Published November 17, 1998
Volume 6, Number 11

WHEELS 680 Express Bus Service Targets a January Start

January 4, 1999, the first Monday of the new year, will see the launch of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority's WHEELS 680 Express bus service between Concord and Hacienda. 

The service will be provided free of charge to all Hacienda employees. A WHEELS Pass, available at no cost from the Hacienda Owners Association, will be required. 

BART's on the Route
While the complete route has yet to be confirmed, LAVTA's Austin O'Dell reports that two stops on the route have been finalized, at the Mitchell Drive Park and Ride lot on the border of Concord and Walnut Creek and at the Walnut Creek BART station. 

The addition of the stop at Walnut Creek BART is an important one. It will allow, for example, commuters in Orinda, Lafayette, Martinez, and North Concord the opportunity to take BART to Walnut Creek, then take the bus from there. 

"The question of the route's accessibility from BART has been asked of us here frequently," says James Paxson of the Hacienda Owners Association. "It's great to see WHEELS responding to that need." 

680 Park and Ride Lot Sought
WHEELS is still intensively searching for a Park and Ride lot north of Walnut Creek, but so far have been unable to locate one. 

"We're happy to have added Walnut Creek BART to the route, but we'd love to have a lot over by Ygnacio and 680 that's the ideal Park and Ride lot area," O'Dell adds. 

While WHEELS has devoted the resources of its staff to finding a usable lot, they are also soliciting suggestions from commuters on potential Park and Ride locations. Suggestions can be sent to O'Dell via e-mail at aodell@lavta.org, or via telephone at (925) 455-7555. 

Following Route 9
Once the buses arrive in Pleasanton, they will follow WHEELS Route 9. This route focuses exclusively on Hacienda, beginning with a stop at CarrAmerica Center off Owens Drive. From there, the route returns to Owens, then turns southwest onto Hacienda Drive and southeast onto Stoneridge Drive. The route turns west at West Las Positas Boulevard, then north at Gibraltar Drive, and finally north on Hopyard Road. 

Special Commuter Coaches
The route will utilize specialized commuter coaches obtained from Golden Gate Transit and refurbished by WHEELS. 

The buses more closely resemble airplane interiors than most bus interiors. With comfortable, high backed seating and individual reading lights, it's clear they've been designed with commuters in mind. 

The service will begin with one bus in January, with more expected to come on line in the first and second quarters of next year. 

Free Flash Pass Information
To obtain a free WHEELS Pass, contact the Hacienda Owners Association's Transit Hotline at (925) 734-6551. 

WHEELS Passes may also be ordered online via the Hacienda web site.


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