Try out a greener commute! Ride any County Connection route for free from Walnut Creek BART starting April 22nd through April 26th. Just hop on & go!
UPDATE (5/28/2019): Based on the feedback received, County Connection has decided to delay the proposed changes to Routes 95X, 96X, and 97X until winter at the earliest. However, the new Route 335 weekend service from Dublin/Pleasanton BART to San Ramon will be implemented starting this August.
At the February 2019 Board of Directors meeting, staff presented a service restructure proposal for routes serving Bishop Ranch in San Ramon. The Board authorized staff to begin the public hearing process for the proposed changes. Staff will conduct the following two (2) public hearings:
- Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Walnut Creek Council Chambers
1666 N. Main St, Walnut Creek
- Wednesday, April 10, 2019, 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
San Ramon Community Center, Fountain Room
12501 Alcosta Blvd, San Ramon
Comments are due by April 26, 2019 and may be submitted in the following ways:
- In writing to:
Director of Planning & Marketing
2477 Arnold Industrial Way
Concord, CA 94520
- Via email to email@example.com
- Calling Customer Service at (925) 676-7500 (Mon-Fri, 6:30am-6:30pm)
- At the public hearing in San Ramon or Walnut Creek (see details above)
It is anticipated that the Board of Directors will take action on the proposed service changes at their regular meeting scheduled on May 16, 2019.
- Eliminate Route 95X (see proposed Route 97X changes for alternate service)
- Re-route Route 96X to terminate at the San Ramon Transit Center
- Re-route Route 97X to operate between Walnut Creek BART and the San Ramon Transit Center via I-680 and Crow Canyon Rd. The route will also serve the Danville Park N Ride on peak trips going to/from Walnut Creek BART. The route will no longer serve Dublin/Pleasanton BART
- Implement new weekend Route 335 from San Ramon Transit Center to Dublin/Pleasanton BART
Beginning February 11, 2019, BART will shift its start of service from 4am to 5am on weekdays to allow extra time for a critical seismic retrofit of the Transbay Tube. This change will last for the duration of the 3.5 year-long project.
Alternative bus service will be provided by several Bay Area bus operators, including County Connection. See below for a map of all Early Bird Express routes. County Connection will operate two routes, Routes 712 and 715, serving BART stations within Central Contra Costa.
Visit the BART website for more information: https://www.bart.gov/schedules/early-bird-express
In partnership with 511 Contra Costa, we’re offering free rides on Express Route 99X for all of February.
With 5 morning and 5 afternoon round trips each weekday, Route 99X is a great way for commuters to reach destinations along Highway 4 and Pacheco Blvd, including County offices, the Pacheco Transit Center and the Shell Oil Martinez refinery. It’s also a fast and convenient way to connect between Amtrak and BART.
No pass is required to ride Express Route 99X in February, just hop aboard and enjoy a fast, convenient trip to your destination. Click here for schedule and route information.
County Connection is planning a major service and fare change for March 10, 2019.
