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Executive Director's Message

December 12, 2019-From Terry Bassett

The Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD), operator of Yolobus fixed route and paratransit services, is involved with several activities, all intended to help the district make improvements in addressing mobility needs of the public.

Comprehensive Operational Analysis

YCTD/Yolobus is currently undergoing a comprehensive operational analysis (YoloGO) to better understand and respond to the need for transportation in the region. An important aspect of this process is gathering feedback from the community on their needs.

In addition to "pop-up" meetings around the YCTD region, we conducted a "virtual workshop" to reach more people. After analyzing the feedback and other technical data, we expect YoloGO recommendations to be presented for public input early in 2020.

When planning a bus system, a transit agency can choose how to balance frequency and coverage.

HIGH FREQUENCY

high frequency bus lines

In a bus system with high frequency, the number of places transit goes is limited. By concentrating routes along main roads, buses can come every 15 to 30 minutes. Riders may have to walk farther to reach their bus stop, but might benefit from more buses per hour on certain routes.

HIGH COVERAGE

high coverage bus lines

In a bus system with high coverage, transit goes to more places. This means riders will have shorter walks to their bus stops. It also means buses will come by less frequently, such as every hour.

New Buses

6 New Proterra Low Floor Zero-Emission Battery-Electric Buses

All of YCTD's six Proterra zero emission battery-electric buses have been delivered and accepted. The first of YCTD's six Proterra battery-electric buses was tested in Heron, Virginia, to make certain that the charger will be communicating accurately with the charging system on the bus.

bus with wheelchair ramp extended person in a wheelchair riding the bus

The Proterra buses are low-floor, wheelchair ramp equipped, and can accommodate two wheelchairs on the inside and three bicycles on the front bicycle rack.

Twelve Proterra buses (six for Yolobus and six for Sacramento RT), along with bus charging infrastructure at both YCTD and SacRT, are funded by grant funds from Electrify America. Electrify America is a company that owns and manages a network of electric vehicle charging stations. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America, established in 2017, and is funding a number of battery/electric projects throughout the country.

Refer to the article later on in this message regarding the upcoming UCD Main Campus/UCD Medical Center Shuttle using these buses.

8 New Gillig Low Floor Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Buses

Eight new low-floor, "Near Zero" emission Gillig CNG buses have been delivered and inspected and are being prepared to go into revenue service by mid-January.

zero-emission Gillig CNG buses

We will be starting up another "name the bus" contest for these buses, where elementary school classes in Yolo County will have an opportunity to propose names for each bus. The winning entries will be announced at a YCTD board meeting and the children involved in those winning entries will be given gift certificates for ice cream or another treat.

Youth Ride Free Program

graphic of people boarding a yolobus

Yolobus pilot program offers free rides to youth up to age 18

Yolobus is continuing to support youth riders by offering unlimited free rides to youth 18 and younger throughout its service area. Beginning September 1, 2019 and continuing to August 31, 2020, youth can ride at no cost to get to or from school, the movies, recreational activities, after school programs or anywhere that Yolobus fixed route bus service and YOUR Ride (Knights Landing microtransit) travels.

This pilot is more than a student program. It is for all Yolo County youth within our fixed route service area and the Knights Landing microtransit service area . We will try it for a year. Over the next nine months, the YCTD Board of Directors will be assessing the program before deciding what to do with it in the future.

Our summer youth passes were a big hit with those that took advantage of the program. Not only will the free rides save money for the young persons, it will also save parents from shuttle service duty. Over 12,000 high school and middle school kids could benefit, as well as another 20,000 kids in other schools in Yolo County, plus other youth who are age 18 and younger.

The free rides for youth pilot program is subject to available capacity of routes and schedules in effect. There is no guarantee that additional buses will be put into service to provide more capacity. Because Yolobus passengers have a right to a safe and comfortable ride from the beginning to the end of their trip, youth will be expected to adhere to all passenger rules. A complete schedule to all of Yolobus destinations and stops can be found by visiting www.yolobus.com or calling (530) 666-BUSS (2877).

As with the Youth Pass, the free ride for youth pilot program asks that children under the age of 12 to ride with a companion aged 12 or older. Yolobus is asking that high school and middle school kids be prepared to show their school student ID if the driver requests it.

The Cities of Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland, the County of Yolo, Yolo Housing, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, and Transdev (the Yolobus service contractor) are helping to fund this program. Yolobus has also been working to coordinate the program with the Woodland and Davis Joint Unified School Districts, as well as the Esparto, Winters, Washington School Districts and the Yolo County Office of Education.

