Service Enhancement Plan will roll out in phases starting June 2016
OAKLAND, Calif. – The AC Transit Board of Directors has approved the largest service enhancement in the District’s history. Currently known as the Service Expansion Plan (SEP), bus service will increase by up to 14 percent, creating a more reliable, convenient and efficient transit network for the East Bay. The SEP is primarily funded by the voter-approved Alameda County Measure BB transportation sales tax. Measure BB is projected to contribute almost $30 million annually to AC Transit. The District plans to invest approximately $24 million of those funds to improve bus service within Alameda County.
In 2010, AC Transit was forced to reduce service due to the economic downturn. The East Bay is now experiencing a revitalization economically, culturally and socially, and the approval by the AC Transit Board now allows the District to be more proactive with these growing demands.
“We were in an unenviable position in 2010, forced to reduce service that we know our customers relied on to get to school, to work and to medical care,” said
AC Transit Board President, H. E. Christian Peeples. “I’m thrilled to approve a service plan that both restores and enhances this invaluable service in an unprecedented way.”
The SEP was designed with improved frequency as its primary focus. As a result, we’ve created a Frequent Service Network, which provides more buses running every 15 minutes or better along several key corridors. Other lines will undergo a redesign to make those routes more direct, reduce travel time, and offer greater reliability. The SEP also extends service hours on designated lines.
“The SEP gives us the ability to focus on the rider experience,” said AC Transit General Manager Michael Hursh. “Service quality and reliability are the cornerstones of good transit service. The passage of Measure BB gave us the financialesources to build a more reliable and convenient network, not only for our loyal customers, but for those drivers who desire to leave their car behind.”
Approval of the plan included comprehensive planning and outreach efforts to educate the communities in the District. Specifically, the Board considered feedback from riders who offered suggestions on the draft plan throughout the public comment process; the public hearing process concluded on November 18, 2015. As a result of public hearing, AC Transit adjusted more than a dozen lines in the plan. Additional lines remain under review by District staff.
The SEP will roll out over an 18- to 24-month period beginning in June 2016. To execute the SEP, AC Transit is launching a campaign to recruit bus operators and mechanics, and is currently awaiting delivery of new buses.
Details on recruitment will be available in the coming weeks. The first set of service enhancements will be finalized and made available to the public later this spring.
More information on the SEP is available on the District’s website.