Executive Director's Message
December 17, 2013
Executive Director, YCTD
As we enter into 2014, I want to wish you the best in the new year, and beyond. I would also like to share a few Yolobus updates with you.
Yolobus provides both fixed route and paratransit services to many areas in Yolo County and adjacent regions.
We have 10-in-house positions, and there are 115 employees (drivers, dispatchers, road supervisors, mechanics, utility workers, fuelers, customer service representatives and support personnel) who work for Veolia TransDev, our contractor that operates Yolobus service and maintains our fleet of buses.
We serve Woodland, Davis, West Sacramento, Winters, Sacramento International Airport, downtown Sacramento, Brooks, Capay, Esparto, Madison, Dunnigan, Zamora, Yolo, Knights Landing and parts of Vacaville. We provide about 1.7 million rides per year, using a fleet of 51 full-size buses and 10 paratransit vehicles. Some 87% of our fleet of large buses runs on cleaner burning natural gas fuel. We have provided over 26 million miles of service using natural gas buses.
Since Yolobus began in 1982, we have carried over 32.8 million riders - enough to circle the globe holding hands 1.35 times, enough to fill up 46 seasons worth of sold-out Sacramento Kings games, 29 seasons of sold out Sacramento Rivercats games, or 58 seasons of sold out San Francisco 49er games.
Bus Grants: We were recently informed that certain federal funds have been programmed for Yolobus to rehabilitate eight buses, buy nine new replacement buses, and buy seven new replacement paratransit vehicles to assist in transporting riders unable to ride fixed route buses. The timing of these purchases will be partly based on when the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG), which makes determinations for certain federal and state funding programs, allows us to go through the federal hoops required to receive the funds. Combined with other grants and bus purchases over the last three years, 35 (nearly 69%) of our 51 large buses will have been rehabilitated or replaced between 2010 and 2015 and all 10 of our current paratransit vehicles will have been replaced.
The bus rehabilitation process and paratransit vehicle procurements will take 6-8 months, while the bus purchases will likely require 12-18 months, all dependent on when we have access to the federal funds.
Connect Card: Eight transit operators (Yolobus, Sacramento Regional Transit, Elk Grove Transit, Yuba Sutter Transit, Roseville Transit, El Dorado Transit and Folsom Transit) have agreed to roll out smart card technology in what will be known as the Connect Card. With the Connect Card, riders will be able to ride multiple transit systems in six counties with one fare card and will be able to add value or time to their card without needing to acquire another card. RT will be beta testing the device in early 2014, with a planned rollout in late Spring by RT. Yolobus and the other operators will likely be added by Summer.
Service Schedule Adjustments: On around February 16, 2014, there will be several adjustments to bus schedules to hopefully improve on-time performance and connectivity between buses. The route 42A will leave the first stop in downtown Sacramento at 30 minutes after the hour, instead of 35 minutes. There will also be some running time adjustments on the route 42B. The West Sacramento route 35 and 39 have some routing changes in Southport and Woodland local routes 210, 211, 212 and 214 will leave the County Fair Fashion Mall about 5 minutes later than they currently do.
Standing Room Only Policy: We do allow standees on all buses except our MCI over-the-road coaches, of which there are six. We apologize if you find yourself in a standing room only situation. For those who can, it may be advisable to try an earlier or later bus, if one is available for the trip you are making. We suggest you call Yolobus to find out which trips are not full. Our current adopted budget assumes the current bus service levels.
Wheelchair Spots: We have two wheelchair securement spots in each bus. Ambulatory riders may be instructed to move to another seat, or even stand, in order to make room for someone with a mobility device who needs to use the wheelchair spot.
Bike Racks: Each of our large buses, except the MCIs, has bike racks capable of holding up to three bicycles. The bike racks are on the front of most buses. On the MCIs, there are two-bicycle bike racks that slide out of the luggage compartment. We suggest you click HERE to look up how to use bicycle racks on Yolobus.
Other Ideas/Comments: We at Yolobus value your input. Over the next several months, my staff and I will be on several buses and at several bus stops, to get your ideas on how to improve Yolobus service. We will post information on the dates and locations on our main web page at http://yolobus.com.
Terry Bassett, Executive Director
Yolo County Transportation District