 36, both of which operate all-day on weekdays. Wheels Route 3 was an underperforming route that operated in West Dublin during peak times only. The Wheels Forward short-term changes removed Route 3 service from West Dublin.  The proposed West Dublin Wheels On Demand service area is shown shaded below.

Proposed Service Availability

The West Dublin Wheels on Demand service will be available Monday through Saturday, operating 24 hours a day. Route 3, which provided service to BART, operated weekdays during peaks only and on a limited Saturday schedule.

Proposed Fare Structure

For the West Dublin Wheels on Demand service, LAVTA will discount any trip that has an origin and a destination within the proposed service area, including the West Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. Like the East Dublin Wheels On Demand, the West Dublin Wheels On Demand service area would not require asking a customer to travel to a designated bus stop. And, for passengers to receive the discount, they must be willing to share the vehicle with other passengers, by using a TNC ridesharing option such as Lyft Line and Uber Pool, which offer shared rides for a reduced price.

The West Dublin Wheels on Demand is a premium service and premium fare should be charged. The West Dublin Wheels on Demand fare is a flat $3 fare for each passenger.   LAVTA will subsidize the remainder of the trip, not including tips.

Existing LAVTA passes will not be valid on West Dublin Wheels on Demand, and Clipper® cards will not be accepted. Paper transfers to other Wheels buses will not be dispensed.

 

WOD West Dublin

 

Estimated Ridership and Costs to LAVTA

In the first year, ridership could reach up to 50 passengers per day West Dublin Wheels on Demand project area.  Assuming that the fare averages $10 one-way, the average subsidy per trip for LAVTA is $7/trip. This translates to an annual subsidy of approximately $108,000.

 

Last Updated November 14, 2016