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!

Wheels Receives $934,292 in Grants to Replace Buses and Make Improvements

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) has received a total of $934,292 from the California Department of Transportation for projects that met the guidelines for the Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement and Service Enhancement Account (PTMISEA) Program.

The individual grants include $572,778 to be used to pay in part for new Wheels buses to be in service in 2016, and $361,514 for upgrades and improvements to facilities and parking lots.

“These grant monies offset operating funds which would have been used to pay for the new buses and improvement projects.  As a result, this frees up money to provide better service to the residents of the Tri-Valley,” says Scott Haggerty, Chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors.

The Public Transportation Modernization, Improvement, and Service Enhancement Account Program (PTMISEA) was created by Proposition 1B, the Highway Safety, Traffic Reduction, Air Quality, and Port Security Bond Act of 2006. Of the $19.925 billion available to Transportation, $3.6 billion dollars was allocated to PTMISEA to be available to transit operators over a ten-year period. PTMISEA funds may be used for transit rehabilitation, safety or modernization improvements, capital service enhancements or expansions, new capital projects, bus rapid transit improvements, or rolling stock (buses and rail cars) procurement, rehabilitation or replacement.

Measure B Tax Dollars Help Keep the Wheels Bus System Rolling

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of Wheels Bus system, relies on the tax dollar support of Alameda County’s Measure B to provide fixed route and paratransit bus service to residents in the Tri-Valley. Measure B provides essential funding to operate the Wheels bus service, complimenting federal, state and regional financial support.

“The Wheels bus system helps to keep cars off the road in the Tri-Valley by serving nearly two million passengers annually who live, work and visit our area”, says Scott Haggerty, Chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors.  “We rely on funding sources like Measure B, which enables Wheels to provide affordable and reliable bus service and reduce congestion.”

The two Measure B-funded services that Wheels provides are the fixed route bus service and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service, which provides door-to-door service to eligible persons in the Tri-Valley.

Measure B Funding
Wheels service is partially funded by Measure B Funds, an Alameda County half cent transportation sales tax that was approved by voters in the year 2000.  Although Measure B accounts for just half a cent of sales tax per dollar spent, it funds public buses and other essential transportation services that help keep Alameda County economically competitive and viable.  Wheels currently operates three types of service that benefit from Measure B Funds: express bus service; fixed route local service; and paratransit service.  

Express Bus Service
Wheels operates four express bus routes with Measure B funds: The Tri-Valley Rapid, Route 70x/xv from Pleasanton to the Walnut Creek BART Station, Route 20x from the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Sandia Lab, and Route 12v from the Livermore Transit Center to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station.  Express buses travel more quickly between far-reaching destinations, as they have limited stops.  In addition, the buses are equipped with improved technologies that assist passengers in more accurately planning their bus trip, including real time arrival and departure information at selected stops.

Fixed Route Local Service
Wheels fixed route local buses operate within the cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton and travel primarily along major arterial roadways and local roads.  Bus stops are placed closer to one another and buses take less direct routing in order to serve more destinations.  Many of Wheels local routes provide service to businesses, residential communities, schools and retail areas in the Tri-Valley, in addition to the East and West Dublin/Pleasanton BART Stations and the Livermore Transit Center.  

Paratransit Service
Paratransit service, also referred to as Dial-A-Ride, complements fixed route local service by providing door-to-door service to eligible patrons who are not able to ride fixed route buses due to a physical, mental or other condition.  Eligible patrons must apply and be accepted to qualify for paratransit service.  Paratransit service operates within the same service area as Wheels fixed route local service, and transfers are available to adjacent programs for regional trips.  Because paratransit passengers receive door-to-door service, patrons are able to maintain their mobility without dependence upon families and caretakers for transportation.  Although all Wheels buses have wheelchair lifts/ramps and are accessible to individuals with physical limitations, paratransit service provides added assistance to passengers.

Wheels is a convenient way to travel throughout the Tri-Valley and an excellent way to build a cleaner, healthier and less congested community.

Wheels Announces New Executive Director

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Dennis Mochon
Public Information Officer
Office: 925-455-7558
Email: dmochon@lavta.org

LIVERMORE, Calif., October 7, 2014 – The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of the Wheels bus system in the Tri-Valley announced Monday that Michael Tree will be joining the agency as Executive Director on November 10.

“After an extensive search with many qualified candidates to choose from, the LAVTA Board of Directors has selected Mr. Tree to lead LAVTA in providing the best public transportation services to meet the challenges of our growing communities. He has a solid record of achievements and skills that will keep LAVTA moving forward.” says Chair of the Board, Scott Haggerty.

