Improving AC Transit’s Overall Bus Operation: Since 2000 AC Transit’s ridership has declined substantially and remains under 200,000 riders a day (about a fourth of Muni’s ridership) when it should be attracting at least 325,000 riders a day. Is this possible? Yes, but it will take some changes at AC. Some of the routes are fine; others are unnecessarily meandering and hard to use. AC’s maps are notoriously hard to read and AC’s PR program leaves a lot to be desired. For one thing, instead of focusing on how its buses are fueled, AC Transit should be helping its riders and would-be riders to use its system efficiently and it should be singing the praises of its “Next Bus” ap, which is making bus travel much easier and more convenient. See BATWG’s Proposed Improvements for AC Transit.
The following thoughts about AC Transit are based upon a letter sent to AC Transit on November 15, 2017
AC Transit vehicles should get transit-first priority treatment wherever and whenever needed to ensure that bus loads of riders don’t get bogged down in traffic congestion. In addition, certain other changes must be made to bring AC’s transbay ridership and total ridership up to par. Continue reading
As currently planned all of AC Transit’s transbay buses are scheduled to terminate at San Francisco’s new Transbay Transit Center. Why? Is that the only possibility? This is causing a horrendous bus storage problem. Storing buses in downtown San Francisco is expensive. So why not “thru-route” some of the AC bus lines; that is, combine some of them with a corresponding Muni, SanTrans or Golden Gate line? This would both reduce the need for downtown storage and provide new transit connections for riders. The idea is not new. In fact it’s been talked about at MTC for over 40 years.
To attract the needed 60,000 to 100,000 riders a day, AC Transit’s transbay bus service would have to get better all along parts of all lines, some of which run to as much as 30 miles from start to finish. To make the transbay bus service attractive to people who can afford to drive and park would require at least the following:
A relatively small number of high frequency transbay “trunk lines” say, 6 to 8, instead of today’s 29 separate lines emanating from 29 separate parts of the East Bay.
Updated June 20, 2015
During last Fall’s Measure BB campaign, BATWG pointed out the fallacy of handing almost $2 billion in Measure BB funds over to AC Transit without requiring any operational improvements in return. Here is a summary of what we had in mind:
1.) AC Transit’s transbay operation should be overhauled. The objective should be to increase transbay ridership from today’s dismally low 15,000 riders a day to at least 60,000 riders a day. This can be done but it will take a reorganization of AC’s 29 separate transbay bus lines.