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North Central County Bus Improvement Plan


The North Central County Bus Improvement Plan (NCCBIP) studied bus routes in the cities of Mountain View, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and Cupertino. It started as a companion planning effort to the El Camino Real Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Project to determine how routes that traveled north/south in the study area and connected with the El Camino Real corridor may need to be adjusted or improved to better connect with a future BRT service.

The scope of the study was expanded to also analyze how VTA's bus routes connect with new residential and office developments and to determine if changes in land use were shifting travel demand that would require an adjustment in VTA service. Lastly, the plan explored how increased transit service on north/south corridors could be part of a solution for growing traffic congestion.

Download the North Central County Bus Improvement Plan.

Plan Findings

The plan found that the transit service that VTA currently provides generally meets travel demand with ridership and high-frequency service concentrated along El Camino Real and Stevens Creek Boulevard.

The study found that service to some areas of the county—specifically employment areas—is uneven. It makes recommendations to expand service in these areas and to improve connectivity with the major corridors as well as future BART service in San Jose. Some route adjustments and new services are recommended to address areas where dense growth is planned and is expected to generate travel demand that will warrant new service.  

The study also found that the generally low-density land uses and poor first/last mile connections along north/south corridors pose a challenge to shifting motorists to transit. The plan recommends a pilot program featuring faster, limited-stop service on the Mathilda/DeAnza corridor in order to provide a service that is more-time competitive with private automobiles and more attractive to north/south travelers.

Plan Recommendations

The North Central County Bus Improvement Plan makes eleven specific service change recommendations as well as two general policy recommendations:

Service Change Recommendations

  • Realign Route 32 to serve Maude Avenue in Peery Park
  • Establish new Route 55X service between Lakewood Village in Sunnyvale and Fremont High School
  • Combine Route 51 with Route 81, and serve Homestead.
  • Add service in Arques/Scott corridor.
  • Establish new Limited 354 service in Sunnyvale/Saratoga and Mathilda corridor
  • Expand service on Limited 328
  • Implement new Transit Center at De Anza College
  • Support Moffett Park shuttle
  • Extend Route 40 to Downtown Mountain View Caltrain Station
  • Consider new hub near Tasman/Great America
  • Add service in Lafayette corridor

General Policy Recommendations

  • Establish minimum service levels for Express and Limited service
  • Support privately funded shuttles and explore public-private partnerships


The plan recommendations serve as inputs to future VTA service planning efforts. It may be implemented through VTA's two-year service planning process when funding and vehicle availability permits or when travel demand increases justify increases in service. Some of the recommendations were included in the service plan that went into effect on July 1, 2015.

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