The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) Board of Directors have voted to advance design and planning for two all-new draft service scenarios that could redefine the future of AC Transit's bus network.
The first proposal is called the "Balanced Coverage" scenario. In the proposal, the current bus network will remain largely intact but it will undergo some enhancements to increase the number of riders. AC Transit says the cost-neutral changes prioritize equitable access to hospitals and supermarkets, especially for households that do not own a car. In the design scenario, 20 bus lines are modified to enhance reliability.
In the second scenario, titled "Frequent Service," the core design principle remains equitable access to jobs, hospitals and supermarkets. To achieve more frequent bus service, the design involves reducing or eliminating coverage in areas with the lowest ridership and reallocating resources to areas of high demand. As part of this plan, 28 bus lines are modified to enhance reliability.
A third scenario called the "Unconstrained Vision" envisions the bus network's operation supported by new sources of significant funding. The plan introduces on-demand micro-transit or collaboration with transportation network companies in areas where expanding traditional bus lines may not be feasible. AC Transit notes the proposal is challenging due to the ongoing financial constraints induced by post-pandemic revenue losses, funding shortfalls and bus operator workforce challenges.
The combined scenarios received significant feedback from the public. AC Transit says public concerns covered a range of issues, including doubts about the practicality of implementing bus network changes by summer 2024, potential effects on bus operators, worries that bus line realignment could lead to excessively long routes and the possibility of cancelation of certain bus lines..
AC Transit has launched an innovative and user-friendly interactive map that empowers riders to explore the routing of each bus line, hours and schedules and the frequency of all bus lines. The interactive maps also provide users the ability to offer direct feedback on the proposed plans and share easily. The maps are compatible with mobile devices.
The interactive maps can be viewed on AC Transit's website.