Schedule Adjustments for Late Starts at Foothill High and Amador Valley High – Starting Thursday Aug. 30

RIDER ALERT

Route 605 & Route 611 

Effective Thursday August 30, 2018: In order to accommodate the Thursday late starts at Amador Valley High School, the morning schedule on the Routes 605 and 611 on Thursdays will be identical to the existing morning late start schedule on Wednesdays.

Click on these links to see the revised Route 605 and 611 schedules.

Route 602 & Route 604

Effective Friday August 31, 2018: In order to accommodate the new Monday and Friday late starts at Foothill High School, the morning schedule on the Routes 602 and 604 on Mondays and Fridays will be identical to the existing morning late start schedule on Wednesdays.

Click on these links to see the revised Route 602 and 604 schedules.

After 40 Years Behind the Wheel(s), Diane Farner Retires

Diane Farner started driving buses in the Tri-Valley in January 1978 for the Livermore Unified School District. In 1980, she went to work for the Rideo bus service in Livermore, then transitioned to the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) when LAVTA absorbed the Rideo service in 1987. After 40 years of transporting area residents, Farner recently retired at age 80.

In four decades of driving buses, Farner saw significant technological improvements in the vehicles she operated. She has driven buses with manual transmissions, many with no air conditioning and one with a driver’s seat that was located between the engine compartment and a window that did not open. Diane also recalled that in the days before on-board radio communication and cell phones, her passengers would sometimes exit her bus and call police if there was a troublemaking passenger on board.

Farner witnessed other changes as well, including the evolution of many of the passengers she carried and the urbanization of the Tri-Valley region. She remembers riders who started riding her bus when they were in high school, then continued riding to work as adults. Diane also recalls when the region was a bit more rural in nature and her passengers sometimes had to get off of the bus to help persuade farm animals to get off the road so she could continue on her route.

Diane’s favorite group of passengers over the years was a group of engineers and scientists she used to carry to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Occasionally, she would pull her bus over at the Donut Wheel in downtown Livermore long enough for the group to hustle in and get coffee and donuts to take to work.

Farner and her husband moved to Livermore from Alameda in 1971. She plans to remain in the area.

Proposed Modifications to the Wheels Supplemental Routes in Dublin

As new residential developments continue to be completed in Dublin, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) has seen a substantial increase in the demand on its supplemental (school-focused) Wheels routes – especially between eastern Dublin and Dublin High School.

In order to be able to continue accommodating the increased demand in a planned fashion, LAVTA commissioned a small study in early 2018 with the purpose of gathering land-use and demographic data that could assist it with assessing capacity needs in Dublin over the near-term future. The study team also held outreach with local stakeholders and conducted an online survey with students and parents to gather additional input regarding the needs and priorities of the community.

Based on the findings of the study, the following modifications are being proposed for the Dublin supplemental service this coming fall 2018:

  • Extension of Route 502 to south Jordan Ranch, serving the easternmost part of Central Parkway and the surrounding subdivisions.
  • Discontinuation of portions of Route 503, including Wildwood Road, Dougherty Road, and the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station; and discontinuation of the Route 503 late afternoon (5:03p) trip.
  • Implementation of a new service (Route 505) serving Positano Parkway – Gleason Drive – Tassajara Road – Central Parkway – Hacienda Drive – Dublin Boulevard – Village Parkway – Dublin High School. This line, which would partially overlap existing routes, would provide additional capacity in hotspot boarding areas as well as offer a faster travel option for students traveling to/from developments in the farthest eastern Dublin such as Positano Hill.
  • Addition of capacity – including overflow buses as necessary – consistent with the agency’s overflow load policy.

Further recommendations for the medium-term future include:

  • Potential realignment of mainline service such as Route 2.
  • Addition of a supplemental route dedicated to Fallon Middle School.
  • Expansion of service to the new developments off Palisades Drive.

LAVTA staff will finalize the short-term proposals into recommendations for approval by the Board of Directors at their June 4, 2018 meeting. Comments are welcome and will be received any time prior to that date by email at info@lavta.org.

SmartTrips Tri-Valley Program Begins May 2018!

Did you miss our SmartTrips team’s visit? If you received our ‘Sorry We Missed You’ door hanger but would still like to receive personalized transportation resources, fill out our quick participation form here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SmartTripsTri-Valley

The SmartTrips Tri-Valley team is in the neighborhood to help people try new ways of getting around, including riding the bus, carpooling, biking and walking instead of driving alone.

Our team is meeting with residents at their doorstep— and are in the process of visiting 4,000 households in proximity to the Rapid 30R route in Dublin and Livermore.

Taking a personalized door-to-door approach, the SmartTrips team will provide information and incentives for participants including transit schedules, a neighborhood map, a tote bag, and a Clipper Card with loaded value. SmartTrips team members wear a uniform and photo ID and will never ask to enter a resident’s household.

This project will be closely monitored to identify the impact on how residents travel.  Similar projects elsewhere have had great success, and typically see reductions in drive-alone travel of 5-15% by residents taking part, helping to tackle local traffic problems and reducing the environmental impacts of car trips.

SmartTrips Tri-Valley is a way to connect communities with rewarding benefits, and it will demonstrate a commitment to transportation choices for everyone. Help spread the word, and look for the SmartTrips team around Tri-Valley!

Questions? Call the SmartTrips Tri-Valley hotline at 925-339-6742 or email us at smarttrips@wheelsbus.com.

Dublin High School Student Develops Bus Tracking App

Dublin High School (DHS) sophomore Liam O’Flynn has made it easier for Tri-Valley residents to track the progress of Wheels and Rapid buses on their smartphones. Liam wrote and published the “Tri-Valley Buses” app shortly after he began attending DHS and had missed the bus a couple of times.

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) already had a bus tracking application on its website, but it was not easily used on mobile devices. Liam was able to use LAVTA’s General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) Realtime data to develop his app. The same GTFS data from LAVTA and other US transit systems is used by Google maps for the transit service option on its mapping program.

The Tri-Valley Buses app is available for free download on iOS or Android devices. The app is designed to use very little data, battery or memory on mobile devices and does not track the user’s activities in any way or contain any kind of advertising. The user selects which Wheels or Rapid route they want to track and a map displays every bus stop along the route along with the precise location of every bus on the route. When the bus icon is tapped, the app shows vehicle number, direction of travel and on-time status. (See screenshot below)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. LAVTA serves nearly 2 million passengers a year on our Wheels bus and paratransit services.

LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.

Follow LAVTA on Facebook at facebook.com/wheelsbus and on Twitter @wheelsbus

 

New Wheels Buses Sport New Design

As you may have noticed, we have begun rolling out 18 brand new buses into service on Wheels routes throughout the Tri-Valley. The buses were built at the Gillig manufacturing facility, located right here in Livermore.

These Wheels buses feature a brand new exterior look and logo. The buses still carry the familiar red, white and blue Wheels colors, but the design has been modernized and the look and logo are now complementary to the design of LAVTA’s Rapid buses.

 

First Meeting Of The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority On January 17, 2018

The first meeting of the newly created Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority has been set for Wednesday, January 17, 2018, at the Robert Livermore Community Center in the Palo Verde Room at 4444 East Street in Livermore.  The meeting will begin at 2pm.  The agenda and Board Packet can be found at www.acetobart.org.

The Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority was created by AB 758 (Eggman/Baker), which was signed into law in 2017.  The mission of the new Authority is to plan and deliver a cost-effective and responsive rail connection between the ACE rail system and BART in the Tri-Valley.  For more information, contact Michael Tree, Executive Director, at 925-455-7564.

Donations to Wheels “Stuff-A-Bus Bingo” Food Drive Top 2,400 Pounds

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of the Wheels and Rapid bus services, hosted another “Stuff-A-Bus” holiday food drive on Saturday November 18. The event took place at the Lucky Supermarket in Pleasanton.

Several hundred Tri-Valley residents stopped by to help the Open Heart Kitchen and Tri-Valley Haven stock their food pantries for the holiday season. Individual donations ranged from a single can to hundreds of pounds. The total weight of donated items exceeded 2,400 pounds. In addition, cash and gift card donations totaled over $450.

LAVTA developed a “Stuff-a-Bus Bingo” theme for this year’s food drive. Game cards listed the items most in need by the two food banks receiving the donations. Prizes ranged from small promotional items to four pairs of San Jose Sharks tickets, donated by radio station 101.7 KKIQ, which broadcast live from the event.

Alameda County Supervisor and LAVTA Board Vice-Chair Scott Haggerty (standing far right) donates four shopping carts full of needed items. Joining Supervisor Haggerty in the photo are (standing l to r): Tony McCaulay, LAVTA Marketing Manager, Ann King, Tri-Valley Haven Executive Director and Clare Gomes, Open Heart Kitchen Operations Manager. Kneeling in the photo are two employees from the Lucky store who assisted Supervisor Haggerty during his shopping trip.

Bus filled with 2,400 pounds of donations.

About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. LAVTA serves nearly 2 million passengers a year on our Wheels bus and paratransit services.

LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.

Follow LAVTA on Facebook at facebook.com/wheelsbus and on Twitter @wheelsbus or visit our website wheelsbus.com for more information on Wheels bus and paratransit services as well as our Go Dublin! promotion with Uber, Lyft and Desoto Cab and our redesigned bus services offering convenient access to BART stations in the Tri-Valley. Coming soon look for information about our exciting plans for a shared autonomous vehicle demonstration project.

 

Wheels “Stuff-A-Bus” Holiday Food Drive Includes Bingo Game

As the holiday season approaches, local food banks are in need of essential supplies. To provide support, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of the Wheels and Rapid bus services, will host another “Stuff-A-Bus” holiday food drive.

Lucky Supermarkets has partnered with LAVTA to host the event at its store located at the corner of W. Las Positas Boulevard and Hopyard Road in Pleasanton. The food drive is scheduled for Saturday November 18 from 10 am to 4 pm. All donations received will be delivered to the Open Heart Kitchen and Tri-Valley Haven Food Pantries to assist Tri-Valley residents.

LAVTA employees will be on hand to collect non-perishable food donations to help bring good cheer to Tri-Valley families this holiday season. Among the most needed items are: canned vegetables, canned fruit, canned meat, juice boxes, cooking oil, granola bars, pasta, rice, beans, and grocery gift cards.

To add some fun to this year’s food drive, LAVTA has developed a “Stuff-a-Bus Bingo” game. Game cards will be available at the food drive or can be downloaded in advance at wheelsbus.com. Anyone donating a complete bingo line will win a prize. Those who donate all of the items on the card or donate a Lucky gift card of $25 or more will also be entered into a drawing. Prizes including a Wheels/Rapid monthly pass and San Jose Sharks tickets, donated by radio station 101.7 KKIQ, which will be broadcasting live from the event.

About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority:

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. LAVTA serves nearly 2 million passengers a year on our Wheels bus and paratransit services.

LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.

Feedback Sought on Tri-Valley Paratransit Alternatives

In early 2017, the Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority (LAVTA) and the City of Pleasanton launched a comprehensive study of paratransit services throughout the Tri-Valley called Mobility Forward: Tri-Valley Paratransit Assessment. Paratransit services in the region are currently operated by the City of Pleasanton and LAVTA/Wheels and the parties have coordinated on this study to ensure Tri-Valley residents continue to have quality access to transportation services and other amenities.

The study began with an analysis of operational data and policies from both LAVTA and the City of Pleasanton. A public engagement process conducted throughout the Tri-Valley included three public meetings and a survey designed to learn about existing awareness of services, to understand needs and travel patterns, and to understand where gaps in services exist. After compiling the results of the public outreach and gathering input from other Tri-Valley stakeholders, the Mobility Forward study team has been busy analyzing alternatives and is ready to collect feedback on those alternatives. Potential alternatives will be presented at a series of public meetings in mid-November.

Dates/times/locations of the public meetings and input opportunities are below:

1)         November 15th, 10a-12p, Dublin Senior Center, 7600 Amador Valley Boulevard, Dublin. A special shuttle to/from BART will be provided for this meeting.

2)         November 16th, 10a-12p, Pleasanton Senior Center, 5353 Sunol Boulevard, Pleasanton. Wheels Route 8 provides service to the Pleasanton Senior Center.

3)         November 16th, 2-4p, Livermore Community Center, 4444 East Avenue, Livermore. Wheels Route 30R provides service to the Livermore Community Center.

The study team will be gathering public input throughout the end of the year and will be presenting draft recommendations to the LAVTA Board and Pleasanton City Council the first quarter of 2018. For more information, visit the website at https://www.wheelsbus.com/mobility-forward-tri-valley-paratransit-assessment-study/or contact:

 About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. LAVTA serves nearly 2 million passengers a year on our Wheels bus and paratransit services.

LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.