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May 16, 2006 > AC Transit public hearings

AC Transit public hearings

by Steve Warga

In advance of final decisions the end of this month, AC Transit Directors convened two hearings at Newark City Hall on Wednesday, May 10. As he closed the second meeting, District 2 Director Joe Bischofberger expressed his personal concerns to accommodate as many as possible of those who rely upon AC Transit to reach their jobs, schools and community services. "We must never forget that people structure their lives around our routes. It's quality of life we're talking about."

According to Tony Devito, Senior Transportation Planner, the extensive changes proposed for implementation by the end of August represent the first major reworking of AC Transit routes in six years. Direct, polite and very approachable, Devito only reluctantly acknowledges that this project is, for the most part, his "baby." He quickly credits numerous others also deeply involved over the last two years. The fact remains, though, he's the guy people love or hate, depending on how the proposed changes will affect their lives. He will focus much attention over the next few weeks on reviewing all spoken and written public input, seeking a way to do the impossible: accommodate everyone's needs and interests.

Overall, it appears the proposed changes will complement what most consider to be very good service for District 2 riders. This quality seems to have been proven again in the recent annual Bus "Roadeo" in Anaheim, CA, hosted by the American Public Transportation Association. Teams of drivers and mechanics from all over the country competed in a series of tests designed to measure both driving abilities and mechanical acumen. For a record sixth time in nine years, AC Transit teams took home the APTA crown as "The Best of The Best." Further, AC Transit also finished first in a special competition measuring drivers' courtesy, patience and know-how. General Manager Rick Fernandez says, "It should raise passengers' confidence to know we are tops and we take pride in what we do."

All of the route changes under consideration may be reviewed on the Internet at: The Board will publish an agenda for their final decisions once they determine a date.

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