A new rapid bus transit system will travel from Pleasanton to Livermore and is expected to shave several minutes off of riders' commute times.
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority held a ceremony Monday at the Livermore Transit Center, marking the start of work on the system that is planned to run from Stoneridge Shopping Center, up and east through Dublin and ending at the Lawrence Livermore and Sandia national laboratories.
It will be a revision of the current Route 10 that officials say will cut the drive time by 20 percent. It will feature a fleet of 14 clean technology buses that will stop at stations every 10 minutes during peak times. It's estimated to double ridership by offering such perks as fewer stops (27 instead of 70), new energy-efficient buses with low-flooring designed to better accommodate seniors and the disabled, and bus shelters equipped with digital arrival signs and bike racks.
The buses, in addition to being low-emission hybrids, will utilize traffic signal prioritization technology that will allow them to reduce travel time by getting more green lights as the signals "communicate" with sensors placed on each bus. "The Rapid" will have the same fare as regular local bus service -- $2.
Pleasanton City Councilman Jerry Thorne, who is chair of the LAVTA board of directors, said the rapid bus route will help Tri-Valley residents travel efficiently until a BART extension to Livermore is realized. That project, which is currently undergoing an environmental review process, could be at least 10-25 years away.
"Maybe we'll lure some people away from 580 and the congestion," Thorne said.
The system is anticipated to be operational in January 2011 and will cost $14 million to design and construct. A total of $11 million in funds are coming from the federal government, which Congressman Jerry McNerney (D-Pleasanton) was credited with securing. The service is projected to cost $1.4 million per year to operate, and operating revenues will come from bridge tolls, the Measure B sales tax and passenger fares.
The project is expected to create 120 jobs, which will go to people who live in Alameda County.
The bus stops on Route 10 are from west to east:
Stoneridge Mall, West Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Kaiser/Springdale Avenue, Stoneridge Drive, Canyon Way, Regional Street, Golden Gate Drive, Village Parkway, Clark Avenue, Shops at Tralee/Dublin Court, East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, Hacienda Crossings/Hacienda Drive, John Monego Court/Glynnis Rose Drive, Grafton Street, Keegan Street, Murdell Lane, Murrieta Boulevard, Valley Memorial Medical Center, L Street, Livermore Transit Center/Downtown Parking Garage/ACE, Livermore High School/Maple Street, Community Center/Madison Avenue, Charlotte Way and Sandia/Lawrence Livermore national laboratories.
As part of the project, two additional stops will be added between El Charro Road and Isabel Avenue once the planned Jack London Boulevard extension and Fallon Road interchange are completed.
Also in attendance at the ceremony representing Pleasanton were Mayor Jennifer Hosterman and City Councilwoman Cindy McGovern.