GoDublin!

It’s been a busy week, but the highlight is certainly activating the GoDublin promotion.
In brief, GoDublin is simply a discount provided by LAVTA for usage on Uber, Lyft and DeSoto Cab when using their ride sharing mode (Uber Pool, Lyft Line or DeSoto Share).  How much is the discount?  50 of the cost of the ride, up to $5.  Whats the promotion code to receive the discount?  GODUBLIN.  Where is the discount
valid?  Any ride that begins and ends within the city limits of Dublin, including the two BART stations and Wheels Transit Center.

I’ve been asked why LAVTA would partner with transportation network companies (TNCs)?  LAVTA’s first thoughts on a potential partnership stemmed from a report where the American Public Transit Association in their publication Shared Mobility and the Transformation of Public Transit took a look at TNCs and concluded that:

  • The more people use shared modes, the more likely they are to use public transit
  • Shared modes complement public transit
  • Shared modes will continue to grow in significance and public entities should engage with them to ensure that benefits are widely and equitably shared.

With that said, public transit in most areas of Dublin doesn’t perform very efficiently.  A recent Wheels route that was eliminated in Dublin was carrying on average 5 passengers an hour at a public subsidy per ride of more than $15.  LAVTA felt that the area where this route served, and other areas similar to it in Dublin would be a great place to feature a discount promotion with TNCs.

Over the next 6 months LAVTA will monitor the usage of the GoDublin! promotion,  observing and sharing information on whether the promotion increased ridership on the BART system and/or LAVTA Wheels system.  The information will be helpful to not only LAVTA, but many other transit systems considering similar promotions and partnerships.  Additionally, LAVTA and the City of Dublin can monitor how the partnership reduces congestion and parking issues.

Time will tell on whether the GoDublin! promotion is a success.  One thing for sure is that it’s now live and you can get more information at www.wheelsbus.com/godublin.

 

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Exciting New People At LAVTA

 

I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  The week has been a busy one.  Here’s some of the latest news at the agency:

City of Livermore’s Bob Coomber Appointed to LAVTA Board

Newly elected City Councilman Bob Coomber has been appointed to the LAVTA Board and will attend his first LAVTA Board meeting on January 9th. Staff recently sat down with Bob after providing a tour of the LAVTA facilities and enjoyed hearing about his passions and goals.

Driverless Shuttle Presentation Set For February Board Meeting

Stantec will provide a 20-30 minute presentation at the February LAVTA Board meeting on shared autonomous vehicles (SAVs), giving the Board the opportunity to learn about the progress of the technology, the demonstration projects that are ongoing around the globe, including the latest on the Bishop Ranch, and the proposed next steps for LAVTA’s SAV project in Dublin.

New Executive To Attend First Altamont Regional Rail Working Group

Frank Wilson was recently hired as the Executive for the Altamont Regional Rail Working Group. This coming week on January 11th Frank will meet for the first time with the Working Group and begin planning efforts for the BART and ACE connection in the Tri-Valley.

580X Promotion To Start On January 16th

Staff will be running a promotion over the next several weeks to increase ridership on the new 580X route that operates between the Livermore Transit Center/Downtown Parking Garage and the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. The express route offers coach seating, free Wi-Fi, auxiliary charging outlets for cell phones, and takes a very direct route to the BART station using the I-580 Express Lanes when advantageous. The goals is an average of 15 passengers per hour on this peak service route. Currently, the route is carrying an average of 6 passengers/per hour.

New Senior Grants and Project Management Specialist Hired

This week LAVTA hired Jennifer Yeamans to head up our work on grants and project management. Jennifer has most recently been working as the Founder and Principal at Yeaman’s Consulting, working on a variety of transportation projects. Prior to working as a consultant Jennifer had a successful career as a planner at MTC. Interestingly, Jennifer began her career as a bus operator in the early 1990’s. Jennifer has a Master of Planning degree from Berkeley and lives in Livermore. Jennifer starts January 17th.

