Proposed Continuation of Monument Free Program – County Connection

Proposed Continuation of Monument Free Program

The Public Hearing originally scheduled for March 19, 2020 has been cancelled and rescheduled for April 16, 2020.


Notice of Public Hearing

The Central Contra Costa Transit Authority (County Connection) will hold a public hearing to gather comment on the proposed continuation of a pilot program offering free rides on weekday Routes 11, 14, and 16, as long as funding remains available for the program through the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) or another similar funding source. These routes serve low-income communities along the Monument Corridor and connect from Concord BART to various destinations in Martinez, Pleasant Hill, and Walnut Creek, including BART stations, Martinez Amtrak and Contra Costa Regional Medical Center.

Comments can be submitted in writing via mail, email, or online, or at the scheduled public hearing. Written comments must be received by March 11, 2020.

How to Comment

  • In writing to:
    Director of Planning & Marketing
    2477 Arnold Industrial Way
    Concord, CA 94520
  • At the public hearing:
    Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 9:00 am
    County Connection Board Room
    2477 Arnold Industrial Way
    Concord, CA 94520

It is anticipated that the Board of Directors will take action on the proposed fare program at their regular meeting scheduled for April 16, 2020, following the public hearing.

32 thoughts on “Proposed Continuation of Monument Free Program

  • Please continue to fund this program. Our family of 6 is lower income and we have not had a car for 5 years. We live 1 mile from North Concord BART. We use Bus 11 from Pleasant Hill BART (and back) every Wednesday to go to Trader Joe’s and Flying Colors Comics. We also use it to go to orthodontic appointments at Treat & Oak Grove as well. We use both Bus 14 & 16 to go to Costco from Concord BART. When the free rides first started, we were still using cash which was prohibitively expensive. We now have Clipper cards and while that does help with the expense, the additional savings by having these buses be free helps our family quite a bit.

    • Dear Planning Members,
      I support the extension of this free program. I am on the Board of Directors for Putnam Clubhouse and know that our program participants benefitted from this program in the past.

      We are a mental health social rehab/recovery program for adults who work at the Clubhouse, regain vocational and social skills to attend school, jobs and reintegrate into their community.

      Members have not been able to attend due to transportation costs & the loss of this program. Living on limited incomes is already a difficult task and when trying to get help costly transportation doesn’t help. We are trying to assist them with this through fundraising, however your extending this service will help us and many.

  • My only issue with this program is that it is free. I believe there should always be some charge, even 25 cents, so that the program won’t be abused. This is a ‘free’ ride program, but it is not free. It is being subsidized by taxpayers and when this is not acknowledged it is misleading.

    • I take the County Connection buses quite often and there is no abuse of patrons going on free buses. As a matter of fact, I’m surprised at how few people don’t take the free buses. You’d think the buses would be standing room only. Far from it. Sometimes there is just a few people. The abuse comes from many people who drive cars simply to rush out to pick up something they forgot, didn’t write on a list, or having to fulfill a shopping or drink/coffee or gossiping addiction thinking they can’t live without it, then wasting gasoline, adding to congested traffic and promoting waste and self-fulfillment and getting together with others to say and carry-out negativity instead of community solidarity, conservation, stability and peaceful environments. I’ve rode my bicycle sometimes and most stores don’t even have a bike rack which explains massive car and driver abuse.

  • Having this program partially makes up for the service for handicapped and elderly that was effective between 10 and 2 on all routes previously. Please continue this program as long as possible to allow persons such as me to continue to ride the bus.

    • I don’t use the service and don’t live in the immediate area, but I support continuing the service. It is a great idea and addresses not only environmental concerns but also is of great help to those who rely on the service who are those who need it most.

  • I am in support of extending this program as a much needed benefit for our community. More and more people in CA are trying to survive on less. Every bit of help is important to prevent a slide into homelessness. Once the economy goes into a downturn again programs such as this will assume even greater importance.

  • Please continue funding this program. Assistance to low income persons is something that as a tax payer I am very happy to support. Transportation can be a very big burden for those with limited income, and this assistance can have a major impact on lives.

  • Free transit solutions are a great way to solve both the climate crisis and our homelessness problems. Homelessness is a multi-tiered issue, and programs like free transit can and should be implemented across far more of our Bay Area to help people keep their housing. And we all know that more people riding in transit is far better for the environment than people in individual cars.
    Congratulations to CCCTA for implementing this pilot program, and I encourage you to continue!
    -Susan Candell
    Vice Mayor, City of Lafayette (responding as a resident of Lafayette)

  • I believe that the program should be continued. The community really needs this service and it helps reduce carbon emissions,

  • I believe that there should be a nominal charge ($0.25) to ride the bus regardless of destination. This will encourage more ridership throughout the bay area.

