Thanks to the City of Walnut Creek, County Connection will introduce a revamped Route 5 on Monday, August 18. This retooled service will provide direct and quick access between the Creekside neighborhood and the Walnut Creek BART Station. The route is anticipated to be popular, with buses hitting various stops every 20-minutes during peak travel periods. And, perhaps best of all, it will be free to all riders courtesy of the City of Walnut Creek, who will underwrite the fares for users.
There are 439 apartment units along Creekside Drive with an estimated population of just over 2,000 people. The “new” Route 5 helps convert an established denser neighborhood into one that is transit-friendly and is an example of what urban planners commonly call, “smart growth” – meaning growth that is directed in an intentional and comprehensive manner. While Creekside doesn’t represent new growth, the revamped Route 5 is a significant improvement to the quality of life for this established neighborhood and proves that the principles of smart growth apply to existing communities, as well as developing new ones “smartly”.
The “new” Route 5 is a good illustration of how a thriving partnership, like the one between County Connection and the City of Walnut Creek, can benefit public transit and the people who take advantage of our services. Without the City’s cooperation and partnership, service improvements like to Route 5 would not be possible. And of course, without the City’s financial support, the Route 5 fares would not be free.
The revamped Route 5 is also an example of good public planning. This retooled service is a result of the recently completed Adaptive Service Plan that County Connection produced earlier this year. This planning process looked at areas, like the Creekside neighborhood, to see how bus services could be improved and made more effective and useful to the public. With the implementation of the “new” Route 5, County Connection is bringing its Adaptive Service Plan to life and improving the livability of a neighborhood. It’s an organic, real and tangible example of good transportation and land use coordination of existing resources and existing development.