As the week comes to a close and we move into September there’s excitement at LAVTA for the Wheels bus system and a growing number of projects that are influencing transportation in the Tri-Valley and beyond.
Student Ridership on Wheels Growing – The start of the school year has brought strong student ridership. Dublin High School has nearly doubled its student ridership from last year and the number has continued to grow throughout the last two weeks with the Try Transit promotion in full swing. Additionally, ridership has more than doubled at Las Positas College as the students are enjoying the second full academic year with Rapid service and their Transit Pass, which allows students, faculty and staff to ride the Rapid and the Wheels bus system at no cost. Ridership this week at Las Positas College broke the 600 rides per day barrier. Systemwide Wheels carried more than 7,300 rides on Tuesday, which hasn’t been done in several years.
Senate Approves Shared Autonomous Vehicle Testing Bill – On Thursday the Senate approved AB 1444 (Baker) and sent the bill to the Governor for consideration. The bill paves the way for LAVTA to test shared autonomous vehicles in the City of Dublin. This is an exciting project and will help develop the autonomous vehicle usage in public transportation. Some of the key partners on this project include the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, BART, Contra Costa Transportation Authority, County Connection, Stantec, MV and EasyMile.
Assembly Select Committee on Rail Convenes – On Wednesday, the Assembly Select Committee on Rail met and discussed the multitude of inter-city and commuter rail services ongoing in California. Rail ridership is growing and the San Joaquin Regional Rail Commission presented it’s ACE forward efforts to plan for future and expanded rail to the Bay Area. Also discussed by Tim Sbranti, representative for Congressman Eric Swalwell, is the planning work being done by the Alameda – San Joaquin Regional Rail Working Group, which is currently studying the future rail connection of ACE and BART in the Tri-Valley.
Historic Depot Renovation In Progress – In Livermore, the renovation of the Historic Depot at the downtown Wheels Transit Center is in full steam. Currently, the foundation is being constructed. Once completed the Historic Depot will be moved on the foundation and renovated. The City of Livermore is looking to complete the project in early 2018.
Once completed, the Depot will be home for the Wheels customer service team. Once again customers will be able to buy train and other transportation tickets from the Depot. Additionally, the Depot will be the home for a museum of the historic building, as well as a meeting place for public and other meetings.