Archive for the ‘Transportation’ Category

New carpool “Scoop” app pays you $2 for any trip to or from Contra Costa

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

Between the 12-cent-per-gallon increase in the gas tax and being able to earn $2 credit each trip, there’s never been a better time to trade your solo commute for a shared ride. Whether you fill an empty seat in your car or catch a ride as a passenger, carpooling is a great way to save money.

Thanks to a partnership between 511 Contra Costa and Scoop, when you use the Scoop app to match with another commuter for your ride to work, you get a $2 credit. As long as your trip starts or ends in Contra Costa, each person in the carpool will receive a $2 credit. Passengers will see the credit automatically applied to their trip, while drivers can cash out the credits they earn.

If you commute to Concord, Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre or Dublin/Pleasanton BART using Scoop, you also get guaranteed parking! (Passengers: use the code CCTA05 to get an additional $5 in Scoop credit – the combined $7 in credit covers the cost of most first rides.)

As part of a carpool, you’ll have access to the HOV lanes and can use the I-680 and I-580 Express Lanes toll-free. (Note: If you’re crossing the Bay Bridge, the Scoop app will match you with two other commuters so you can use the HOV lanes.) If you’re driving to Pleasant Hill/Contra Costa Centre BART, Concord BART or Dublin/Pleasanton BART Stations you’re also guaranteed parking if you arrive before 10am and parking is free.

It’s time to give sharing the ride to work a try.

Earning the $2 credit is easy:

1. Download the Scoop app

2. Enter your account information

3. Use the Scoop app to carpool

$5 SCOOP CREDIT: Enter the code CCTA05 in the Scoop app to get a $5 credit towards your first ride.

To download the Scoop app and get a $5 first-time rider credit, visit our Scoop Special Offer page.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Get on the bus – for free! Tri Delta Transit celebrates 40 years of service with free rides

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

Only on specific routes, every weekend in November

ANTIOCH, CA – 2017 marks the 40th anniversary of local public transportation in Eastern Contra Costa County provided by Tri Delta Transit. To celebrate, the agency will be providing free rides on all weekend routes, every weekend in November.

“This will include Thanksgiving Day and the day after,” added Marketing Director Mike Furnary. “Free rides will be available on routes 392, 393, 394, and 395. No special coupon will be necessary to receive free rides. Customers simply can board any bus on the weekend and their ride will be free.”

Few services have had such an impact on our community as the introduction of Tri Delta Transit.

“Our system plays an integral role in keeping our community moving,” said agency CEO, Jeanne Krieg. “When you consider that this agency literally started as a kitchen-table-discussion in the home of long-time board member Barbara Guise, and we have grown to provide more than 3,000,000 rides each year, it is a true symbol of our community’s perseverance.”

Tri Delta Transit began service in 1977 with only two limited-service bus routes, operated by AC Transit. Since then, service has grown to 18 bus routes including express service to BART and paratransit services for seniors and disabled. Service is provided 365 days a year.

“We are excited to share our accomplishment with our customers and thank them for their support over the last 40 years” Krieg continued. “However, as important as it is to acknowledge our history, we are equally excited about our future and our commitment to our customers.”

Tri Delta Transit recently grew again, adding another weekday route in downtown Pittsburg.  New Route 381 began service September 25 and travels between the Pittsburg Marina, through downtown Pittsburg, to Los Medanos College.

Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 14 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Gov. gives Bay Area voters chance to increase bridge tolls by $3 to fund transportation on next year’s ballot

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

The setting sun reflects off of the Carquinez Bridge’s towers. This bridge project was funded through Regional Measure 1. Photo courtesy of MTC.

