East County Measure B Grant News
BART, Dublin, LAVTA, Livermore, Pleasanton, Unincorporated Areas
Local transit agencies including paratransit providers, jurisdictions and Alameda County receive monthly Measure B and Vehicle Registration Fee pass-through payments to meet regional transportation priorities for several programs: Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety, Local Streets and Roads, Local Transportation Technology, Mass Transit, Paratransit and Transit for Congestion Relief. Below are fund recipients' recent reports on the delivery of these projects.
Measure B sales tax and Vehicle Registration Fee dollars at work in Dublin
With the use of Measure B funds earmarked for local streets and roads, the City of Dublin continues its annual street overlay program. This program removes and replaces failed asphalt, resurfaces the streets and restripes pavement markings.
The City of Dublin will use Measure B funds earmarked for bicycle and pedestrian safety for several projects this fiscal year, including striping of bike lanes on city streets included in the City Bikeways Master Plan. Current projects include updating the City Bikeways Master Plan, development of the City Pedestrian Master Plan and the Golden Gate Drive Streetscape project that will provide enhancements such as bike lanes and widened sidewalks.
In April 2013, the City of Dublin’s City Council approved Vehicle Registration Fee (VRF) funding for the upgrade and ongoing maintenance of the Citywide Signal Communication system. This project will reduce traffic delays, improve air quality and enhance overall traffic safety along major arterials in the city.
Arroyo Mocho Trail in Pleasanton to test new pavement materials
||The City of Pleasanton is currently working on a project to pave a portion of the Arroyo Mocho Trail. Funded by Measure B Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Program pass-through funds, the project includes paving segments with innovative paving materials to test these materials for use in challenging soil conditions. The Arroyo Mocho Trail in Pleasanton runs along the bank of the Arroyo Mocho Creek and extends across the city from east to west, providing an off-roadway facility with access to major destinations as well as a connection to the Alamo Canal Trail. A segment of the trail, east of Santa Rita Road and approximately 1.6 miles in length, will have geotextile fabric underlayment and be paved with asphalt. The fabric stretches to offset ground movement, thus reducing potential for surface cracks in the asphalt.
West of Santa Rita Road, the City of Pleasanton will pave with decomposed granite with resin binder a 1,000-linear-foot segment of the trail. This material has a higher initial cost but provides a natural appearance and uses all non-toxic materials. The city will pave with pervious concrete another 600-linear-foot segment subject to occasional flooding.
City of Pleasanton Senior Civil Engineer Adam Nelkie states, “The test paving will be designed to reduce the potential for surface cracks. If the test is successful, the new materials may provide a paving solution for other trails.” The project is expected to be constructed in late 2013. The test segments will be monitored for surface performance and maintenance costs.
Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA/Wheels) Bus Rapid Transit:
Moving East County residents, workers and visitors faster than ever
After a year of construction, and many more in planning and engineering, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) launched its new bus rapid transit line, the Rapid, on January 24, 2011. The new service connects all three Tri-Valley cities (Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore) and both Tri-Valley BART Stations with fast, frequent, efficient and reliable transit service. The day the Rapid launched, the new bus line instantly became LAVTA’s second most popular bus line. Initially, the Rapid operated on I-580 between Livermore and Dublin/Pleasanton.
In the Fall 2012, after the City of Livermore extended Jack London Boulevard to connect with the El Charro/Fallon interchange of I-580, the Rapid assumed its final routing. This new road allowed LAVTA to serve the Livermore Premium Outlets that opened just in time for the holiday shopping season. In January 2013, LAVTA is adding two more stops to the Rapid: at East Avenue and Dolores Street in eastern Livermore, and at Railroad Avenue and P Street in western Livermore.
The Rapid project began in 2006, following a study by BART that recommended upgrading the Route 10 — the busiest in the LAVTA bus system that carries half of its ridership — to a bus rapid transit line. The new Rapid features transit signal priority (TSP) technology to improve on-time performance and decrease the travel time on the route. With TSP, the Rapid can extend green lights, ensuring the Rapid gets through intersections before stoplights turn red. Thanks to the limited stops (concentrated at major residential and commercial developments) and TSP, the Rapid is 20 percent faster than regular local service.
In addition to limited stops and signal priority, the Rapid also features improved bus stop amenities like larger shelters, real-time arrival signs, service every 15 minutes during weekdays, unique branding and new hybrid-electric buses. The Rapid project was made possible by a coalition of local, Alameda County, state and federal supporters. Not only did Measure B help fund the construction of the Rapid, but Measure B also supports the route's daily operations.
