Springtime Activities Abound
Late winter and early spring are always busy times around the County Connection bus yard. Our spring schedule for the fixed route system is implemented usually sometime in March. In February and March legislative proposals that will impact public transit are often in full play at both the state and federal levels. We are also in the thick of budget season as staff puts together the budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.
This year, we have the added tasks of setting up and conducting temporary detours largely due to road damage caused by the heavy rains this winter. This often involves working with a local jurisdiction as they make emergency pothole repairs. These will come up unexpectedly and require a quick coordinated response, as well as regular follow through. There are also the more significant, but less frequent, issues that pop up such as large sinkholes. These are longer term events and require a longer term commitment to an appropriate detour.
In addition, we also continue to experience a very strong job market in Contra Costa County. While this is great news, it means we are constantly in recruitment mode to ensure full staffing. This comes at a time when we are in the middle of a mini retirement wave. County Connection has been blessed with a well-experienced and veteran workforce. Lots of these folks were hired in the late 1980s, so now many of them have begun to retire after years of excellent service. So, in the midst of a hot job market, we find ourselves working hard to find suitable replacements.
It has also been a very active period in terms of various potential initiatives on transportation. A number of unrelated interests are nearly simultaneously pursuing or examining ways of making improvements to the transportation system. As such, we are expected to (or have an interest to) participate in these various efforts. County Connection continues to view itself as an important piece of the transportation network in Contra Costa County. Thus, to maintain that place, we are fully engaged in these assorted efforts.
As you can see, springtime is indeed a busy time at the bus yard. However, we thrive on being busy and active. This is where we want to be as an organization. Public agency inertia inherently leads to poor public service. Good public service needs to be supported by active, engaged, and energized people dedicated to performing such service.