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Las Positas Ridership, MarCom Award, and More

It’s been a busy week at LAVTA for the entire team.  Here’s some of highlights:

Ridership Increasing At Las Positas College:
With the new Rapid service and the Easy Pass at Las Positas College ridership continues to
grow.  Check out weekday ridership since the introduction of the Easy Pass:

Average Daily Rides at LPCscreen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-39-05-pm
August           330
September    380
October         443

A huge thanks to Las Positas College and ACE Train for being our partners on the Easy Pass.  Half price passes on ACE Train to complement the Easy Pass and Rapid service for Las Positas College students is incredible.

Wheels Website Receives Award
The new www.WheelsBus.com website has been awarded a MarCom Gold Award in the Municipality Website Category. The MarCom Awards is a creative competition focusing on concept, writing and design. It’s a prestigious award and we’re excited to receive it!  We are working on V2.0 of the Wheel website that will include lots of easy to use features for commuters in the Tri-Valley.

Clipper Usage Up on Wheelsscreen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-44-57-pm
The usage of Clipper continues to increase on Wheels and Rapid buses. Weekly transactions have increase from an average of 580 in August to 720 in October.  I’m a believer in the convenience of Clipper.  No need to look for spare change or remember to buy a month pass.  It’s always in your wallet ready to go when I need it for Wheels and other transit systems in the Bay Area.

Rebranding
Over the past several months LAVTA and consulting firm PAVLOV have been working with the public through surveys, stakeholder groups and social media to explore the rebranding of Wheels.  Most recently, the Project & Services Committee looked at several naming and logo concepts.  The direction was to explore additional examples of logo concepts for the name Tri-Link.

-Michael

 

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580X = Quick Connection To BART

One of the more exciting improvements to the Wheels bus system is the new 580X.  This
service really has one goal:  get customers from Livermore to the BART station as quickly as possible.

Specifically, the 580X operates from the Livermore Transit Center to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station during peak times on weekdays.  Other than it’s original
boarding stop at the Livermore Transit Center/City Parking garage, the route only has one screen-shot-2016-10-05-at-5-29-47-pmadditional stop on Livermore Avenue in route to the BART station.

I’ve used the 580X a handful of times.  What I like about the experience is the new buses with high back commuter seats (so soft and comfortable…and they recline slightly, too), the free Wi-Fi, and the auxiliary ports to charge my cell phone or other electronic gadgets.  I can also use my Clipper Card.

What’s really great about the service is that the friendly operators are using when possible the express lanes, and that means I’m getting to the front door of BART in approximately 20 minutes on most days.  Given I can spend up to 15 minutes in the morning in my own car just looking for parking at the BART station, I’m easily saving time and money with the 580X.

Additionally, if I need to come home early or later during the day and can’t make the 580X schedule I can jump on the 10R or the 30R at the BART station and travel back to the Livermore Transit Center.  These two services operate every 15 minutes until 7pm, and then at a lower frequency throughout the evening until mid-night, and that makes them very convenient and easy-to-use.  You can see the 10R and 30R schedules here.

What do I think can be improved on the 580X?  Frequency.  The 580X leaves for BART every 30 minutes during peak times.  It would be great to have 15 minute frequency.  But, its early in the history of the 580X and with a growing popularity it can be improved.  With the 30 minute frequency it’s still convenient enough to make it well worth my time.

The ridership on the 580X is building.  Here’s a quick snap shot of customers on the 580X last week:

  • 60% live within a mile of the Downtown Livermore Transit Center
  • 50% walk or bicycle to the 580X
  • 75% are traveling to work, with 55% riding the 580X daily
  • 85% consider the $3/round trip price of the 580X a great value

It will be exciting to see how many customers are enjoying the 580X by the end of the year.  It’s proving to be a great value with a lot of perks and convenience.  For more information on the 580X click here.

-Michael

 

 

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