Wheels increases service hours in FY12-13
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA/Wheels) provides general fixed-route service in the Dublin, Pleasanton and Livermore areas. The agency operates local, trunk, express and limited-service routes, with primary transfer hubs at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station and the Livermore Transit Center.
After having implemented considerable service cuts in mid-2009 and then staying relatively level in its overall service provision, LAVTA implemented the "Rapid" (R) line service in January 2011. Fiscal year 2012-2013 represented the first full year of Rapid service, with LAVTA again increasing service hours. The Rapid added considerable east-west capacity in the Wheels’ service area, in an alignment partially similar to that of the agency's backbone, Wheels’ Route 10. The Rapid also began serving the Livermore Premium Outlets at their opening in 2012, which coincided with the extension of Jack London Boulevard.
Other adjustments to the Wheels fixed route service over the past year were relatively modest, reflecting the static funding revenue trend (aside from the R) for the agency. Among the more notable improvements this fiscal year, LAVTA increased service frequency on Route 12 and Route 3. The Wheels fixed-route service is partially funded by Measure B.
LAVTA’s new ADA paratransit service operations model
Like transit agencies across the country, LAVTA is always looking for ways to improve service quality for riders in a cost-effective way. Every three years, LAVTA competitively bids fixed-route and paratransit operations contracts to ensure that a quality, cost-effective service is provided to the Tri-Valley. Following this philosophy, new paratransit contractor, American Logistics Company (ALC), started operating LAVTA’s paratransit program in July 2011 using a new and innovative service model. While LAVTA is the first transit agency in the Bay Area to contract with this company, ALC has been providing specialized transportation services nationwide including successful Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) paratransit programs in the counties of San Joaquin and San Diego.
ALC’s service model differs from the traditional operating models by using subcontractors to provide both drivers and fleet locally and a customer service call center in St. George, Utah. Drivers can be independent contractors or part of a local transportation company. ALC trains and manages the drivers and inspects their vehicles to ensure they meet all federal and state laws. ALC contracts with a variety of local resources to ensure that LAVTA has vehicles dedicated to its service as well as flexible vehicles that can handle any spikes in passenger demand.
ALC uses proprietary reservation, scheduling and dispatching software to book and schedule trips. Drivers are dispatched via handheld Android devices that transmit and track trips. The customer-service call center takes reservations and handles the customer interface. A special group of call-center representatives are trained with LAVTA’s policies and are dedicated to serving calls from LAVTA’s service area. And, an ALC project manager is always available to handle any calls in case additional attention is needed for a LAVTA customer.
The benefits of this new service model over the traditional one include vehicle flexibility, cost savings and the enhanced customer service. More vehicle types are available under this service model, enabling the flexibility to match the most appropriate vehicle with a specific rider’s needs. The availability of drivers creates a higher likelihood of rides being available at the times when they are needed. This service model does not have to bear the cost of idle vehicles during the low-demand periods of the day. In fact, there are no costs associated with owning, operating and maintaining a fleet with this service model, resulting in significant cost savings.
As this is a new paratransit service model for LAVTA, the agency closely monitor's ALC’s performance and encourages customer feedback. So far, passengers enjoy the smaller vehicles and have been providing high marks for ALC. Measure B funds a portion of the Wheels’ Dial-A-Ride service.
Wheels Dial-A-Ride Scholarship Program
In an effort to enhance the mobility of low-income Wheels Dial-A-Ride clients who live in the Tri-Valley, once each fiscal year, after meeting set requirements, clients may be granted a scholarship of 20 Dial-A-Ride tickets.
Since 2008, LAVTA together with a grant from Alameda CTC, have made it possible to grant scholarships to qualified Dial-A-Ride clients through the help of Measure B Paratransit Gap Grant Program funds. This grant augments the Frederick Medina Memorial Scholarship fund, which was established in December of 2003. In its beginning, the fund was small and relied on fund donations through local service groups. To date, since receiving funds through Measure B, 230 clients have been provided a scholarship — 27 of those from this fiscal year alone.
Dial-A-Ride clients say:
“Thank you so much! This is really going to help me with being able to go places.”
“I am on a really tight fixed income; this is going to help me a lot.”
“When can I apply again?”