Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

August 15, 2006 > Where is that bus?

Where is that bus?

by Steve Warga

If you're looking down the street for that AC Transit bus running on its new schedule, please be patient. Senior Planner Tony DeVito says changes are coming, but may not be fully implemented until sometime in October. AC Transit is fine-tuning a computerized dispatch system that will reduce the number of buses required to cover the various routes. It's known in the trade as "inter-lining."

DeVito describes the old way as, "One bus, one route, that's it. With inter-lining, we'll have one bus with several different routes during the day." Given that it costs about $250,000 per year to operate one bus on one route, the use of inter-lining will save millions of dollars each year. It's a fine idea, but testing and implementation are taking more time than originally projected. DeVito thinks the enhanced services will be worth the wait.

Some expanded services will come online September 5. Local commuters to and from Palo Alto will benefit from expanded service during peak hours. The widely popular "DB Express" has doubled its ridership in just 18 months. In coordination with BART and other local transit services, AC Transit provides buses from Fremont BART to Stanford University and other Palo Alto stops via Dumbarton Bridge. Along with increased service during commuter hours, AC Transit will also add one trip later in the morning, plus reverse commute service for workers in East Palo Alto.

That's it until October when DeVito says other changes, finalized May 31 of this year, will go into effect. (For details, see "Bus route changes finalized," TCV, June 6 at www.tricityvoice.com) He singled out the city of Fremont for their efforts to assist paratransit service at the California School for the Blind on Walnut Avenue. Fremont has committed to removing median curbs in front of the school. They have long impeded drop-offs and pick-ups. DeVito says this will be a big help.

So, don't despair bus riders. That busload of changes you've been looking for since June really is on the way. TCV is watching for it too!

 
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