Summary of Route Changes
|Description of Change||
|1||Increased service||Increase service frequency||Download map|
|1M||Route eliminated||Service discontinued|
|2||Route eliminated||Service discontinued|
|4||Increased service||Increase service frequency||Download map|
|5||No changes||Download map|
|6||Increased service||Increase peak service frequency||Download map|
|7||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|9||Alignment change||Remove service to JFK and along Patterson Blvd and Oak Park Blvd (to be replaced by Route 18)||Download map|
|10||Alignment change||Terminate some peak trips at new Washington/Michigan loop. Remove service from Ayers/Kirker Pass loop||Download map|
|11||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|14||Alignment change||Increased service||Extend to Walnut Creek BART (to replace portion of Route 15). Increase service frequency||Download map|
|15||Alignment change||Increased service||Remove service between Pleasant Hill BART and Walnut Creek BART (to be replaced by Route 14). Extend to John Muir Medical Center in Concord. Increase service frequency.||Download map|
|16||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|17||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|18||Alignment change||Realign route to serve Patterson Blvd and Oak Park Blvd (to replace portion of Route 9).||Download map|
|19||Alignment change||Increased service||Streamline route alignment between Galaxy Way and Contra Costa Blvd and between Concord Ave and Concord BART. Remove service along Bisso Ln and Stanwell Dr. Increase service frequency.||Download map|
|20||Increased service||Increase service frequency||Download map|
|21||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|25||Route eliminated||Service discontinued|
|27||New route||New route from North Concord BART to Bates Ave and Arnold Industrial Way.||Download map|
|28||Alignment change||Remove service between DVC and North Concord BART (portion to be replaced by Route 27). Realign to serve Muir Rd and Arnold Dr.||Download map|
|35||Alignment change||Increased service||Extend select trips to Crow Canyon (to replace portion of Route 36). Increase service frequency.||Download map|
|36||Route eliminated||Service discontinued. Northern portion to be replaced by Route 35.|
|91X||No changes||Download map|
|92X||Alignment change||Remove service along Alcosta Blvd||Download map|
|93X||Schedule adjustment||Limited stops trip to serve all stops. Minor schedule adjustments.||Download map|
|95X||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|96X||No changes||Download map|
|97X||No changes||Download map|
|98X||Increased service||Increase peak service frequency||Download map|
|99X||Alignment change||Realign to serve Arnold Industrial Way.||Download map|
|301||Route eliminated||Service discontinued. Service between Walnut Creek BART and John Muir Medical Center to be replaced by Route 311|
|310||Alignment change||Remove service from Ayers/Kirker pass loop. Select trips extended to serve Downtown Clayton||Download map|
|311||Alignment change||Extend route to John Muir Medical Center (to replace portion of Route 301).||Download map|
|314||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|315||Increased service||Increase service frequency||Download map|
|316||No changes||Download map|
|320||Schedule adjustment||Minor schedule adjustments||Download map|
|321||No changes||Download map|
|627||Route eliminated||Service to be replaced by Route 27|
|No changes will be made to school routes (600 series) or Routes 250 and 260.|
Summary of Fare Changes
Cash fares will be increased to $2.50 for all routes, and paper passes and transfers will be eliminated. Transfers and monthly passes will only be available on Clipper. Clipper fares will remain the same.
|Fare Type||Current||Mar 10||Additional Details|
|Adult/Youth Local||$2.00||$2.50||$2.00||Cash fare to increase by $0.50 on local routes. Clipper fare will remain at $2.00.|
|Adult/Youth Express||$2.25||$2.50||$2.25||Cash fare to increase by $0.25 on express routes (90 series). Clipper fare will remain at $2.25.|
|Children under 6||Free||Free||When accompanied by an adult|
|Senior/Disabled||$1.00||$1.25||$1.00||Cash fare to increase by $0.25 on all regular and express routes. Clipper fare will remain at $1.00.|
|Senior/Disabled, 10am – 2pm||Free||$1.25||$1.00||Midday free program to be eliminated.|
|Bus-to-Bus transfer||Free||–||Free||Paper transfers to be eliminated. One free two-hour transfer automatically given on Clipper.|
|Adult/Youth BART transfer||$1.00||–||$1.00||Paper BART transfer ticket to be eliminated. Transfer credit automatically given on Clipper.|
|Senior/Disabled BART transfer||$0.50||–||$0.50||Paper BART transfer ticket to be eliminated. Transfer credit automatically given on Clipper.|
|LINK Paratransit||$4.00||$5.00||–||One-way fare for all LINK paratransit trips|
|Adult East Bay Day Pass||$3.75|
|–||$3.75||No change. Daily fares are automatically capped on Clipper. (Click here to learn more)|
|Senior/Disabled East Bay Day Pass||$1.75|
|–||$1.75||No change. Daily fares are automatically capped on Clipper. (Click here to learn more)|
|Regular Monthly East Bay Pass||$60.00||–||$60.00||Paper monthly pass to be eliminated. 31-day pass for local routes will continue to be available on Clipper.|
|Express Monthly East Bay Pass||$70.00||–||$70.00||Paper monthly pass to be eliminated. 31-day pass for express routes will continue to be available on Clipper.|
|Adult/Youth 12-Ride Pass||$20.00||–||–||Pass to be eliminated.|
|Adult/Youth 12-Ride Express Pass||$23.00||–||–||Pass to be eliminated.|
|Senior/Disabled 20-Ride Pass||$15.00||–||–||Pass to be eliminated.|
|Commuter Card||$40.00||–||–||Pass to be eliminated.|
Phase out of paper passes:
- February 2019 will be the last month that paper monthly passes will be available.
