Innovative approach for ADA qualified riders eliminates need for transfers.
LIVERMORE, CA – CONCORD, CA – The Boards of Directors of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (Wheels) and the Central Contra Costa County Transit Authority (County Connection) have approved the consolidation of paratransit services previously operated independently by the two transit systems. The innovative approach of this partnership will help increase agency productivity, improve service delivery, and enhance the customer experience, as evidenced by a recent customer satisfaction survey. This agreement follows a successful pilot project to test the concept, called One-Seat Ride, which features regional collaboration between Wheels, County Connection, WestCat, and Tri-Delta Transit that was designed to address essential paratransit interagency travel during COVID-19 that took riders, within the four participating agencies’ areas of service, to their final destination with no transfers.
“This new partnership with County Connection goes way beyond the One-Seat concept,” said Alameda County Supervisor and LAVTA Board Chair David Haubert. “The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) required cities to provide paratransit service for residents with disabilities, but provided no operating funds. The consolidation of Wheels and County Connection paratransit services allows the agencies to more efficiently spend transportation funding dollars by sharing resources, while providing vital services to those riders unable to use a fixed-route service due to disabilities.”
Riders eligible for paratransit services under ADA will find using the newly consolidated Wheels and County Connection services streamlined by the availability of a smartphone app to make the transit network more accessible and allows passengers access to real-time information to track their ride, receive status notifications, cancel, and rate their ride. Currently booking a paratransit trip remains through phone reservation systems, however, coming this winter, riders will be able to book trips online through the mobile app as well.
“As the population ages, more and more people rely on paratransit to get around,” said City of San Ramon Mayor and County Connection Board Chair Dave Hudson. “With the growing need, we have to be smart about how we provide these services. This paratransit consolidation enables Wheels and County Connection to offer better access to transportation, especially to destinations that cross the boundaries of the two agencies without riders having to get out of their seat to transfer between rides saving time and enhancing safety.”
The new consolidation of paratransit services is seamless to riders. Eligible people for paratransit services under the ADA, those unable to use regular buses and trains due to a disability or disabling health condition, can make reservations 1 to 7 days in advance through County Connection LINK (925) 938-RIDE (938-7433) and Wheels Dial-A-Ride: (925) 455-7510. Rides are door-to-door and the costs to use the paratransit services are calculated by the reservationist at the time of booking. One-Seat Rides will continue to be available through the (925) 680-2134 reservation line.
About County Connection
County Connection operates fixed-route and paratransit bus service throughout the communities of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Martinez, Walnut Creek, Clayton, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Danville, San Ramon, as well as unincorporated communities in Central Contra Costa County. In 2022, County Connection received the Outstanding Paratransit Program Award from the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT).
For more information, visit countyconnection.com or call Customer Service at (925) 676-7500.
About the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority
The Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA) was created in 1985 by the cities of Dublin, Livermore and Pleasanton and Alameda County to serve area transit needs. In 2018 and 2019, LAVTA was named Transit Agency of the Year by the California Transit Association and the California Association for Coordinated Transportation, respectively. In 2020, LAVTA was named the top transit agency of its size in North America by the American Public Transportation Association.
LAVTA supports environmental sustainability by reducing vehicle trips and traffic congestion on local streets and improving air quality in the Tri-Valley region. In addition to passenger fares, the agency is supported financially by federal, state and local agencies, including the Alameda County Transportation Commission’s Measure B and BB.
Follow LAVTA on Facebook at facebook.com/wheelsbus and on Twitter @wheelsbus or visit our website wheelsbus.com for more information on Wheels and Rapid bus services, our Dial-A-Ride paratransit service as well as our Go Tri-Valley promotion with Uber and Lyft.