SmartTrips Pleasanton Begins

This week the Travel Options Ambassadors for SmartTrips Pleasanton have been in training.  What’s SmartTrips Pleasanton?  It’s a project along Santa Rita Road and Owens Drive in Pleasanton where residents will have a chance to chat with the Travel Options Ambassadors about walking, biking and the Rapid bus system in the area.  It all happens in a few steps.

The first step is a door hanger that announces the coming arrival of the Travel Options Ambassadors.  It’s a great way of saying we will be in your area soon and would love to stop by.  It also gives those who are not interested an opportunity to touch base.

The second step is a quick visit by the Travel Options Ambassadors who have checklist so they can return at the convenience of the resident with travel information that is of interest to the resident (such as I want to learn more about biking in the area or about the Rapid buses).

The final step is the actual visit with materials ordered by the resident.  The materials might include custom, easy to use maps, specially made brochures, a fun gift, and other items.  Most importantly, the resident can ask a Travel Options Ambassador to help them learn more.  For example, if a resident travels daily to BART for work and wants to learn about the Rapid bus system, a Travel Options Ambassador can give the resident a Clipper Card, help them understand how the Rapid works, and can even take that first ride or two with the residents to show them how easy and convenient it is to ride.

SmartTrips Pleasanton is funded by a grant from the Metropolitan Planning Commission.  It’s a very friendly, easy way to understand the wide variety of travel options that can be fun, healthy, possibly save you time and money, and are environmentally friendly!

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Meet LAVTA’s Newest Board Member

Recently elected Livermore City Council Member Bob Coomber has been appointed to serve on the LAVTA Board.  In addition to making a difference in the community, Bob spends more time than most of us in the outdoors and he knows the best hiking trails in the Bay Area and beyond.  Click here to watch a great piece by NBC Bay Area on our newest Board Member!

Last week Tony McCaulay joined the LAVTA team as Marketing Manager.  Tony spent the bulk of his career as a marketing professional for Denver RTD and is excited to market the new Wheels bus system redesign, which includes the introduction of the 580X express service from downtown Livermore, the new Rapid service on Route 10R, the newly realigned 30R to Las Positas College, Go Dublin and the coming SmartTrips Pleasanton program.

Don’t forget about Go Dublin for your travel needs in Dublin this weekend at the St Patrick’s Day Parade and festivities.  For Dublin residents that don’t live on or near Dublin Blvd it could be the easiest way to get around town over the weekend, with Wheels paying half the fare, up to $5 for rides that begin and end in Dublin.  For more information click here.

What’s in the near future for Wheels?  In April the transit agency kicks off SmartTrips Pleasanton to inform residents along Santa Rita Road about their transportation options, including biking, walking and the Rapid.  The personal conversations will be lead by our Travel Ambassadors who reach out to residents along the corridor to share with them their expertise, helpful information, tools and swag.  It’s a great way to celebrate the many transportation options along this important corridor!

Finally, have you “liked” us on Facebook?  The Wheels Facebook page not only has the latest information on the Wheels bus system, but it frequently has great information on destinations and events in the Tri-Valley, as well as promotional offers and contests.

 

 

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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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