- Paper punch passes, including 12-Ride Passes, 20-Ride Passes, and Commuter Cards, will no longer be sold starting March 1, 2019.
- Starting March 1, 2020, paper punch passes will no longer be accepted onboard vehicles.
Staff will be present at various outreach events to provide information on the service changes, help with trip planning, and answer questions.
We’ll also be giving away limited-edition County Connection Clipper Cards at our outreach events, so be sure to get yours before they’re gone!
|Tue, Jan 15, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Concord BART|
|Thu, Jan 17, 2019||2:00PM – 4:00PM||North Concord BART|
|Tue, Jan 22, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Pleasant Hill BART|
|Thu, Jan 24, 2019||2:00PM – 4:00PM||Walnut Creek BART|
|Mon, Jan 28, 2019||2:00PM – 4:00PM||Martinez Amtrak|
|Tue, Jan 29, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Lafayette BART|
|Wed, Jan 30, 2019||10:00AM – 12:00PM||Martinez Amtrak|
|Thu, Jan 31, 2019||2:00PM – 4:00PM||Orinda BART|
|Tue, Feb 5, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Dublin/Pleasanton BART|
|Thu, Feb 7, 2019||7:00AM – 8:30AM||North Concord BART|
|Fri, Feb 8, 2019||9:00AM – 12:00PM||Martinez Senior Center|
|Tue, Feb 12, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Concord BART|
|Wed, Feb 13, 2019||10:00AM – 12:00PM||DVC|
|Tue, Feb 19, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Walnut Creek BART|
|Tue, Feb 19, 2019||1:00PM – 3:30PM||DVC|
|Thu, Feb 21, 2019||12:00PM – 2:00PM||Martinez Amtrak|
|Tue, Feb 26, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||San Ramon Transit Center|
|Wed, Feb 27, 2019||7:30AM – 9:30AM||Pleasant Hill BART|
|Thu, Feb 28, 2019||1:00PM – 3:30PM||DVC|
|Fri, Mar 1, 2019||9:00AM – 1:00PM||Concord Senior Center|
|Thu, Mar 7, 2019||2:00PM – 4:00PM||Concord BART|
Subject to change. Check back for updates as additional events are added.
Can’t make it to an outreach event?
Call or email us for questions and to get more information:
Mon-Fri 6:30AM – 6:30PM
Service Plan & Fare Proposal Development
In summer of 2017, staff started the process to restructure service throughout Central County in an effort to increase productivity and to modernize the agency’s fare structure. The data-driven process started with a Comprehensive Operations Analysis (COA), a passenger survey, and staff’s interactions with passengers on routes with proposed changes.
Staff conducted six public hearings throughout County Connection’s service area in June and July 2018. In response to public comments received, staff adjusted the service proposal in an effort to minimize negative impacts. The final service proposal was approved by the Board in December 2018, and the fare proposal was approved in January 2019.
Do you have a student (grades 6-12) that attends school in Clayton, Concord, Martinez, Pacheco, Pleasant Hill or Walnut Creek? If you do, you can get a FREE County Connection bus pass through 511 Contra Costa’s SchoolPool program.
