With new schedules and an expansion of service, ridership for the Dumbarton Express Bus lines reached an all time high in August 2013, soaring to 15 percent above the annual ridership calculated in August 2012.
This year, the DB and the DB1 lines, which make 91 trips each day between Union City and the peninsula, are averaging 1,328 daily boardings compared with about 1,200 daily boardings a year ago.
“Bus service to the peninsula has been dramatically enhanced, and the ridership levels show that the public has taken notice,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo.
The lines run weekday service from approximately 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. between the Union City BART station and either the Stanford University campus or the Stanford Research Center. En route, the lines make stops at the Menlo Park VA Hospital on Willow Road and the Palo Alto VA Hospital on Miranda Avenue, two of the Peninsula’s major destinations.
In 2012, service along the lines was extended beyond its previous termination point at the Stanford Oval. The service now goes all the way to the Stanford Medical Center, and the bus schedules have been adjusted to correlate with the hospital’s shift times.
With availability of additional Regional Measure Two funds, a number of service improvements were implemented last year, including:
• Route DB1 frequency increased from every 30 minutes to every 20 minutes.
• Route DB1 span of service extended to 8:43 PM.
• 11 trips added to Route DB and 32 trips added to Route DB1.
• Route DB extended to operate to the Stanford Oval, with a stop near the Stanford Hospital.
These service enhancements coincide with the noticeable increase in Dumbarton Express ridership. Passenger levels have jumped from an average of about 25,000 monthly riders in 2012 to more than 29,000 monthly riders this year. The increase includes a record high 30, 552 riders in August 3013 — a whopping seven percent ridership increase over July 2013.
Along with the route and schedule changes, a reduction in the amount of parking at Stanford, eliminating the need for riders to transfer to get to their destinations, free WiFi and steadily rising gas prices are also likely factors contributing to the increase in ridership.