Published March 20, 2018
Volume 2, Number 3

Wheels Improvements Make ECO Pass Program

Even Better

By Hacienda Pulse Staff Writer

Established in 1989, the ECO Pass program funded by Hacienda gives everyone who works or lives at Hacienda free, unlimited rides on  all Wheels routes seven days a week, every day of the year. The ECO Pass program offered an outstanding benefit to Hacienda business tenants and residents when the program was launched; it is an even better benefit today thanks to changes made by the Livermore Amador Valley Transportation Authority (LAVTA) to improve Wheels services.

Existing bus routes have long served the Hacienda community. Local bus service connects each of the Tri-Valley cities to Hacienda, for example, which makes it easy for travelers to move between Hacienda in Pleasanton and other Tri-Valley cities as needed.

Conveniently for commuters, most bus routes that serve Hacienda end at the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station within Hacienda. The 54 bus route, for example, allows travelers who use the Pleasanton Altamont Corridor Express (ACE) train station to move easily from the ACE station to stops within Hacienda as well as the BART station.

For commuters traveling along Interstate 580 between the Tri-Valley and central Contra Costa County, the Wheels Express bus on Route 70X provides useful connections between three local BART Stations: Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and the East Dublin/Pleasanton station in Hacienda.

Middle school and high school students with families living at Hacienda can also use their ECO Passes on School Tripper bus routes provided by Wheels. The Pleasanton, Livermore, and Dublin school districts do not offer bus service. Instead, the School Tripper service helps local students get to their classes safely and on time.

Transit Improvements Based on Analysis
In late 2016 LATVA introduced several improvements to Wheels. These improvements were the result of LATVA’s Comprehensive Operational Analysis, a process it began in 2015 to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the existing Wheels service as well as to provide a roadmap for future service investments.

LAVTA changes to Wheels included realigning the Rapid service on the 10R and 30R routes, adding the 580X Express route, and developing the innovative Go Dublin promotion.

The realigned Rapid 10R route serves the East Pleasanton/Dublin BART Station, then travels through Hacienda on Owens Drive, and goes past Valley Care Hospital to downtown Pleasanton via Santa Rita Boulevard. From downtown Pleasanton, the route travels on Stanley Boulevard and Railroad Avenue to the downtown Livermore Transit Center, where connections can be made to other Wheels and Rapid buses as well as ACE trains.

The realigned Rapid 30R route serves both the West and East Dublin/Pleasanton BART Stations. It operates along Dublin Boulevard east to Fallon Road and then travels to Las Positas College, then to the downtown Livermore Transit Center and on to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory via East Avenue. Both Rapid routes are timed for easy connections to and from BART and offer service every 15 minutes on weekdays between 5:30 am to 7:30 pm and twice an hour after that until past midnight.
The new 580X Express route operates between the Livermore Transit Center/Downtown Parking Garage and the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. The express route offers coach seating, free Wi-Fi, and auxiliary charging outlets for cell phones.

Go Dublin is an innovative limited promotion that gives travelers a new choice in transit. Wheels pays half the fare up to $5 for rideshare trips that start and end in the City of Dublin on UBER, Lyft, and DeSoto Cab Company. To get the rebate, users must have the appropriate mobile application, apply the promo code GODUBLIN, and choose uberPOOL, Lyft Line, or DeSoto Share as the mode choice. This rideshare promotion is available within Dublin city limits on any day of the week at any time until the promotion expires on June 30, 2018 or funding is exhausted.

The ECO Pass Offers Many Benefits
This year LAVTA is adding 18 new buses built at the Gillig manufacturing facility in Livermore to Wheels routes throughout the Tri-Valley. When ECO Pass holders ride these stylish new buses–or any Wheels bus–they are cutting their commuting costs, beating traffic congestion, and reclaiming time for additional work or relaxation.

Moreover, taking a bus instead of driving a car means that ECO Pass holders are helping reduce carbon emissions and improve the Tri-Valley’s air quality. Between 1989 and 2015, some 5 million ECO Pass holders prevented an estimated 18 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions from polluting the planet by riding on Wheels instead of driving.

The ECO Pass program is also a great way for employers to support the environment by supporting their employees. Hacienda employers have the opportunity to include the ECO Pass as a no-cost perk to their Employee Benefits Program, saving employees literally thousands of dollars each year on the cost of getting to work.

Moreover, Hacienda companies automatically comply with the requirements of the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program (SB 1339) by simply by making the pass available to their employees. The ECO Pass program also helps employers manage their own Commute Trip Reduction Programs.

Wheels is an excellent transit system for people who either live or work in Hacienda to get to work, school, and local businesses. The free ECO Pass program is an excellent way Hacienda residents and businesses to take advantage of Wheels.

For more information about the ECO Pass program, please visit www.hacienda.org/form/details/wheels%20eco%20pass. For more information about Wheels, please visit https://www.wheelsbus.com. For more information about the Go Dublin promotion, please visit www.wheelsbus.com/godublin.