Solano County Transit (SolTrans) made great strides as an agency in 2013 by finalizing and kicking off several initiatives aimed at providing safe, reliable and efficient transportation services for the communities of Benicia and Vallejo.
The Agency, through the leadership provided by the SolTrans Board of Directors, accomplished the following:
- Significantly improved SolTrans’ performance and competitiveness for future grant funds by increasing ridership over 6.5 percent and its fixed route farebox recovery ratio from 37 percent to 39 percent between FY 2013 and FY 2014 to-date.
- Eliminated an operating deficit and established a 15 percent operating reserve for weathering any future fluctuations in operating funding, as well as a capital reserve for funding state of good repair projects.
- Expanded fixed route service to California Maritime University (Cal Maritime) through an innovative funding partnership with the University.
- Approved a 7-year service contract with National Express Transit (NEXT) that began on July 1, 2013.
- Implemented significant capital projects that served to enhance systemwide security and operational efficiency, which included the installation of video security cameras on SolTrans’ revenue fleet after securing $271,124 in grant funds through the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (OES), and electronic fare collection systems on the local, fixed route bus fleet.
- Placed SolTrans on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s 511 regional trip planning program.
- Obtained a Section 5310 federal grant award of $33,383 for implementing an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System that will provide automatic reminders for clients who have placed reservations for paratransit trips.
- Implemented an in-person, ADA paratransit eligibility determination process, in partnership with other Solano County transportation providers, that allows SolTrans to maximize the quality and level of service for its paratransit clients.
- Completed a comprehensive Short Range Transit Plan (SRTP) for the period of FY 2012-13 through FY 2022-23.
- Established an innovative Human Resources Structure for recruiting and retaining well-qualified, permanent employees.
In addition, the 2013-14 Board of Directors moved the following projects forward, and the agency will continue to take progressive steps to complete them with leadership from the current Board:
- Construction of the SolTrans Curtola Park & Ride Hub to include expanded capacity for future transit services and parking for commuters.
- Renovation of SolTrans’ aging Operations and Maintenance Facility at 1850 Broadway.
- Studying the feasibility for implementing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) technology as fleet replacements occur over the next few years.
- Pursuing Public-Private Partnerships (P3s) to finance and maximize the quality of transportation services for Benicia and Vallejo, in partnership with the Solano Transportation Authority (STA).
- Implementing an Automatic Vehicle Locator (AVL) technology which will allow SolTrans to provide real-time arrival and departure times and enhance system security.
- Implementing the “Clipper Card” System which will allow for seamless transit travel around the Bay Area.
- The System Analysis and Restructuring Project, which involves evaluating SolTrans’ existing fixed route and demand response services from a holistic perspective and identifying opportunities to increase ridership, quality of service, and operational efficiency.
- Placing SolTrans on Google Transit’s national trip planning platform.