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AC Go: AC Transit's Most Significant Expansion Plan Rolls Out

Posted on July 5, 2016 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (0)

AC Transit's largest service expansion in years, dubbed AC Go, has launched on June 26, and brings an unprecedented 14% expansion in AC Transit service to East Bay riders. 


The first phase of AC Go includes these many service changes:


Extended Lines:

Line 12: The line has been extended from its current terminal, at 10th & Washington Streets in Downtown Oakland, to Oakland Amtrak. 

Line 57: The line has been extended via 40th & Shellmound Streets to the Emeryville Public Market, past its previous terminal at 40th Street and San Pablo Ave.

Line 99: The 99 has been extended to San Leandro BART. It will continue to serve Bay Fair BART.


Redesigned/More Frequent Lines: 

Line 1: The International bus now runs from 12th Street BART to San Leandro BART every 8 minutes.

Line 7: Frequency has been increased from every 40 to every 30 minutes.

Line 52: Frequency has been increased to every 15 minutes during peak hours, and every 20 minutes off-peak.

Line 62: Frequency has been increased to every 15 minutes during peak hours, and every 20 minutes off-peak.

Line 88: Frequency has been increased to every 15 minutes.

Line 98: The redesigned line now runs between Coliseum BART and Eastmont Transit Center via 98th Ave. The 98 will run every 20 minutes. The service day has also been increased from 9:45 PM to 11:00 PM.


New Bus Lines:

Line 6: The new 6 is meant to replace Line 1 service from Downtown Berkeley to Downtown Oakland, and operates from Berkeley BART to 10th & Washington Streets (12th Street BART) every 10 minutes.

Line 90: This new East Oakland line runs from Coliseum BART to Foothill Square via 85th & 90th Avenues every 20 minutes.


Eliminated Bus Lines:

Line 1R: Yes, the 1R: International Rapid is gone, soon to be replaced by AC Transit's Bus Rapid Transit Line, the first in the East Bay. Construction of the BRT line has prompted the cancellation of the 1R, but the newly added Line 6 is here to combat that cancellation for regular 1R riders.

Line 58L: The 58L, between Oakland Amtrak and Eastmont Mall via MacArthur Blvd, is gone as well, and its recourses have been shifted to improving the updated Line 57 and the NL with greater service.


New Buses!

Between the fiscal years of 2013-2014 and today, AC Transit has placed 210 new buses onto our city streets, with 96 more to come this fiscal year alone. 


These modern buses are slowly replacing AC Transit's old fleet of just over 600 buses. Many of AC Transit's older vehicles have well exceeded their life expectancy, and need to be replaced sooner rather than later.


With AC Go, 25 new 40 foot Diesel Electric Hybrid buses will be rolled out for revenue service between June and August. These are made locally by Gillig in Hayward, and are designed to reduce carbon emissions drastically.


In late 2017 or early 2018, 10 New Flyer Fuel Cell Buses and 5 New Flyer Battery Electric buses, both of which burn zero emissions, will be added to AC Transit's fleet.


Also coming in 2017 and 2018 are the introduction of 29 60-foot articulated buses, 10 double-decker buses for transbay service, and 10-foot buses. 


If you need an example of a terrific transit agency that has no problem getting stuff done, then look no further than AC Transit. No agency is perfect by any means, but we believe AC Transit can serve as a role model to other agencies around the Bay Area and to agencies throughout the United States.


For more information on AC Go, visit actransit.org.

BART Delays on May 4 Between MacArthur and 19th Street Stations

Posted on April 29, 2016 at 1:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Mandatory track inspections by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will cause 15-20 minute delays between MacArthur and 19th Street stations Wednesday, May 4.


This will affect the Pittsburg/Bay Point - SFO/Millbrae, Richmond - Daly City, and Richmond - Fremont lines. To achieve safety, trains will either be stopped or moving very slowly between the two stations. 


This is a routine inspection by the CPUC, the State of California agency that oversees the public transportation and utilities.


For more details, visit bart.gov.

BART Voltage Spike Investigation Continues

Posted on April 16, 2016 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)

The problem remains a mystery: what caused BART's mysterious voltage spike between N. Concord and Bay Point Stations? 


It's been almost a month since the first voltage spikes occurred, slaughtering "C" cars and taking them out of service. Normal train service has resumed, first with just "A" and "B" cars, but now includes "C" cars once again.


So the problem is gone for now - but BART still has not managed to diagnose the problem. Paul Oversier, Assistant General Manager of Operations, said, "...We need to get to the bottom of this. We don't want our customers to suffer through another round of this so we need to get to the root cause."


BART has developed a car specifically designed to measure track voltage at various locations, but still nothing. Only time will tell. 


For more details, go to bart.gov.

REMINDER: BART Closed Between San Leandro and Bay Fair April 9th - 10th

Posted on April 9, 2016 at 12:55 AM Comments comments (0)


BART will be closed from San Leandro to Bay Fair tomorrow, April 9th and Sunday, April 10th, while crews work on repairs to a decrepit part of the BART system.


There will be a bus bridge in place between the two stations, but riders who use the bus bridge should expect to reach their destination half and hour to an hour late.


For more details, visit bart.gov.

The First Bus Rapid Transit Line is Coming to the East Bay!

Posted on April 5, 2016 at 11:40 AM Comments comments (0)

The AC Transit Board of Directors has given O.C. Jones & Sons the official $108 million construction contract to build & construct the East Bay's first bus rapid transit (BRT) line!


AC Transit's future sophisticated BRT lines will travel between 20th Street & Broadway, in Downtown Oakland, to San Leandro BART along International Boulevard. 


