Members Sought for Wheels Accessible Advisory Committee

Wheels Bus is seeking applications for members and alternates to serve on the Wheels Accessible Advisory Committee (WAAC).  Members on the WAAC represent the cities of Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, unincorporated Alameda County and Tri-Valley social/human services agencies.

Responsibilities/Duties:

The committee members are expected to provide a forum and advise Wheels staff on accessibility issues facing senior and disabled residents on Wheels fixed route buses and Dial-A-Ride paratransit services.  The committee meets six times per year for approximately 90 minutes.

Qualifications:

Candidates must reside in the cities of Livermore, Dublin or Pleasanton and social services agencies must be located in and represent people who use or could use transit services in Livermore, Dublin and Pleasanton.  Candidates must be able to solicit and disseminate information effectively to their constituents, be able to meet during regular business hours (typically 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.), and be able to analyze complex issues and reports to make recommendations to the LAVTA Board of Directors.  Candidates must currently use Wheels fixed route buses or Dial-A-Ride paratransit services or represent those who do.  Candidates do not have to be disabled or over 65 years old.

Process:

Interested candidates are required to submit an application to LAVTA. LAVTA’s Board of Directors selects and approves the representatives.

WAAC members will receive a free annual Wheels fixed route bus pass.  In addition, ADA paratransit eligible members can ride Dial-A-Ride service to and from WAAC meetings free of charge.

Interested candidates should request an application by calling (925) 455-7555 or download an application WAAC Application. The deadline is April 15, 2016.

Elected Officials Discuss Expediting BART to ACE Rail Connection

The inaugural meeting of the newly formed Altamont Regional Rail Working Group was held on Wednesday, February 10th at the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority offices to discuss potential BART and ACE Rail linkages to better connect the Bay Area-Central Valley region. Focus from the Working Group centered on the decades of planning for BART to Livermore and the need to have BART go to Greenville Road in Livermore to make the inter-regional connection with the San Joaquin Valley via the Altamont Corridor Express (ACE rail service).

Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who was elected Chair of the Working Group, expressed his thoughts, “I’m very happy to be sitting with my colleagues—the Mayors that represent the Tri-Valley cities, elected officials from the City of Tracy and the County of San Joaquin, Directors from BART and ACE, and honored representatives of our congressional delegation. The time for waiting and being patient for BART to come to Livermore to connect with ACE is over. As elected officials I think it is important that we figure out a way to deliver this project.”

The BART to ACE project is planned for construction along the I-580 corridor, with the first phase of the project extending BART as far as Isabel Avenue at a cost of $1.2 billion. The Working Group estimates conclude that each year of delay in the project cost taxpayers approximately $30 million.
“We all understand that there is a lack of balance between jobs and housing in the region,” commented Mayor John Marchand of the City of Livermore. “The result is increasing travel and congestion on I-580 to connect housing in the San Joaquin Valley with jobs in the Bay Area. What’s important to know is that there is now an organization that understands and is planning for this important mega-region corridor.”

Members of the Working Group include Supervisor Scott Haggerty of the County of Alameda, Supervisor and Chair of the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors, Moses Zapien, Mayor David Haubert from the City of Dublin, Mayor Jerry Thorne from the City of Pleasanton, Mayor John Marchand from the City of Livermore, Councilmember Veronica Vargas from the City of Tracy, ACE Board Member Vince Hernandez (Councilmember from City of Manteca), BART Board Member John McPartland, and LAVTA Board Member Steven Spedowfski (Councilmember from City of Livermore).

The Working Group will meet bi-monthly in an effort to plan for the most efficient, cost effective delivery of BART to ACE, with near future meetings focusing on the development of the Working Group’s goals and objectives, to include examples of successful methods of rail project delivery from around the nation.

For more information on the Altamont Regional Rail Working Group please contact Michael Tree, Executive Director for the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority at 925-455-7564.

