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.

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.

LAVTA Will Continue Regular Service During Shelter in Place Order

Today’s shelter in place emergency order from the Alameda County Health Officer defines public transportation as part of the “Essential Infrastructure”. As such, it is our intention to continue to operate our regular fixed route services and Dial-a-Ride paratransit. Our supplemental school services have already been suspended until school resumes.

The order defines travel that is permitted on public transportation, which includes:

  1. Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations.
  2. Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
  3. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services.
  4. Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction.
  5. Travel required by law enforcement or court order.
  6. Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the County. Individuals are strongly encouraged to verify that their transportation out of the County remains available and functional prior to commencing such travel.

To see the entire order from the Alameda County Health Officer, including definitions of the above terms, click here.

 

ACE Suspends Saturday Service, LAVTA Suspends Saturday Route 53 Service

The Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) has announced that “Due to the recent sequence of events regarding COVID-19, we are suspending Saturday Service for ACE trains for the time being.”

As a result, LAVTA will not provide service on the Route 53 on Saturdays until such time as ACE Saturday service resumes.

Weekday service is unaffected.

LAVTA Service to Dublin, Pleasanton & Livermore Schools (UPDATED 3/15/20)

The Dublin Unified School District (DUSD) has announced the suspension of  all classes from Monday March 16 – April 10, 2020.

As of Sunday March 15, the Pleasanton Unified School District (PUSD) has announced the suspension of  all classes from Monday March 16 until further notice.

As a result, LAVTA bus services on Routes 501, 502, 503 and 504 will not operate beginning Monday March 16 until such time as DUSD schools resume in-person classes.

LAVTA bus services on Routes 601 – 611 will not operate beginning Monday March 16 and will then not operate until PUSD resumes in-person classes.

Livermore Valley Joint Unified School District (LUJUSD) schools are also suspended effective Monday March 16. This action has no impact to LAVTA services since LVJUSD school students utilize regular Wheels and Rapid bus services for trips to and from school.