Some of the $4.5 billion in projects would benefit Antioch, East County

By Metropolitan Transportation Commission

Governor Brown’s action today to sign into law Senate Bill 595 clears the way for Bay Area voters to decide – potentially as early as next June – on Regional Measure 3 (RM 3), which would raise tolls by up to $3 on the region’s seven state-owned toll bridges to finance the sweeping $4.5 billion package of congestion relief and mobility improvement projects identified in the bill. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), in its role as the Bay Area Toll Authority, is expected to decide by early 2018 when the RM 3 question will appear on ballots in the nine Bay Area counties. The Commission also will decide the amount of the proposed toll increase and whether the proposed increase would be instituted all at once or phased in over several years.

The RM 3 expenditure plan provides mobility improvements in each of the region’s seven state- owned bridge corridors, helping to speed up commutes and provide better travel options, particularly for those traveling to major job hubs, such as San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The plan includes numerous congestion relief projects in the bridge corridors, including new express lanes, a direct freeway connector from northbound U.S. 101 to eastbound Interstate 580 in Marin County to improve access to the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge as well as improvements to the westbound approach in Contra Costa County; constructing a direct connector between Interstates 680 and 880 in Fremont and improvements to the I-680/State Route 84 interchange in Alameda County serving the Dumbarton Bridge; upgrading the I-680/State Route 4 interchange in Contra Costa County serving the Benicia Bridge corridor and the U.S. 101/State Route 92 interchange in San Mateo serving the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge; various improvements to relieve congestion in the Dumbarton Bridge corridor and improve State Route 37 in Marin, Sonoma, Napa and Solano counties; completing the widening of U.S. 101 to three lanes in each direction through the Marin-Sonoma Narrows. Major public transit improvements that would be funded by the measure include 306 new BART cars that will expand the fleet to accommodate record ridership; new ferries and expanded service and terminals across San Francisco Bay; further extension of BART’s Silicon Valley service to downtown San Jose and Santa Clara; extending Caltrain to downtown San Francisco; expanding transbay bus service and AC Transit’s bus rapid transit lines serving the transbay corridor; extending the new SMART rail system to Windsor; and expanding San Francisco’s fleet of Muni Metro rail cars to improve transit access not just to San Francisco, but within it as well. RM 3 also would fund a $150 million grant program to improve bicycle and pedestrian access to regional transit hubs and to close gaps in the San Francisco Bay Trail.

Proposed projects that would benefit Contra Costa County, Antioch and East County.

“Nobody likes higher tolls,” commented MTC Chair and Rohnert Park Mayor Jake Mackenzie. “But nobody likes traffic jams or crush-loaded train cars either. The Bay Area has been blessed by seven straight years of strong economic growth. But the price we’ve paid is the growing congestion on our freeways, railways and ferries. If our region is going to maintain its economic leadership, we have to invest in projects that will keep businesses and their workers moving. Gov. Brown and the state Legislature deserve a lot of credit for shaping RM 3 into a comprehensive and integrated strategy that will modernize both our highways and our transit networks.”

For details on the complete range of investments that would be funded if a majority of voters in the nine Bay Area counties approve RM 3, go to the MTC website or see the complete list, here.

MTC is the transportation planning, financing, and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Reps. DeSaulnier, Smucker introduce bipartisan bill to spur innovative changes to transportation systems

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Washington, DC – Today, Wednesday, October 4, 2017, as we recognize National Smart Cities Week, U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Members Representatives Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) announced bipartisan legislation that would establish $100 million in new grant funding for cities to invest in and use innovative technologies and solutions for the purpose of improving transportation and mobility. The Moving FIRST Act (H.R. 3901) was introduced to build upon the Department of Transportation’s Smart Cities Challenge, by increasing the funding available and making it an annual grant opportunity.

“Seventy five percent of all Americans are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. We need to invest in the best way to move our people and our goods in ways that reduce congestion, improve public health, and are tailored to the needs of our communities,” said DeSaulnier. “We’ve already seen how smart technologies succeed in the Bay Area and California, and I am proud to partner with my colleague Representative Smucker to create grant opportunities for cities across the nation, and of all sizes, to advance cutting edge technologies.”

