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.

Wheels to Run Extended Bus Service to Pleasanton Plan Bay Area 2040 Open House Today

Wheels will be running extended bus service on Route 53 to accommodate those attending Plan Bay Area 2040 Regional Transportation and Housing Plan Open House in Pleasanton.  The event is being held in the first of a series of public open houses for Bay Area residents to learn about an update to the region’s long-range transportation and housing roadmap known at Plan Bay Area 2040.  Participants will view displays and offer comments on long-term goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light-duty trucks, house the region’s projected population, improve public health, maintain the region’s transportation infrastructure and preserve open space, among others.

The event will be held on Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 from 7pm to 9pm at the Alameda County Fairgrounds, Palm Pavilion, 4501 Pleasanton Avenue, Pleasanton.

Click here for the Route 53 extended service schedule.

Local/State Transportation Leaders Stand Up for Transportation

Call for Renewal of Federal Transportation Legislation


Top officials from more than a dozen local and state transportation agencies are joining together today in San Francisco to show solidarity with the national Stand Up for Transportation campaign. Starting at 1 p.m. at the Temporary Transbay Terminal in downtown San Francisco (located at 200 Main Street), the joint press conference and rally is one of dozens of events taking place today in cities around the country to urge Congress to renew the federal legislation that fuels transportation services and infrastructure.

The national campaign is being steered by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), an organization dedicated to advocating for and advancing public transportation. The organization is calling for reauthorization of the federal transportation funding bill, known as MAP 21 (“Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century”), which is set to expire on May 31.

The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) got into the spirit of the day by wrapping an articulated bus in the red-themed Stand Up for Transportation motif, turning it into a rolling billboard. The bus will appear at a rally at San Jose State University before making its way to serve as a backdrop for the San Francisco press conference and rally. AC Transit and County Connection (serving Central Contra Costa County) are also sending buses filled with supporters — with many showing their support by wearing red.

Emceeing today’s event is Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors and chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), which oversees transportation planning, financing and coordination for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. “It’s long past time for Congress to stop kicking the can down the road and actually solve the Highway Trust Fund problem,” Cortese said. “With the national economy back on track and the Bay Area economy shifting into high gear, our country simply cannot afford to keep doing business this way. We need a surface transportation program that will fuel strong growth for years to come.”

An analysis from APTA shows that the nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. More than $227 billion in economic productivity is at risk to the nation’s economy over the next six years without long-term federal investment in public transit, according to APTA.

“It’s time for Congress to set aside partisanship and once again act in the best interest of our country to repair, strengthen and build the nation’s transportation infrastructure,” wrote APTA Chair Phil Washington in a letter to member organizations this week.

Other transportation leaders scheduled to appear at today’s San Francisco press conference include:

  • H.E. Christian Peeples, president of the AC Transit Board of Directors;
    Arthur L. Dao, executive director of the Alameda County Transportation Commission;
  • Nick Josefowitz, San Francisco representative on the BART Board of Directors;
    Bijan Sartipi, director of Caltrans District 4;
  • Jeff Morales, chief executive officer of the California High-Speed Rail Authority;
  • Randell Iwasaki, executive director of the Contra Costa Transportation Authority;
  • Denis Mulligan, general manager and chief executive officer for Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District;
  • Michael Tree, executive director of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority;
  • Supervisor Scott Wiener, chair of the San Francisco County Transportation Authority;
  • Edward Reiskin, director of transportation for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency;
  • Jim Hartnett, executive director of the San Mateo County Transportation Authority (SamTrans);
  • Nuria Fernandez, general manager of the Santa Clara VTA; and
  • Maria Ayerdi-Kaplan, executive director of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, which is developing the new Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco.

19th Consecutive Financial Excellence Award Received by LAVTA

For the 19th consecutive year, LAVTA has earned the prestigious Certificate of Achievement for Excellence Award in financial reporting. This award was received for LAVTA’s excellence in financial reporting in their 2014 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). The Government Finance Officers Association (GOFA) established the award to encourage government agencies to exceed the minimum requirements in preparing their annual financial report.

“This award demonstrates that LAVTA has shown great responsibility and transparency in its use of federal, state, regional, and local taxpayer resources,” says Scott Haggerty, Chair of the LAVTA Board of Directors. “Having received it for a 19th year in a row shows commitment to our fiduciary duty.”

For a copy of LAVTA’s financial report, visit our website at www.wheelsbus.com, under the About Us tab, Reports, CAFR. For more information on GFOA, visit www.gfoa.com.

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.

Transportation Options for Seniors to be Presented at Livermore Community Center on April 28th

LIVERMORE, Calif., March 19, 2015 – Changes in transportation resources require public updates from time to time, so all agencies assisting our seniors in the Tri-Valley will be out to keep them updated on April 28th,2015 from 10am until Noon in the Palo Verde Room at the Livermore Community Center located at 4444 East Avenue in Livermore, CA.

Agencies including Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), operator of Wheels bus service, and the Community Resources for Independent Living (CRIL) will present an array of transportation services available to seniors and the disabled.  Agencies will be offering assistance with travel training which showcases how best to board available public transportation services.  Senior Clipper Cards will also be issued at the event, free of charge and attendees will learn how to use the cards on the system.

New services and upcoming events will be highlighted as well an opportunity to sign-up for a group field trip traveling on board both the WHEELS bus and BART systems.

Wheels is an excellent way to build a cleaner, healthier and less congested community. For additional information, visit us online at www.wheelsbus.com., or call (925) 455-7555.

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. LAVTA was founded in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve the community’s transit needs and interests. LAVTA’s 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.

LAVTA 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. LAVTA 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.

APPLICATION DEADLINE – APRIL 17th Members Sought for Wheels Accessible Advisory Committee

LAVTA 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.


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.


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.


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 and application here. The deadline for applications is April 17, 2015.