  • Can you explain how low-income folks who DO NOT live in the Monument Corridor can take advantage of this program. There are other low-income/senior and disabled residents in the older sections of Concord, who no longer drive or don’t have a car; and I don’t know how or where they can access the buses. I am all for continuing the program if ALL low-income residents in the community can take advantage of the program, not just one specific area or neighborhoods.

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      This program provides free rides for all passengers on Routes 11, 14, and 16. These routes serve the Monument Corridor, as well as other destinations in Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and Martinez.

  • I agree that the program is essential to community and opportunity; there should be a nominal fee however…nothing is free. The fee should make the transport totally accessible!

  • With low income people becoming homeless as speculators drive up rents, this subsidy can be a lifeline. It allows people to get out and buy food, toiletries, medication and visit doctors, maybe even family and friends–trips that most of us take for granted. For those who cannot drive due to disabilities and/or the cost of owning a car, just being able to get out of the house can be a major spirit-lifter. I remember how stir crazy I felt after both my hip replacements when I was unable to drive. The money saved can go toward rent/mortgage, utilities and home maintenance and reduce the stress to which low-income people are particularly subject. I urge that there also be a means for people to take pets on buses–cats in carriers and dogs on leash–so they can take their best friends to and from veterinary care.

  • Please keep this program going. As a low income Senior who has had to give up my car and driving due to medical issues and disabilities this free bus service is very important for people like me to be able to get to places that I need to go. Thank you.

  • Please continue with this great program. I am retired and had seldom used Bus 11 prior to the free weekday service. Now I go on Bus 11 two or three times a week to shop, see movies, and enjoy the various restaurants at Willow Pass and Todos Santos. While I am not in the low income category, the existence of a free shuttle program to the shopping areas gives me a push to go out of the house. Thank you for this program.

  • There seems to be a bit of abuse of the free rides by a few who ride back and forth for hours especially during extreme weather. Since funding for this type of program is so scarce and competitive, maybe impose some hours restrictions when the rides are free or alternatively, make all routes systemwide free just on official Spare the Air days, for example, as WestCat is doing this year.

  • Yes! I support this even though I don’t live in the area. This will relieve congestion and provide services to more people. It’ll also help the environment.

  • Yes! I support this even though I don’t live in the area. This will relieve congestion and provide services to more people. It’ll also help the environment. Great job CCCTA!

  • Please continue the Monument Corridor Free bus service. I use both the 14 and 11 bus lines daily to get to work. I am low income and visually impaired. This is saving me about $70 to $80 a month, which I can use for food and other essentials. (My salary has not increased, but rent and other things have. Rent alone takes up 2/3 of my income.) The increase in service on the 14, as well as lengthening the route, has also been helpful as well.

  • If this Program continues to provide free rides for routes 11,14 and 16. Possibly you guys would have funding. Hopefully be able to support with Route 2 coming back. Without it. Is has been very difficult for me to get out of the house. If i take Lyft everywhere. My mom gets mad at me. I hope Route 2 can come back.

  • I think this is a great plan and should stay in effect. I just relocated from Oakland with my son. Having this service has really helped us get around and save a little money. I would definitely would love to help written letters or what ever is needed to keep this going

  • Please explain completely where the funds come from and how carbon offsets allow large polluters to keep polluting because they pay into this “FREE” program, so those that believe this is actually helping “Global Warming” will see Pollution is still happening by major polluters and those polluters do not actually stop polluting.

  • Living on Oak Grove (Renters) with my family of 5 and one vehicle. I use the 11,14 and 16 to go All over the place with my children 5,3. It’s like a field trip for them! Downtown Martinez, Todo Santos Park, Movies, Bart and more. With the bus being free we ride it all the time! I hope the funds are available to continue these routes to be Free! And if not, we will have Fun while it lasts.

  • I don’t own a car, and have always relied heavily on routes 11, 14, and 16 once I moved to Concord in 2015. Not having to pay for weekday travel has been a blessing, and makes traveling stress free. There have been days in the past where I’ve had to walk miles to places like John Muir or BART because I didn’t have exact change, or even enough money, to ride the bus. I have a chronic illness, and it’s been great not having to wonder if I have enough on my Clipper in case I’m out at FoodMaxx and I’m too unwell to walk home. I cried with happiness when I saw the announcement that the buses I use almost every day would be free, and keeping them free would continue to be a blessing.

  • Yes, please. Our disabled son lives on Clayton Rd and he uses these busses frequently. Not only does this program serve disabled and low-income populations, but it encourages general ridership which reduces the number of cars on the road. I wish there were more active weekend routes, too, especially Route 16 (it doesn’t have to be free).

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