“This week is National Smart Cities Week – a perfect time to refocus our efforts in support of innovative and creative solutions to help our cities work better,” said Smucker. “Investments in smart infrastructure projects help move people to job centers, products to market, and connect economic hubs. Expanding initiatives like the Smart Cities Challenge will help kick start improvements in transit and connectivity in cities like Lancaster and Reading. I am glad to work with Rep. DeSaulnier to introduce the Moving FIRST Act and I look forward to continuing my work to improve our nation’s infrastructure.”

H.R. 3901 would make annual grant awards available to communities of all different sizes which seek to advance projects like autonomous vehicle technology and sensor-based infrastructure in order to meet the transportation challenges they face. Specifically, the bill establishes the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Challenge Grant, which will annually award:

  • A large city with up to $50 million in grant funding
  • A mid-sized city with up to $50 million in grant funding
  • Two rural communities or regional partnerships with up to $20 million in grant funding or 20% of the total funds available

Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced companion legislation, S. 1809, in the Senate.

National Smart Cities Week brings together city leaders, innovative companies, and policymakers to engage in a national dialogue to better understand and prepare for the ways new technologies will impact the ‘city of the future.’

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tri Delta Transit launches new mobile app for security

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

As of Monday, October 2, Tri Delta Transit is offering ‘Tri Delta Watch,’ a mobile security app that instantly allows riders to notify police or dispatchers of security incidents on buses and at bus stops. The free app allows riders to anonymously send text reports with pictures or videos to dispatchers who can respond to or address the problem. Contacting local police directly is an option of the app, which is made simple via a one-click 911 button for more serious situations.

The free security application is available at the Apple App Store and Google Play for iPhone and Android devices; search Tri Delta Watch. Once downloaded, riders can report suspicious activity, and incidents that might require law enforcement’s presence on board Tri Delta Transit buses.

“Occurrences that might merit the use of the app are extremely rare on our buses,” said Mike Furnary, Director of Marketing. “Having the app is just another means to help us keep it that way.”

Tri Delta Watch and similar security apps are important new components in the industry’s effort to enhance safety for customers and drivers. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security adopted the “If You See Something, Say Something” public awareness campaign in 2010. Transit agencies, including Tri Delta Transit, have launched a variety of advertising and outreach efforts to educate riders about the importance of being vigilant in reporting suspicious, illegal or inappropriate behavior and activities, as well as unattended packages.

The smartphone app allows customers to assist security efforts by reporting suspicious activity in a timely manner. When a rider sees a suspicious situation, with the click of a button, they can directly call police or discretely submit a report with photos or video, incident descriptions, and GPS coordinates to transit officials. If the user chooses to submit a picture or video, the camera flash is automatically disabled to not draw attention to the rider.

The mobile app allows riders to report incidents such as suspicious activity, disruptive behavior, crime in progress, and security or safety issues. Riders may also report immediately threatening situations such as fighting, or attacks on drivers.

Once a report is initiated, real-time two-way communication is enabled. Dispatchers may ask the rider for more details about the situation or provide instructions, as needed. In the event of an active incident, the dispatcher and reporter are able to communicate concerning details about those involved, what bus they are on, and assessment of the suspect’s behavior. The dispatcher can advise and communicate with the customer or contact the appropriate person or agency for assistance if necessary.

“Safety and security begins with all of us,” said Furnary. “If you see something, say something.”

Tri Delta Transit provides over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Contra Costa’s CyberTran awarded U.S. patent for Transportation Internet

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Rendering of a CyberTran transit station. Renderings courtesy of CyberTran International, Inc.

Ultra-Light Rail Transit system vehicles travel throughout connected rail networks at low, medium and high speeds, direct to destination and at much lower capital deployment and maintenance costs

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, CA – CyberTran International, Inc. (CTI) offers the most innovative approach to solving the world’s traffic congestion problems. The recent patent approval for fixed guideway transportation systems, with lower cost of ownership and optimized benefits, validates what they’re calling the Transportation Internet technology. This system can be thought of as the computer-controlled technology solution to the problems of mass transit cost overruns and inefficiency.

