More people are turning to County Connection buses to get to work as San Ramon Valley grows and roads gets clogged with commuters.
Hacienda offers a free program that lets new riders try County Connection to get them from their Contra Costa County homes to the East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station.
"We're serving local commuters," Mary Burdick, County Connection's manager of customer service and community outreach, said. "People who are living in the Danville, San Ramon and Dougherty Valley are the people who are jumping on one of our buses and making a quick transfer to the BART station."
County Connection serves riders as far north as the Benicia Bridge and north Concord and west to the Caldecott Tunnel. Most of the riders who take buses to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station are from the San Ramon and Dougherty valleys.
"The Dougherty Valley is growing by leaps and bounds," Burdick said. County Connection "is a relatively quick service for people who don't want to drive."
County Connection has three major routes that serve the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station. All three routes go though the transit hub in San Ramon.
"Three bus routes go to the Dublin/Pleasanton BART station," she said. "One of them is an express bus route that runs between the transit center and BART. We have several buses that go in and out of that transit center. All three of the bus routes that go to the BART station go through the transit center."
Once buses drop commuters at the BART station, people can either catch a Wheels bus, free to Hacienda employees, or walk to work.
"Depending where within (Hacienda) the employees are, they can walk," Burdick said. "Those who are on the periphery near the BART station can just walk. The people where it makes the most sense to try our services are those people who live in the San Ramon Valley. It's an area that's growing quickly. You're going to get onto one bus and then transfer onto the Wheels bus or walk to their job."
Even if commuters do not plan to ride County Connection daily, Burdick noted it is always a good idea to get familiar with the local bus system.
"I personally think everybody should know what their transit options are," she said. "You never know when you're going to be stuck without a car or have a medical emergency that renders you unable to drive."
If you break a leg and cannot drive, she said, "it's good to know that you're not helpless. You're not stuck. You're not depending on someone else to cart you around. If you live near a public transit system, it makes sense to know more about it."
Learn more about County Connection at countyconnection.com . The website and mobile app offer real-time information about buses and routes.
Visit the Hacienda website to sign up for a free new rider program pass for County Connection http://www.hacienda.org/form/details/new%20rider%20program%20county%20connection
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