Wheels Stuff a Bus Food Drive Celebrates Season of Sharing

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 bus system in the Tri-Valley, will host its annual “Stuff-A-Bus” holiday food drive. The event is being held on December 6th from noon to 4 pm in support of the Open Heart Kitchen and Tri-Valley Haven Food Pantries. Once again, Safeway Supermarkets has partnered with LAVTA to host the holiday food drive at three of its Tri-Valley stores. Wheels bus drivers and other volunteers will be on hand to collect non-perishable food donations to help bring good cheer to Tri-Valley families this holiday season.

“When people think of the Tri-Valley, most think of the large corporate offices, shopping malls, wineries and large homes, but few think of the people who struggle day to day.  Many residents are in need of food, especially around the holidays. The ‘Stuff-A-Bus’ event ensures that all donations collected in the Tri-Valley remain in the Tri-Valley, where they are needed,” says Board Chair, Don Biddle.

Safeway will be hosting the event at three stores in the Tri-Valley. These include: 4495 First Street, Livermore; 7499 Dublin Blvd., Dublin; and 6790 Bernal Ave., Pleasanton. The most needed items are: juice boxes, cooking oil, granola bars, canned vegetables and fruit, coffee, pasta, rice, sugar and flour.

To promote the event, radio station 101.7 KKIQ will be having a live broadcast from noon to 2 pm at the Livermore Safeway location.

Attend Public Workshops this Week and Give Your Input on Future System Improvements

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) is evaluating existing transit service in an effort to make improvements through a new initiative, Wheels Forward. LAVTA wants to know how Wheels can better serve your needs and plan for a more efficient transit system that carries a greater number of riders and provides a platform for future improvements.

“The Wheels bus system has been a great community partner in the Tri-Valley for the past 30 years.  There’s never been a better time for residents to get involved as we plan for an even more successful Wheels moving forward,” states Board Chair Don Biddle.

LAVTA is hosting three Wheels Forward workshops for the public to learn more about the planning process and to provide comments for future Wheels improvements. Tri-Valley residents can participate by attending one of the workshops being held on July 28th, 29th, and 30th.

Public Outreach Workshops
Join LAVTA and provide your input at one of the following public workshops:

Tuesday, July 28th; 6pm – 8pm

Livermore Community Center

4444 East Avenue, Livermore

 

Wednesday, July 29th; 6pm – 8pm

Dublin Civic Center, Regional Meeting Room

100 Civic Plaza, Dublin

 

Thursday, July 30th; 6pm – 8pm

Pleasanton Senior Center

5353 Sunol Boulevard, Pleasanton

If you need an interpreter present at one of the workshops, please notify LAVTA in advance at (925) 455-7500.
Wheels Forward Online
Want to provide input or comments but cannot attend the workshops? You can do both, as well as learn more about the Wheels Forward effort, by visiting the special web site developed for this project: www.wheelsforward.com.

Wheels Bus and Hacienda Recognize 5 Millionth Passenger for Innovative ECO Pass Program

Marking a milestone in a longstanding, unprecedented public-private partnership, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of the Wheels bus service, and Hacienda today note that Hacienda employees and residents have surpassed five million passenger trips utilizing Hacienda’s free ECO Pass program.

Established in 1989 and funded by Hacienda, the ECO Pass program creates a convenient way for people who either live or work in Hacienda to use transit to get to work, school, and local businesses by providing free unlimited bus rides.

“We are pleased to celebrate the 5 millionth Hacienda Wheels bus rider,” said Councilman Don Biddle, LAVTA Chair. “LAVTA’s partnership with Hacienda is a model to deliver a convenient and affordable commute alternative that improves air quality and reduces traffic congestion.”

“Since 1989 with the ECO Pass program, these 5 million trips on transit instead of a 17.5 mile daily average trip in a single-occupant vehicle, saved over 18 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and over 85 million vehicle miles traveled,” said Michael Tree, LAVTA’s executive director.

“The ECO Pass program demonstrates Hacienda’s commitment to both environmental stewardship and providing the best possible working and living environment,” said James Paxson, Hacienda’s general manager. “Hacienda and LAVTA’s longstanding success also represents a model relationship and a public-private partnership of remarkable longevity.”

BENEFITS OF THE ECO PASS TO RIDERS

ECO Pass holders benefit in a number of ways through their participation in the program.

1.   Riders cut their commute costs at the pump and reduce the cost of automobile maintenance, both important factors in maintaining a household budget.

