High School Summer School Bus Service

LAVTA will be operating limited service to Dublin High School for students attending summer school June 5 through July 24. Route maps and schedules are available by clicking this link.

In Pleasanton, summer school for high school students will be at Amador Valley High School (AVHS). AVHS is served by Rapid Route 10R with service every 15 minutes during the hours summer school is in session. For detailed route and schedule information on the Route 10R, click here.

 

LAVTA Honored Again as California’s Top Transit Agency!!

We were recently named as the recipient of the California Association of Coordinated Transportation’s (CALACT) Outstanding Transportation Agency of the Year Award for 2019. The announcement was made at the CALACT Awards Ceremony held as part of the organization’s Spring Conference.

The annual award honors an agency that has demonstrated achievement in efficiency, effectiveness and customer service, based on the following criteria: Safety, Operations, Customer Service, Financial Management, Marketing, Community Relations, and Policy and Administration.

Among the accomplishments which led to LAVTA receiving the award:

  • A major service restructuring that refocused resources on more productive services with improved access to BART, ACE and Las Positas College
  • A ridership increase of 7.2% in FY2018 compared to the prior year
  • 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
  • Refreshing the Wheels brand with a new vehicle design and logo which is complementary to the agency’s Rapid buses
  • Initiating Go Dublin, an on-demand real-time mobility alternative for Dublin residents utilizing a unique partnership with Uber and Lyft

After winning a similar honor from the California Transit Association last autumn, we are now the simultaneous holder of both major California Transit Agency of the Year Awards!!!

New Discount Youth Clipper Card Fare of $1.60 Available Now!!

On January 1, 2019, we introduced a new discount Youth Clipper Card fare of $1.60. This discount is only available for riders 18 years of age and under paying with a Youth Clipper Card. The single ride cash fare remains $2.00. The Youth Clipper Card is available at no charge online at clippercard.com, LAVTA’s Administrative Offices and at the downtown Livermore Transit Center. Proof of age is required when obtaining a Youth Clipper Card and the card automatically transitions to an Adult Clipper Card upon the cardholder’s 19th birthday.

You will need one of the following to demonstrate eligibility for a Youth Clipper card:

  • Birth certificate or passport
  • State-issued identification card or driver’s license
  • Permanent resident card (“Green Card”)
  • Matricula consular/consular identification card
  • SF City ID Card
  • Student identification card with date of birth
  • Military dependent card with date of birth
  • Medical benefit card with date of birth

The Youth Clipper Card has other advantages as well, including:

  • one free transfer to other Wheels or Rapid bus routes within 120 minutes
  • a fare credit of $0.80 when transferring from BART to Wheels or Rapid buses
  • autoload and balance protection available for registered cards

For more information about the Youth Clipper Card or other aspects of the Fare Policy Changes that took effect on January 1, visit wheelsbus.com, clippercard.com or call 925-455-7500.

For a copy of our Youth Clipper Card flyer, click here.

We Were Just Named the Top California Transit Agency!!!

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was recognized this week as the California Transit Agency of the Year for 2018. The award was presented at the Small Operators Awards Ceremony held as part of the California Transit Association’s Annual Fall Conference. The annual award is given to a California transit agency that has demonstrated improvement in the performance of its system including ridership, customer service, service expansion and financial management. Alameda County Supervisor and LAVTA Board Chair Scott Haggerty remarked, “It’s an honor that the hard work and collaborative efforts of the LAVTA Board and staff have been recognized with this statewide award. This award would also not have been possible without the support of our member  jurisdictions and our funding partners.”

Among the accomplishments which led to LAVTA receiving the award:
• A major service restructuring that refocused resources on more productive services with improved access to BART, ACE and Las Positas College
• A ridership increase of 7.2% in FY2018 compared to the prior year
• 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
• Refreshing the Wheels brand with a new vehicle design and logo which is complementary to the agency’s Rapid buses
• Initiating Go Dublin, an on-demand real-time mobility alternative for Dublin residents utilizing a unique partnership with Uber and Lyft

Dublin Mayor and LAVTA Vice Chair David Haubert said “It’s amazing that so much was accomplished with such a lean, well-run organization, comprised of a 14-person staff and a seven member Board of Directors. We have much to be proud of.”

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.

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.

