Executive Director's Message
July 20, 2015
Executive Director, YCTD
I would like to give you the following updates on our efforts to improve on-time performance and our fleet of buses.
On-Time Performance We know that the huge concern of many of you is on-time performance. While we are taking several steps to improve the timeliness of our bus service, we recognize that the steps outlined below are a partial description of what needs to get done.
Starting July 5th, we made several changes:
1. Route 242 (Woodland to Davis) and Interlined Route 44 (Davis to Sacramento) The 242 has gone back to serving the County Fair Fashion Mall on the Gibson Road side, and not stop at the Transit Center of inside the mall parking lot. This will benefit the 7:23 a.m. route 44 trip in the mornings, as the 242 is interlined (uses the same bus) with that route 44 trip. In the afternoon, because we added 3 minutes to the running time of the 4:16 pm route 44 (Sacramento to Davis) trip, that means that the afternoon 242 trip from Davis to Woodland starts its trip 3 minutes later than previously.
2. Downtown Sacramento Service Changes--We changed the routing in downtown Sacramento for several outbound trips headed to Davis and West Sacramento. This affects routes 39, 40, 41, 42A, 43, 44, 230, 231, 232, 240, 241 and 340. These outbound buses (all except routes 42B and 45) no longer do the 5th to L Street deviation, but will instead stay on Capitol Mall. This should save 2-3 minutes running time. Additionally, we continue to seek City of Sacramento approval to add at least a temporary new bus stop on Capitol Mall at 4th Street.
We also added 3 minutes running time for all afternoon buses that run down 9th Street, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. This affects routes 39, 42A, 42B, 43, 44, 45, 230, 231, 232, and 240.
Afternoon Buses Deadheading to First Downtown Bus Stop--Many of our afternoon peak hour buses deadhead from our bus yard in Woodland to downtown Sacramento. Starting Monday, July 20th, Transdev, our bus service contractor, will have nine buses leave our Woodland bus yard 5 minutes earlier than before, which should improve downtown Sacramento start times on several trips.
If you are still experiencing buses over 7 minutes late after July 20th, we want to know about it. Please call (530) 666-2877 or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond the commute hour routes, we are also reviewing the rest of our service to see how we can improve on-time performance.
To help you know where your bus is, we have acquired two real time electronic information signs that will show, in real time, when buses are due at a particular bus stop. One will be installed at Capitol Mall/7th. It has been programmed and delivered to Sacramento Regional Transit District, which is installing it on our behalf.
Over the next few weeks, we are installing automatic vehicle location devices on every bus we might put into service, even recently purchased used buses, so that every in-service bus on a route will show up on your computer or Smart phone. To access real time information on where your bus is, go to http://avl.yctd.org/Public/Default.aspx.
Bus Fleet--As the following reveals, we have a number of projects underway to improve and upgrade our bus fleet.
Project Number Project Estimated Completion Date Investment
1. 27 existing buses have had seats added, along with upgrades in the wheelchair securement devices. July 15, 2015 $302,000
2. 9 new paratransit vehicles for transporting elderly and disabled riders, are on order. To be delivered between September and October, 2015 $1.18 million
3. 7 existing buses are getting new natural gas fuel tanks Between August and October, 2015 $450,000
4. 7 existing buses will be rehabilitated with new engines, upholstery, natural gas fuel tanks, paint, some added seating and upgrades in the wheelchair securement devices. Between October, 2015 and January, 2016 $2.44 million
5. 9 new 40-foot buses are on order To be delivered by January, 2017 $4.8 million
6. We are seeking funding for Up to 2 more paratransit vehicles. If funded, these vehicles can be delivered between December, 2015 and June, 2016 $220,000, depending on grants
7. We are applying for funding for 15 new alternative fueled buses, 2 of which will be electric The delivery date for these buses is dependent upon:
a) If our funding request is approved by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)
b) In the case of the 2 electric buses, we will be seeking financial assistance, using "Cap and Trade" funds from the California Air Resources Board to make up the bus price difference.
c) The timing on when we have access to the funds from SACOG and CARB will affect when we can order and receive these buses.
d) These buses are not expected until sometime between mid 2017 to 2019.
Over $9 million, depending on grants
We also acquired some used buses from other agencies. You deserve to know why. These buses are meant to be a temporary measure to help us get through some of the improvements described above.
Several natural gas buses were acquired from Sonoma County Transit to help us deal with expanded Yolobus service during the Caltrans "Fix 50" project. That project, funded by Caltrans, was finished, but with so many buses (14) about to be rehabilitated between now and January, we elected keep 5 Sonoma buses and purchase 3 additional buses from Sacramento Regional Transit District.
Five (5) of the 8 buses from Sonoma and Sacramento will be retired near the beginning of 2016. The last 3 buses will be retired around February, 2017-- after the 9 new ordered buses arrive.
Terry Bassett, Executive Director
Yolo County Transportation District