Tree brings to LAVTA over 20 years of experience in senior positions in the public sector. He is currently General Manager for the Missoula Urban Transportation District in Montana where he has implemented major service and technology improvements leading to ridership increases. Tree held positions as City Manager and General Manager for the City and Transit Authority in Twentynine Palms, California. He also served as General Manager for Porterville, California’s public transportation agency.

Mr. Tree has a Master of Science in Transportation Management from San Jose State University and B.S. in Business Administration from Brigham Young University.

For more information on Wheels, visit www.wheelsbus.com.

About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority

The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) is the provider of the Wheels fixed bus routes and paratransit service in the Tri Valley area. Wheels was founded in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve the community’s transit needs and interests. Wheels mission is to provide equal access to a variety of safe, customer oriented, reliable, and affordable public transportation choices, increasing the mobility and improving the quality of life of those who live, work in or visit the Tri Valley.

Wheels supports environmental sustainability by eliminating thousands of car trips off local roads, easing traffic congestion and helping to keep the air clean in Tri-Valley. We are able to continually provide services through the support of federal, state and local funding, including Alameda County’s Measure B. Wheels serves nearly 2 million customers a year with our Wheels fixed bus routes and our paratransit services.

Follow LAVTA on Twitter @wheelsbus and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wheelsbus or visit our webpage www.wheelsbus.com for more information.

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Putting Your Measure B Tax Dollars to Work

LIVERMORE, Calif., April 22, 2014 – The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) is the operator of Wheels Fixed Route and Paratransit bus service in the Tri-Valley. Wheels was founded in 1985 under a Joint Powers Agreement to provide public transit in the Cities of Dublin, Livermore, Pleasanton, and Alameda County. Through the support of Federal, State, Regional and Local funding, including Alameda County’s Measure B, Wheels is able to continually provide services to its community.

“Wheels serves nearly 2 million passengers annually who live, work and visit the Tri-Valley”, says Pleasanton Mayor Jerry Thorne, Chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors. “Because of funding sources like Measure B, which are used to support public transportation service, Wheels continues to provide affordable and reliable public transportation, eliminating thousands of cars off local roads and easing traffic.”

The two services that Wheels offers to the public are the fixed-route bus service and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit service that provides door-to-door service to eligible disabled riders in Livermore, Dublin, Pleasanton and the surrounding unincorporated areas of Alameda County.

Measure B Funding
Wheels service is partially funded by Measure B Funds, an Alameda County half cent transportation sales tax that was approved by voters in the year 2000. Although Measure B accounts for just half a cent of sales tax per dollar spent, it funds public buses and other essential transportation services that help keep Alameda County economically competitive and viable, and serve millions of Alameda County residents. Wheels currently operates three types of service that benefit from Measure B Funds: Express Bus Service; Fixed Route Local Service; and Paratransit Service.

Express Bus Service
Wheels operates four express bus routes with Measure B funds: The Tri-Valley Rapid, Route 70x/xv from Pleasanton to the Walnut Creek BART Station, Route 20x from the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station to Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Sandia Lab, and Route 12v from the Livermore Transit Center to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station. Express buses travel more quickly between far-reaching destinations, as they have limited stops. In addition, these buses are equipped with improved technologies that assist passengers in more accurately planning their bus trip, including real time arrival and departure information at selected stops.

Fixed Route Local Service
Wheels Local Fixed Route buses operate within the cities of Dublin, Livermore, and Pleasanton, and travel primarily along arterials and local roads. Bus stops are placed closer to one another on Local Service, and buses take less direct routing in order to serve more destinations. Many of Wheels Local Routes provide service to businesses, residential communities, schools and retail areas in the Tri-Valley, in addition to the East and West Dublin/Pleasanton BART Stations and the Livermore Transit Center.

Paratransit Service
Paratransit Service, also referred to as Dial-A-Ride, compliments Fixed Route Local Service by providing door to door service to eligible patrons, who are not able to ride Fixed Route buses due to a physical, mental or other condition. Eligible patrons must apply and be accepted to qualify for Paratransit Service. Paratransit Service operates within the same service area as Wheels Fixed Route Local Service, and transfers are available to adjacent programs. Because Paratransit passengers receive door to door service, patrons are able to maintain their mobility, without dependence upon families and caretakers to transport them. Although all Wheels buses have wheelchair lifts/ramps and are accessible to individuals with physical limitations, Paratransit Service provides added assistance to passengers, with greater flexibility in destinations.
Wheels is a convenient way to travel throughout the Tri-Valley and an excellent way to build a cleaner, healthier and less congested community. For more information on services provided by Wheels, visit us at www.wheelsbus.com or call 925-455-7500.

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