LAVTA Celebrates Launch of Autonomous Vehicle Testing

LIVERMORE, CA, June 27, 2018 – The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) celebrated the launch of testing of its new Shared Autonomous Vehicle (SAV) on June 22 at an event held at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. Approximately 70 area business leaders, elected officials and project sponsors attended the event.

Vehicle testing will take place on public roads in the city of Dublin, California. Dublin Mayor and LAVTA Board member David Haubert welcomed those in attendance, saying “I’m very proud that the innovative City of Dublin has been chosen to develop the leading edge of autonomous vehicle travel. Working together with LAVTA, EasyMile staff and our other project partners, our city traffic engineers will be among the first in the country to link a rail station to last mile destinations by navigating complex stoplight and turning scenarios along public roads.”

Funding for the project was obtained through a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Alameda County Supervisor and LAVTA Vice Chair Scott Haggerty, who secured the grant, noted that “providing a convenient and reliable first and last mile zero emission service will have a substantial environmental impact by reducing single occupancy vehicle trips to employment, retail and residential destinations located near the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.”

LAVTA’s SAV project also received legislative support through the efforts of California State Assemblymember Catharine Baker. Baker sponsored Assembly Bill 1444, which gave LAVTA the authority to operate the autonomous vehicle on public roads during testing. Regarding the project, Baker said “This shuttle is not only going to make our area an innovation hub, but also make our lives easier by making great connections for folks in the East Bay.”
LAVTA’s partners on the SAV project include GoMentum Station, which will oversee the entire testing process and First Transit, which will provide staffing, maintenance and operation support for the project. Speaking to the testing process, Pleasanton Councilmember and LAVTA Chair Karla Brown told attendees “Before we will begin carrying passengers, the technology on our vehicle will need to be proven by passing more than 100 different testing scenarios. That process is expected to take two to three years.”

The tests will include infrastructure communication; interactions with others on the road such as vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians; and a variety of road and weather conditions. LAVTA’s SAV is a second generation EasyMile EZ10, which can operate in fixed route or on-demand mode. The vehicle weighs 3,500 pounds and has space for 12 passengers. Although capable of higher speeds, during testing the vehicle will operate at 15 miles per hour or less. An operator from First Transit will be onboard the vehicle at all times during the testing phase.

Michael Tree, Executive Director of LAVTA, sees Shared Autonomous Vehicles as an important piece of the overall mobility puzzle. He noted that “Transit agencies are facing growing public frustration with inadequate parking at major transit centers and a lack of reliable on-demand options for those all-important first and last mile connections. For example, in our service area, both the West Dublin/Pleasanton and the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART stations provide intercity and Transbay transit options for TriValley residents; however parking lots at both of these stations are typically full by 7:30 am. Traditional fixed route transit services are only an attractive option to choice riders if the route happens to travel within a reasonable walk distance of the commuter’s origin or
destination.”

Although LAVTA is a relatively small transit system, Tree feels that the agency must embrace and implement new technology and mobility opportunities to remain relevant. LAVTA’s fixed route bus service area covers 40 square miles including the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton in Alameda County, approximately 35 miles east of San Francisco. LAVTA contracts for the operation and maintenance of all fixed route and paratransit services, with 70 fixed route buses and 18 paratransit vehicles. Combined total fixed route and paratransit ridership is approximately 1.6 million annually. LAVTA’s entire administrative staff consists of just 14 employees. Further evidence of the agency’s commitment to new mobility approaches occurred in 2016, as part of a bus service redesign. LAVTA introduced an innovative partnership with ridesharing companies Uber, Lyft and DeSoto Cab to offer city of Dublin residents enhanced transportation options and flexibility, in an on-demand and real time format. LAVTA’s Go Dublin program was the first of its kind in the Bay Area and the first to partner with both Uber and Lyft. With the Go Dublin promotion, LAVTA pays for 50% of the shared ride fare, up to $5 per trip. To qualify for the discount, rideshare trips must both start and end within the Dublin city limits, which includes both BART stations. Implementation of this program coincided with the elimination of a fixed route in Dublin that had very low productivity. At the time of the service restructuring, the route was carrying only five passengers per hour with a per passenger subsidy of $15. The Go Dublin partnership provides a higher level of service to Dublin residents at a lower subsidy per rider to LAVTA. The pilot program is being funded through a $100,000 grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission and another $100,000 from LAVTA. An
evaluation of the program will be completed by the end of the year.

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.