Get more information and apply online here: schoolpool.org/bus
Our new website will include a complete redesign with a focus on improving the mobile experience. Be sure to keep an eye out and send any feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org
In my last blog, I shared highlights about the history of innovation at County Connection. This second entry continues on the theme of innovation at County Connection with a focus on the past ten years, where we have been innovative in our labor contracts, our equipment, and computer-based passenger amenities.
County Connection has three labor unions that together, represent roughly 80% of our workforce, each requiring its own labor contracts. Public sector labor contracts are often full of annual guaranteed wage increases for all members of a bargaining unit that are covered by the contract. Historically, the related contracts have had guaranteed annual wage increases that are typically between 2-4%.
As the 2008/2009 economic recession began to recede in 2010/2011, there was concern at County Connection about including guaranteed wage increases in multi-year labor contracts going forward. This is because in 2008, 2009, and 2010 – while County Connection lost 25% of its revenues – we were contractually bound to give out annual wage increases we could not afford. Generously, all three of our labor unions voluntarily gave up wage increases in many of those years, allowing us to freeze wages for all employees over a three-year period, and helping us to avoid workforce reductions.
This is where we get to the innovation part. As the economy picked up in 2011, County Connection was to negotiate new labor contracts in 2012 and 2013. The Authority (our governing body) was reticent to commit to annual wage increases in new contracts out of concern of another economic turndown. On the other hand, after three years of wage freezes, the employees and their respective unions wanted three year contracts with annual wage increases included. What to do?
We came up with an innovative concept that to this day is rarely seen in the public sector. We call them the economic triggers. In simple summary, these triggers work like this: Should one of our key funding sources drop from year to year, the following year, any wage increase can be permanently withheld. Likewise, if County Connection has to endure a significant increase in fuel costs or in pension costs from year to year, the following year, any wage increase can also be permanently withheld. This allows County Connection a contract-based authority to not give out wage increases in response to unexpected significant economic blows. Again, this is something you rarely see in public sector labor contracts.
Another area of recent innovation was the introduction of Wi Fi capability on all 121 of County Connection’s fixed-route 30- and 40-foot buses. This has been the case now for over six years. Thus, customers of County Connection can be on the Internet while riding transit in central and south Contra Costa County. Moreover, we will be starting in 2018 to replace all the routers on all of our fixed-route buses to move to the next level of router technology. This will make Internet usage on County Connection buses even faster and more reliable.
Also within the last ten years, we have implemented a feature we call Bus Tracker. Bus Tracker uses software to track every County Connection bus at all times. This lets County Connection management better oversee the system for on-time performance and service quality. Even better, not only do we know where every bus is precisely at a given time, but also our customers can similarly track the whereabouts of any bus at any time by accessing our webpage, or on an app via a desktop, laptop, pad, or smartphone. Thus, customers can reduce their wait time by only arriving at a bus stop a few minutes before the bus comes.
The last highlight I want to share is about our state-of-the-art buses. County Connection introduced its first four battery electric buses in late 2016 and by the end of 2018 we will have four more in operation for a total of eight battery electric buses in our fleet. These are the first battery electric buses manufactured by local (Livermore) bus manufacturer Gillig. And, they are the first to be inductively charged while on route.
Inductive charging in the field allows for a bus to be out in service for much longer periods of time than a traditionally charged battery electric bus. Inductive charging also promises to extend battery life – saving County Connection the expenses related to battery replacement.
With the State of California about to mandate the purchase and usage of zero emission-based buses (battery electric or fuel cell powered), finding innovative ways to extend battery life and range is going to be critical in making compliance to this mandate work. County Connection – with its innovative inductive charging – is already doing just that.
These are just a few of the innovative approaches that County Connection has implemented to enhance rider experience and improve how the agency delivers its service. As 2018 comes to a close, we are proud of how these past innovations are helping us to lay the foundation towards adopting new technologies and meeting mobility demands in the future.
Click the link below to view the technical specifications for Inductive Charging Installation and Relocation.