West County commuters are being asked for their input on a plan to expand express bus service in the region.
Despite hair-pulling congestion on Interstate Highway 80, there is currently no direct express bus service connecting West County with employment centers in west Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland.
“That journey now requires most transit users to make a ‘three-seat trip’ using multiple transit providers,” according to the West Contra Costa Transportation Advisory Committee (WCCTAC). “In addition, existing express bus service to San Francisco is at or nearing capacity and/or may not be serving emerging employment centers in San Francisco efficiently.”
Express bus service is faster because it makes fewer stops, often travels in carpool lanes and can benefit from transit priority improvements, such as reduced wait times and traffic signals, the WCCTAC states.
Express bus service provides a high-capacity transit option in areas where BART doesn’t go, transit officials also point out. Recently, new Lynx double-decker buses were unveiled to accommodate more West County passengers on popular trips.
For these reasons and others, WCCTAC has launched a study on the possible expansion of express bus service service to and from the East Bay and San Francisco.
“In order for this project to be successful, we need to hear where potential riders would like to catch the bus, where they would like to be dropped off, and what kinds of things would encourage them to use this new service,” said John Nemeth, executive director of WCCTAC.
The project intends to gather community input this fall, identify possible routes and stop locations this winter, launch into a second round of community input in spring 2019, and prepare a draft implementation plan in summer 2019. The aim is to finalize plans and community input by fall or winter next year.
To learn more about the project and to provide input, click here.