3 New Paratransit Vehicles good on ADA services and Knights Landing Microtransit

YCTD recently took delivery of three 7-passenger paratransit vehicles, which will be made available for both ADA paratransit and microtransit services.

The official YOUR Rise launch ceremony was held adjacent to the Science and Technology Academy just after the elementary students were released from class, and just outside of Empower Yolo, a center for families that offers support and services. The two adjacent places are primary gathering spots for the community of less than 1200 people.

Don Saylor and Terry Bassett at YOUR Rise launch

On the left of the above image is Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor and on the right is Terry Bassett, YCTD Executive Director, savoring the YOUR Ride ribbon cutting moment.

The ability to conveniently request, track, and pay for trips via mobile devices is not only changing the way people get around and interact in cities. Rural areas are reaping the benefits as well. This fall, Yolobus added its name to the growing list of transit agencies that are experimenting with pilot microtransit programs.

Of the many cities and towns the agency serves, the target of the new microtransit service is Knights Landing, a small rural community of less than 1,200 people. On-demand rides are available only to Knights Landing residents on a first-come, first-served, same day basis.

Rider campaigns encouraged Knights Landing residents to register for the on-demand offering by downloading a mobile app from TripShot, found on Apple App or Google Play stores. The summer introduction began with an offer of a few months of free rides. Post official launch, the promotion fares are $1 per one-way trip for adults and kids 18 and under ride free as part of Yolobus' service-wide Kids Ride Free program. YOUR Ride customers can currently request rides Monday through Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with service terminating by 5:00 p.m. In the future, operating hours may change with enough community feedback.

Don Saylor and Terry Bassett at YOUR Rise launch

YCTD and Sacramento RTD Boards Approve UCD Main Campus/UCD Medical Center Shuttle Using Battery Electric Buses

On Monday, December 9, 2019, the Yolo County Transportation District (YCTD) Board of Directors and the Sacramento Regional Transit District (SacRT) Board of Directors conducted public meetings regarding proposed shuttle service (route, schedule, fares) between the UCD Main Campus and UCD Medical Center, with limited additional stops in Davis and downtown Sacramento. The proposed routes, schedules and fares will be published shortly.

The proposed new service will be jointly operated by YCTD (as Yolobus) and SacRT, using 12 new battery/electric buses built by Proterra, which is located in Southern California. The proposed service starting date is Monday, April 6, 2019. The service will be funded for three years by a combination of federal and local funds made available by SACOG and UC Davis, as well as by fare revenues.

YCTD has been working with SacRT, UC Davis, UC Davis Medical Center, the Cities of Sacramento and Davis, and Electrify America to develop and finalize the proposed zero-emission shuttle service between the UCD main campus in Davis and the UCD Medical Center in Sacramento. The following is a depiction of the "wrap" of the Proterra buses:

wrap depiction of a Proterra bus

Each of the Proterra buses is low-floor, with a ramp and enough space to secure up to two wheelchairs. There will also be bike racks on the front of each bus capable of carrying up to three bicycles. Additionally, the UCD main campus and UCD Medical Center will add bicycle cages at the main bus stop near the Mondavi Center and the Medical Center, respectively, where shuttle riders may obtain card activated access. Work is also underway to find a way for JUMP bike station to be at or near the stops too.

UC Davis is working on ways to discount fares on the Causeway Connection so that undergraduate UCD students ride at no fee and pass holders who are either graduate students or employees will pay no more than they currently do. The fare for cash riders will be set at $2.50 regular, $1.25 for disabled and senior riders. Youth should be able to ride the shuttle for free, subject to ongoing continuation of the Youth Ride Free programs that the two transit systems operate. Daily passes will be $7.00 regular and $3.50 for disabled and senior riders.

The following is the tentative weekday schedule for the Causeway Connection, effective April 6, 2020:

tentative weekday schedule for the Causeway Connection

Roundabout in Madison Completed, Bus Timeliness on Route 215 Should Now Improve

Yolobus route 215 between Woodland and Cache Creek Casino resort has experienced several ongoing detours, due to major road construction on Highway 16 between I-505 and Esparto. Fortunately, a new roundabout in Madison is completed and will allow Yolobus to efficiently access the Madison bus stop without continued detours.

new Madison roundabout

 

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