Artist rendering of a CyberTran vehicle and station with overhead solar panels generating the power to operate the system.

CTI’s Ultra-Light Rail Transit (ULRT) is a mass transit system with the ability to build out Urban Circulator systems, Commuter Rail systems and High-Speed Rail systems and connect them to one network where small rail vehicles carrying up to thirty passengers can travel throughout the network Direct-to-Destination (nonstop). This allows ULRT to serve three separate markets, low, medium and high speeds! Until today all three markets have been served by three separate distinct technologies that can only be connected at transfer points where passengers have to disembark one system only to transfer to another to reach their destination.

Currently, CTI is closing in on funding for the purpose of demonstration and deployment. “Everybody wants to be second, nobody wants to be first,” said Dexter Vizinau, President of CTI.

Transit officials are hesitant to take a chance on a small and innovative company. The BART system started out as a demonstration project and the technology was the first of its kind. Today, CTI has approximately ten cities that are willing to be first, he explained.

In every major metropolitan region of the world, people are stuck in traffic. Today’s solutions aren’t working.

“Expanding today’s transit systems are too costly to build and maintain, yet transit officials continue to approach this as a solution, with little result,” said Neil Sinclair, CTI Board Chairman. “There’s a $78 billion backlog in transit systems maintenance in the U.S. and the only way to pay for it is to raise taxes. In the meantime, we’re all stuck in traffic with no end in sight.” That is, until today.

Overview rendering of the offline CyberTran stations.

“Our patent validates everything we’ve already proven,” Vizinau continued. “Two full-scale prototype vehicles have already been built and tested. The test vehicles have achieved speeds of up to 60 mph and have climbed a 10% grade, which means ULRT can go over the Sepulveda Pass in Los Angeles and also travel up the Grapevine Summit in Southern California. Bullet train systems and L.A. Metro-like systems cannot climb steep grades and therefore either have to tunnel or go around.”

By building out ULRT networks in cities at 35 mph, and then connecting them together throughout a region at 80 mph, ULRT becomes a commuter rail system like BART and Metro in Los Angeles. ULRT can handle the same throughput as BART during rush hour via the Transbay Tube. CTI can then connect regions with a high-speed line. The ULRT System design is flexible and can expand easily. Guideways and civil structures are manufactured offsite and assembled onsite allowing ULRT systems to be constructed more efficiently. CTI can construct long-distance systems in up to a quarter mile per day. The system was designed to reach speeds of up to 150 mph. (See related article)

CyberTran’s ULRT system also operates from solar power. Canopies of solar panels above the guideway can generate more than one megawatt per mile and eight times more energy than the system consumes, and supply renewable energy to surrounding communities resulting in a net gain to CTI.

Rendering of a possible CyberTran station on the second floor of an office building and campus.

Transit officials currently purchase transit systems from foreign companies. CTI plans to manufacture ULRT transit systems for a global market in Contra Costa County. “We’ve been to China five times in as many years. There are six hundred cities in China that can use this,” says Sinclair. Councilmember Rich Kinney of the City of San Pablo states, “West Contra Costa County in particular has to solve the I-80 corridor congestion issue to attract more businesses and jobs to our cities. This is our opportunity to effectively address that issue. May we not continue to kick the proverbial can down the road – it’s time to embrace the full deployment of CyberTran right here at home.”