2.   The ECO Pass is a great way to beat traffic congestion on the way to work. ECO Pass users enjoy their commute and the personal freedom it gives them to do other things while commuting. Instead of driving on congested streets and highways, ECO Pass users get to rest and relax, catch up on social media, read a book, enjoy a conversation with their fellow riders, or use their travel time more productively by completing tasks for their jobs.

3.   The ECO Pass is a great way for commuters to show their concern for the environment; allowing them to commute knowing that they are taking an active part in reducing carbon emissions and improving the region’s air quality.

BENEFITS OF THE ECO PASS TO EMPLOYERS

The ECO Pass program is a great way for employers to demonstrate their concern for their employees and the environment.

1.   Hacienda employers have the opportunity to include the ECO Pass as a no-cost perk to their Employee Benefits Program, saving their employees literally thousands of dollars each year on the cost of getting to work.

2.   The ECO Pass program also helps employers manage their own Commute Trip Reduction Programs.

3.   Simply by making the pass available to their employees, Hacienda companies automatically comply with the requirements of the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (SB 1339).

In celebration of this milestone, all Hacienda and Tri-Valley residents and employees are encouraged to let Wheels do the driving while you enjoy a pleasant and productive commute.

For more information about the ECO Pass program, contact the Hacienda Owners Association at 925-734-6500 or visit www.hacienda.org. For more information about Wheels bus service, contact Wheels customer service at 925-455-7500 or visit www.wheelsbus.com.

Wheels joins Nextdoor.com to Take Community Outreach Digital

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) has partnered with Nextdoor.com, a rapidly-growing social network for neighbors, to more effectively reach Tri-Valley residents.

Nextdoor.com is a private social-networking site that provides locally-sourced information on community issues like recent acts of crime, alerts on lost animals, and reviews of local companies.

As one of only a handful of transit agencies on Nextdoor.com, LAVTA now has a new and innovative tool to reach over 15,000 verified users in the Tri-Valley who use the social network.  Residents on Nextdoor.com will receive information on important LAVTA service and scheduling updates, as well as construction and maintenance projects and other community work.

Residents can sign up for a free account and join in the neighborhood discussion by visiting www.nextdoor.com

LAVTA also maintains a presence on other social networks. Follow LAVTA on Twitter @wheelsbus and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wheelsbus or visit our webpage www.wheelsbus.com for more information.

Wheels Dedicates New “Pop Art” Transit Shelter Mural in Livermore

LAVTA, operator of Wheels Bus service, dedicated a new Art Shelter Mural located at the West Gate of the Sandia/Lawrence Livermore Labs in Livermore, Thursday, June 4th.

The newest shelter is the fifteenth shelter in Wheels Art Shelter Mural Project and is titled “Art is Science on Wheels.” The mural was created by Granada High School art students under the supervision of Ms. Laura Thournir. The design was patterned from American pop artist Roy Lichtenstein.

Livermore Mayor John Marchand and LAVTA board member Steven Spedowfski officiated the event and gave certificates of appreciation to the eleven students who were responsible for the design. All participated in the ribbon cutting for the official dedication of the art mural shelter. The students responsible include:  Kimi Awosanya, Enikoe Bihari, Frances Carcellar, Mary Carmona, Emilie Johal, Baily Mao, Chance Owen, Cameron Sanchez, Callie Schultz, Mina Tavakolzadeh and Bailey Ye.

Spedowfski stated, “The LAVTA Art Shelter Mural program is a creative way to display public art in the community and gives bus riders a pleasant experience while waiting for the bus.”

LAVTA started the program in 1999 and will work with high schools in Livermore and Pleasanton to create two new art shelter murals in 2016.

Visit Wheels Energizer Station Tomorrow for Bike to Work Day

Join Wheels in celebrating Bike to Work Day tomorrow, May 14th. Ride on the new bike trail connecting Livermore and Pleasanton and enjoy free refreshments and giveaways at our Energizer Station on Stanley near the Shadowcliffs Recreation Center. We’ll be there from 7am to 9am.

Plus, like us on Facebook and enter to win a free Trek Bike!