The BRT system will replace AC Transit's existing Routes 1 and 1R, starting at 20h Street & Broadway. Unique transit signal technology will allow buses to partially control traffic lights, allowing a bus to pass through before turning red.


New, ultra-low emission 60-foot articulated buses manufactured locally by New Flyer will run on the BRT line. Each bus will have five doors to speed up the boarding and exiting process.


AC Transit's BRT system will be frequent as well - every 5 minutes during rush hours and every 10 minutes during off-peak times. Raised platform stops will be placed approximately every 1/3 of a mile.


The system will span 9.5 miles, with a majority of the line on International Boulevard and East 14th Street, in Oakland and San Leandro.


AC Transit's new BRT buses will also come with some innovative features - Interior bike racks will be included and new wheelchair tie-down systems will reduce dwell time while securing a person in a wheelchair.


The BRT line will make direct connections with 46 of AC Transit's bus lines, five BART stations, and Oakland International via a transfer to Route 73. 


To learn more about AC Transit's innovative BRT system, visit http://brt.actransit.org/. For more info, visit actransit.org.

Normal Service Resumes Between Bay Point and N. Concord Stations

Posted on April 3, 2016 at 11:05 PM Comments comments (0)

After a few weeks of off-and-on, to no, train service between Pittsburg/Bay Point and North Concord BART Stations, normal service has finally resumed, and BART is back on track.


That doesn't mean all problems are fixed, however, as BART still has no idea what is causing the huge power surges on the tracks and taking BART's 'C' cars out of service.


To actually provide normal service to Bay Point once again, BART has moved its 'C' cars to its four other lines and is currently only operating 'A' and 'B' cars on the Yellow Line, which are less susceptible to the mysterious electrical spike.


Will it be like this for a while? Well, until BART can track down its trackage problem between these two stations, this unorthodox 'system' will likely continue.


BART claims the Fleet of the Future will not be susceptible to this electrical spike issue, but the first cars are not expected to roll out until the end of 2016.


For now, BART remains in disrepair, disregarded for years by funding, and is now scrambling to solve its many inherent problems until its new fleet arrives.

Partial Service Returns Between North Concord and Pittsburg/Bay Point Stations

Posted on March 22, 2016 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday, March 21st, partial service returned between BART's North Concord and Pittsburg/Bay Point Stations during both rush hours.


A shuttle train now runs during rush hours every 15 minutes between the two stations, but the bus bridge between N. Concord and Bay Point still remains during off-peak hours. 


Until BART can fix the issue, this unorthodox system will most likely continue, a huge obstacle for Bay Area commuters to tackle every day.

BART Experiences Its Worst Failure in Years, as Services are Shut Down

Posted on March 20, 2016 at 10:15 PM Comments comments (0)

BART is getting worse, if you can believe it. Ever since the end of February 2016, the aging transit agency has experienced extreme electrical issues in the east-bound Transbay Tube direction and between North Concord and Pittsburg/Bay Point Stations.


The problem emerged towards the end of February in the Transbay Tube when certain BART cars traveling in the east-bound direction experienced a major voltage spike.


Relevant to C cars only, some cars were experiencing spikes in electricity that were up to 2x what BART expects, damaging a car's propulsion system and taking them out of service.


The problem emerged again this month when trains running between Pittsburg/Bay Point and North Concord/Martinez Stations experienced a similar voltage spike and were taken out of service. Currently, 58 cars have been damaged by this mysterious spike in power.


BART does not know where this mysterious voltage spike is coming from - it is possibly emerging from two power generators BART workers replaced a few months ago, but we can only guess for now. 


To combat the power surge, BART shut down all service between North Concord and Bay Point until the problem can be traced down and fixed. BART has set up a bus bridge between the two stations, but this is hardly a justifiable solution for very long.


Because of the power surges, BART does not have the typical fleet it usually does - with dozens of cars in BART's maintenance facility from the power spikes, trains have become shorter and more crowded. 


It may take months to find and repair the power surges on BART's System, which only adds to smaller, more crowded trains. So is there any hope for a better BART? The answer is, soon. 


BART's Fleet of the Future is almost here - The first cars are expected to begin revenue service next year. But that's the problem - that's next year, 2017, and the Bay Area needs relief now. 


We have to wait a little longer for help, but that's help which should've come ten years ago. For years, hardly any funding was put forward to help BART, and we're realizing a bit too late the mess of a system we've created.

Oakland Airport Connector Goes Down For the 3rd Time Since Opening

Posted on January 24, 2016 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Just minutes ago, the Oakland Airport Connector achieved something quite rare: Being delayed. In fact, the Connector completely shut down for about five minutes tonight, January 24th.


At the same time of the shutdown, an equipment problem near West Oakland was underway, which we attribute to the temporary shutdown of the Connector.


This is the third time the Airport Connector has gone down since its grand opening on November 22nd, 2014. The service between Coliseum BART and Oakland International Airport has an on-line performance of over 99%, much higher than the rest of the BART system.

More New Buses are Coming to County Connection

Posted on January 10, 2016 at 12:30 PM Comments comments (0)

County Connection's good 'ol 500 fleet has been used for over a decade on CC's express routes (mainly used on the 96X and 97X, but you can see one substituting for other express lines). And nothing lasts forever.


33 brand-new 40-ft. Gillig Hybrid-Electric buses are coming to County Connection's fleet over the next few weeks, and will slowly replace the old 500 series and the 200 series, which operates on some local routes. Similar to the 500's, this new fleet still keeps the unique "Bishop Ranch" livery.




For the soon-to-be retired 500 fleet, each bus has traveled over 400,000 miles in stop-and-go traffic. Sometimes it's sad to say goodbye, but high-floor buses are a thing of the past nowadays. For more information, visit countyconnection.com.