Earlier this year the city councils of Oakley, Brentwood and Antioch each voted unanimously to join the cities of Richmond and San Pablo to support efforts by CTI to obtain the needed funding for systems in both Western and Eastern Contra Costa County. (See related article) In addition, CTI has the support of U.C. Berkeley in their efforts to bring the technology to market. (See related article)

The next steps for CTI are to obtain funding to build two showrooms and a factory. This calls for one low-speed demonstration track up to 35 mph, and one rapid speed demonstration track up to 150 mph – in curves and with left and right banking. Both demo tracks and factory construction are to be done concurrently. There were no funding programs to support transit innovation, such as ULRT, at the federal level until CTI lobbied Congress to create one. Program legislation was created and approved in 2014 under a Republican-controlled Congress and Senate. CTI was hopeful that President Obama would release the program funding but it did not happen. CTI is hopeful about the President Trump’s infrastructure package and is encouraged by their reception in Washington, D.C.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Frazier votes ‘no’ on proposed bridge toll hikes

Thursday, September 14th, 2017

SACRAMENTO – Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-Discovery Bay) voted ‘no’ on SB 595, which would require the nine Bay Area counties to hold a special election, known as Regional Measure 3, to propose raising tolls on state-owned bridges in the Bay Area. After the vote, he issued the following statement:

“I recognize the need for funding transportation improvements, but after much thought, I believe adding another tax on commuters is not the answer. I ultimately voted NO on the bridge toll bill because $8 per crossing is just too much of a financial burden on drivers. If you commute from Solano County to San Francisco – entailing two bridge tolls that would potentially total $16 a day – that’s highway robbery.”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Tri Delta Transit adds new circulator bus in downtown Pittsburg

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

They really do go everywhere, man!

The Eastern Contra Costa Transit Authority known as the Tri Delta Transit bus system, is launching a new downtown circulator route serving the downtown Pittsburg area. New Route 381 begins service September 25, 2017 and will travel between the Pittsburg Marina, through downtown Pittsburg, to Los Medanos College. So, now like their TV ad states they really do go everywhere.

The new route will be the shortest and quickest route in the Tri Delta Transit system. From start to finish, the trip takes only 20 minutes and operates every 30 minutes. “This is a terrific route to access many downtown restaurants and shops as well as big-name stores, and shopping centers in Pittsburg,” said Director of Marketing, Mike Furnary. “Route 381 will provide service to popular destinations including Los Medanos College, Wal-Mart, Atlantic Plaza, Pittsburg Health Center, The East Contra Costa Clinic, downtown Pittsburg, Pittsburg Marina, Pittsburg High School (Railroad Ave at School St.), City Park, Pittsburg Senior Center, Pittsburg Courthouse, and Pittsburg Library.” New Route 381 operates 22 times every day, Monday thru Friday. New bus stops will be added along Railroad Avenue in downtown Pittsburg offering pick up and drop off just steps away from many downtown restaurants and shops. New bus stops will be located on Railroad at 5th Street and 8th Street.

Route 381 will eventually serve Pittsburg Center BART, currently under construction. “For those in the area who currently use another bus route to Pittsburg Bay Point BART, they might be better served by Route 381 once the new station is operational,” said Furnary.

Route 381 is being introduced along with a newly revised schedule going into effect on September 24, 2017. In addition to new Route 381, one-time change is being made to the schedule. “We’ve made one adjustment to our Clockwise Route 383 serving Oakley and Antioch,” said Furnary. “This change will allow an earlier arrival at Freedom High School in Oakley, making Route 383 Clockwise a more reliable option for Freedom students.” Times on all other routes will not change from the previous schedule. To see times Route 381 will operate and all other bus schedules and times, visit Tri Delta Transit’s Web site at www.trideltatransit.com. New printed schedules will be available on buses the week of September 18, 2017.

Tri Delta Transit was named small bus operator of the year in 2014 by the American Public Transportation Association, the national representative for public transportation in Washington DC. They provide over 3,000,000 trips each year to a population of over 250,000 residents in the 225 square miles of Eastern Contra Costa County. They operate 13 local bus routes Monday – Friday, 4 local bus routes on weekends, door-to-door bus service for senior citizens and people with disabilities, and shuttle services to community events. For additional information about Tri Delta Transit, please visit www.trideltatransit.com.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter