Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty Receives Distinguished Service Award from the California Transit Association

The California Transit Association has announced the selection of Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty as the recipient of its 2020 Distinguished Service Award. This award recognizes an individual who has had a long and distinguished career and has made outstanding contributions to public transit.

Haggerty was recognized for his relentless advocacy for transportation matters over the course of six four-year terms on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. The award was presented today at a virtual ceremony held in conjunction with the California Transit Association’s Fall Conference. In accepting the award, Supervisor Haggerty remarked, “As elected officials, we don’t do this work for awards. But when you are acknowledged by such an esteemed body as the California Transit Association, it really solidifies that maybe the work you are doing does matter.”

Among the career achievements which led to Haggerty receiving the award:

-Currently serving as Chair of the Bay Area’s 9-County Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) and being the only individual ever to have held this position twice;

-Serving as one of the founding policymakers on the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission, which oversees the operation of the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) commuter rail service connecting California’s Central Valley with Silicon Valley;

-Initiating legislation that resulted in the formation of the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority, which has advanced the Valley Link rail project – and serving as Chair of this Board since its inception in 2018.

-Serving terms as Chair of the Alameda County Transportation Commission (ACTC), the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), the Tri-Valley Transportation Council and the San Joaquin Joint Powers Authority;

-Leading efforts that have resulted in an estimated $2 billion dollars of transportation improvements in Alameda County’s District 1 – for roads, highways and public transit.

Supervisor Haggerty is now in his 24th year of service as a member of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) Board of Directors. For half of those years, he has held the title of Chair or Vice Chair of the Board and has also served as a member of the LAVTA Projects and Services Committee. He was a leading proponent of the high frequency Rapid bus service that LAVTA introduced in 2011 and expanded five years later. In 2016, he secured $1 million in funding so that LAVTA could be one of the first transit agencies in the nation to test autonomous vehicle technology on public streets.

Supervisor Haggerty is retiring when his current term ends at the end of this year. However, the transportation infrastructure and transit service that he helped put in place during his quarter-century of service will remain far into the future.

 

LAVTA To Resume Fare Collection and Front Door Boarding October 1

Effective Thursday October 1, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) will resume charging fares for all Wheels, Rapid and Dial-a-Ride paratransit services. Fares have been suspended since March 20 as a preventive measure in response to the potential spread of COVID-19 because of the proximity of the fare payment area to the bus operator.

LAVTA has now installed temporary barriers next to the driver’s compartment that will shield drivers from boarding passengers. A more permanent barrier system is currently under consideration for purchase in the near future. Passengers have also been required to board and exit buses through the rear door since March 20. Front door boarding will resume on October 1 as well.

At this time, there will be no change to the level of service currently provided.

LAVTA Honored as North America’s Top Transit Agency!!

The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) has announced the selection of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) as the recipient of the 2020 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award. The annual award acknowledges excellence among public transportation providers in North America. In LAVTA’s 35-year history, this the first time it has received this honor.

 

In announcing the award, APTA Chair Nuria Fernandez said “This is a prestigious and well-deserved honor for your organization. It also spotlights your outstanding leadership, working with your Board, your team members and your community. Your success is a model that our industry can emulate.”

 

LAVTA’s award is for rail or bus transit systems providing 4 million or fewer passenger trips annually. Agencies are evaluated by APTA’s Awards Committee based on a combination of qualitative and quantitative criteria. The qualitative criteria include safety, operations and maintenance, customer service, financial management, diversity and inclusion, marketing, and community relations. Quantitative measures include ridership, cost effectiveness, and road call data.

 

Livermore Vice Mayor Bob Woerner, currently LAVTA’s Board Chair, recognized the LAVTA staff and thanked the other members of the LAVTA Board of Directors. Woerner noted “In the past three years, this agency comprised of a 14-person staff and a seven-member Board of Directors has been named Transit Agency of the Year in California by two different organizations and has now been selected as the top transit agency of our size in North America. These honors are truly a testament to the quality of our small staff and the effective collaboration between that staff and our Board of Directors. In the midst of the current pandemic, during which our employees are busy providing an essential service to the residents of our region, it is nice to be able to take a moment and reflect on all we have accomplished recently as an organization.”

 

Among the accomplishments which led to LAVTA receiving the award:

  • An increase in ridership of 12.1% over the two-year period from 2017 to 2019

  • The successful passage of a Student Mobility Initiative at Las Positas College (LPC) to fund unlimited access transit passes for all LPC students

  • Launching a Shared Autonomous Vehicle (SAV) project in proximity to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to help provide first and last mile connections with BART

  • Serving as executive and administrative support for the Tri-Valley – San Joaquin Valley Regional Rail Authority (Valley Link), which held its first Board meeting in January 2018

  • Partnering with the city of Livermore to relocate and rehabilitate the Southern Pacific Railroad’s historic train depot for use as LAVTA’s Livermore Transit Center sales and operations building

  • Initiating Go Dublin, an on-demand real-time mobility alternative for Dublin residents utilizing a unique partnership with Uber and Lyft

 

LAVTA and the rest of this year’s award winners will be honored at an APTA Virtual Meeting in October and again in March at APTA’s annual TRANSform Conference.

Pleasanton Bus Stops to See Major Facelift

In the coming months, Pleasanton residents will see major improvements at about 20 bus stops serving the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority’s (LAVTA’s) Rapid Route 10R. The Pleasanton Rapid Transit Corridor Enhancement Project focuses on improving transit facilities along the Santa Rita, West Las Positas, and Owens Boulevard corridors in Pleasanton.

These upgrades will add vital amenities to improve the transit experience, including premium Rapid-style passenger shelters, enhanced lighting, real time signs, benches, trash cans, and bicycle racks. The new shelters will complement the premium Rapid bus service now operating along the corridor between downtown Pleasanton and the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. The design will also be complementary to the look of the shelters currently in place in the Hacienda Business Park.

Pleasanton City Councilmembers Karla Brown and Jerry Pentin represent Pleasanton on LAVTA’s Board of Directors. Brown noted “This project has been in the planning stages for some time and I am very excited to see construction underway and am looking forward to seeing it finished.” Pentin added “The amenities at these bus stops are a significant upgrade over what is in place now and will definitely enhance the rider experience. We appreciate the financial support from the Alameda County Transportation Commission on this project.”

The primary funding source for the $1.6 million project is $1.4 million in Measure B funds awarded by ACTC and $212,000 in local Transportation Development Act funds. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Below is an artist’s rendition of the new amenities.

Effective Monday April 6 – Additional Services Reductions as a Result of Decreased Ridership

LAVTA’s average weekday ridership during the week of March 23-27 was 864 passengers per day. This number is 88 percent below the average weekday ridership during the first week in March and is even well below our typical average weekend ridership. As a result , we will be further reducing our service effective Monday April 6 from Service Level 2 to Service Level 3. To see all five service levels, click here

During periods of reduced service, the most accurate schedule information will be available at wheelsbus.com. Under each Service Level, Dial-a-Ride paratransit services would continue to operate but may be limited based on resource availability. Check our website daily for updates.

The following summarizes the adjustments that will take effect on Monday April 6:

  • Rapid Routes 10R and 30R will continue to operate at the Service Level 2 frequencies, on a 30 minute frequency during hours when 15 minute frequency was previously offered
  • Routes 1, 3, 8, 14 and 15 will operate on weekend schedules
  • Routes 53 and 54 continue to operate subject to continuation of ACE service
  • Route 2, 11, 20X, 70X and 580X will not operate
  • All service after 11pm will be discontinued
  • Dial-a-Ride Paratransit, Para-taxi and GoDublin still available

Effective Thursday March 26 – Frequency Reductions on Rapid Routes, Other Reductions

As a result of declining ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) plans to utilize a five-level service reduction process to provide our passengers with an easy way to find out what services are still available. During periods of reduced service, the most accurate schedule information will be available at wheelsbus.com. Under each Service Level, Dial-a-Ride paratransit services would continue to operate but may be limited based on resource availability. Check our website daily for updates. To see all five service levels, click here

Effective Thursday March 26, we will be moving from Service Level 1 to Service Level 2. The following summarizes the adjustments:

  • Rapid Routes 10R and 30R will operate on a 30 minute frequency during hours when 15 minute frequency is currently offered
  • Routes 20X and 580X will not operate due to extremely low ridership; alternate service available using Route 30R
  • Route 2 will not operate due to extremely low ridership; alternate service available using LAVTA’s GoDublin program
  • Routes 53 and 54 continue to operate subject to continuation of ACE service
  • Dial-a-Ride Paratransit, Para-taxi and GoDublin still available

ACE Suspends Last Weekday AM and PM trips, LAVTA Suspends Route 53 Service for those trips

The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) has announced that ACE Train 07/10 will be suspended on Monday, March 23, 2020, till further notice.

As a result, LAVTA will not provide weekday service on the Route 53 to meet the 8:18 am ACE train arrival and the 7:31 pm ACE train departure from the Pleasanton Station until such time as ACE service on these trips resumes.

Route 54 service is unaffected.

LAVTA Suspends Fare Collection to Help Protect Drivers and Riders

As a preventive measure in response to the potential spread of the Coronavirus Disease, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) will suspend the collection of passenger fares on all Wheels and Rapid buses effective Friday March 20. This measure also applies to LAVTA’s Dial-a-Ride paratransit service and will remain in effect through the duration of the Alameda County Health Officer’s Shelter in Place order at a minimum.

LAVTA Board Chair David Haubert commented that “going fare free on the Wheels bus system is a very positive, important step in protecting the health and safety of both bus operators and riders and helps members of the Tri-Valley in need of transportation options in this difficult time”.

The location of the fare payment area at the front of our vehicles results in our operators being in very close proximity to passengers boarding the bus. This action will the help address the social distancing challenges faced by our drivers. In addition, while our fare collection equipment is disinfected daily, all passengers boarding the bus are currently touching either the farebox or the Clipper card reader.

Passengers without disabilities will be directed to use the rear door of the vehicle for boarding and alighting to minimize contact with transit operators at the front door and farebox area. People utilizing mobility devices will be allowed to board and alight from the front door of the vehicle.

As a reminder, the Alameda County Health Officer’s Shelter in Place order limits usage of public transportation to a specific set of “Essential Travel” mandates, which primarily permit travel only for the following reasons:

  • Performing tasks or activities essential to personal or family health and safety;
  • Obtaining necessary services and supplies, including perishable goods, food and medical supplies

For a full list of permissible “Essential Travel” categories, visit the Alameda County Public Health Department website at acphd.org and view the Health Officer’s Order. We will continue to monitor this situation on a daily basis and will take additional actions if warranted or recommended by local or national health organization. For updates, visit our “LAVTA Updates Related to Coronavirus” page at wheelsbus.com.

Go Dublin! Program Changes During Shelter in Place

LAVTA’s Go Dublin! program will continue during the current “Shelter in Place” order. However, both Uber and Lyft have announced that they are temporarily suspending the shared ride options of UberPOOL and Lyft Line.

LAVTA’s Go Dublin! discount of 50% ($5 maximum) is available for trips booked on UberX and Lyft through the duration of the Shelter in Place Order.

The Alameda County Health Officer’s restrictions on permissible travel still apply. For a list of those restrictions, click here.