Express Bus Program

VTA Approved a New Partnership Model for Express Bus Routes
 

On February 6, 2020, the VTA Board of Directors adopted the Express Bus Partnership Program and the service plan described below, for implementation on April 6. As part of the New Transit Service Plan (NTSP) and an effort to operate a more cost-effective and efficient bus service, VTA identified bus routes that need to be canceled due to low ridership or high cost per passenger. Many Express bus routes fall into both categories.

Routes That Will Go Away
 

Routes 122, 182 and 185 will be discontinued as of April 6, 2020.

Express bus 181 will continue in the interim with a stop at Alder for passengers connecting to VTA Light Rail on the new Orange line. The 181 will be eliminated when BART service begins at Milpitas and Berryessa. AC Transit Route 217 has been serving the Milpitas BART Station since the end of 2019. AC Transit is the public transportation provider for the cities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including Fremont. 
Three Express bus routes were eliminated when the new transit service started on December 28, 2019: 120, 140, 180.


Routes That Will Remain 


Stanford Research Park stepped up to join VTA in funding four routes.
•    Route 101 will remain unchanged. The schedule, stops, and path of travel will continue for two trips per day. 
•    Route 102 will maintain its stops and path of travel but will run five round trips per day in lieu of seven. 
•    Route 103 will maintain its stops and path of travel but will have three round trips per day in lieu of four.
•    Route 104 will have two round trips per day, and will begin at the Milpitas BART Station no longer beginning at Penitencia Creek Station. The remainder of the route will closely resemble what riders experience today. 


Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, and the County of Santa Clara have partnered with VTA to fund five round trips per day on Route 121. The stops and path of travel will remain the same.

All updated schedules and route maps will be available on VTA’s website by early March 2020.

Express bus route 168 will remain as-is through the end of 2020. Proposals to pull the 168 off the freeway to operate it as a rapid route on Monterey Road will be evaluated in the spring of 2020 and VTA will collect public feedback before the final route change is implemented in 2021.


VTA’s Effort to Find Funding and Keep Express Routes in Service and Inform Riders


Before the remaining Express bus routes were eliminated, we reached out to nearly 400 Silicon Valley companies who may have employees who rely on Express bus service. By funding approximately 25% of the fully-allocated cost of the route, private companies were invited to partner with VTA to not only save an Express bus route from discontinuation but also to influence the schedules and path of travel. The new partnership model gives companies the opportunity to sponsor one or more Express Bus routes, and offset the high cost of Express Bus operations. Eligible Express Bus routes that did not receive partial funding from a company will be discontinued in early 2020. These reductions are among nearly 70 service changes that will address VTA’s structural deficit and help ensure financial sustainability for transit that VTA provides in our county. VTA began contacting local companies in May 2019, and we have been notifying Express bus passengers since August 2019 about the partnership funding program and of the potential service cancellation.

 

VTA Express Bus Fares and the SmartPass Program 

When the VTA Express Bus Partnership Program begins in early 2020, riders may pay the fare in one of three scenarios:

  1. Pay the full Express Bus fare, which is $5 for an adult. Youth ($1.25) and Seniors ($1) pay the same fares for an Express bus trip as for a regular bus trip.
  2. SmartPass passengers already have unlimited standard bus fare ($2.50 per adult) covered but need to pay a bit extra to ride an Express Bus. That difference is an additional $2.50 which can be paid by tagging a pre-loaded Clipper card.
  3. The old SmartPass Express program will no longer be offered, but employees of companies who sponsor any VTA Express route may use a new employer-issued SmartPass Clipper card for unlimited rides on any VTA Express Bus.

For more information about the new Express Bus Partnership Program, please contact VTA Community Outreach 408-321-7575 community.outreach@vta.org

For more information on bus fares, please visit vta.org/go/fares

For route and trip planning information, please contact VTA Customer Service: 408-321-2300 customer.service@vta.org
 

VTA Approved a New Partnership Model for Express Bus Routes
 

On February 6, 2020, the VTA Board of Directors adopted the Express Bus Partnership Program and the service plan described below, for implementation on April 6. As part of the New Transit Service Plan (NTSP) and an effort to operate a more cost-effective and efficient bus service, VTA identified bus routes that need to be canceled due to low ridership or high cost per passenger. Many Express bus routes fall into both categories.

Routes That Will Go Away
 

Routes 122, 182 and 185 will be discontinued as of April 6, 2020.

Express bus 181 will continue in the interim with a stop at Alder for passengers connecting to VTA Light Rail on the new Orange line. The 181 will be eliminated when BART service begins at Milpitas and Berryessa. AC Transit Route 217 has been serving the Milpitas BART Station since the end of 2019. AC Transit is the public transportation provider for the cities in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties, including Fremont. 
Three Express bus routes were eliminated when the new transit service started on December 28, 2019: 120, 140, 180.


Routes That Will Remain 


Stanford Research Park stepped up to join VTA in funding four routes.
•    Route 101 will remain unchanged. The schedule, stops, and path of travel will continue for two trips per day. 
•    Route 102 will maintain its stops and path of travel but will run five round trips per day in lieu of seven. 
•    Route 103 will maintain its stops and path of travel but will have three round trips per day in lieu of four.
•    Route 104 will have two round trips per day, and will begin at the Milpitas BART Station no longer beginning at Penitencia Creek Station. The remainder of the route will closely resemble what riders experience today. 


Juniper Networks, Lockheed Martin, and the County of Santa Clara have partnered with VTA to fund five round trips per day on Route 121. The stops and path of travel will remain the same.

All updated schedules and route maps will be available on VTA’s website by early March 2020.

Express bus route 168 will remain as-is through the end of 2020. Proposals to pull the 168 off the freeway to operate it as a rapid route on Monterey Road will be evaluated in the spring of 2020 and VTA will collect public feedback before the final route change is implemented in 2021.


VTA’s Effort to Find Funding and Keep Express Routes in Service and Inform Riders


Before the remaining Express bus routes were eliminated, we reached out to nearly 400 Silicon Valley companies who may have employees who rely on Express bus service. By funding approximately 25% of the fully-allocated cost of the route, private companies were invited to partner with VTA to not only save an Express bus route from discontinuation but also to influence the schedules and path of travel. The new partnership model gives companies the opportunity to sponsor one or more Express Bus routes, and offset the high cost of Express Bus operations. Eligible Express Bus routes that did not receive partial funding from a company will be discontinued in early 2020. These reductions are among nearly 70 service changes that will address VTA’s structural deficit and help ensure financial sustainability for transit that VTA provides in our county. VTA began contacting local companies in May 2019, and we have been notifying Express bus passengers since August 2019 about the partnership funding program and of the potential service cancellation.

 

VTA Express Bus Fares and the SmartPass Program 

When the VTA Express Bus Partnership Program begins in early 2020, riders may pay the fare in one of three scenarios:

  1. Pay the full Express Bus fare, which is $5 for an adult. Youth ($1.25) and Seniors ($1) pay the same fares for an Express bus trip as for a regular bus trip.
  2. SmartPass passengers already have unlimited standard bus fare ($2.50 per adult) covered but need to pay a bit extra to ride an Express Bus. That difference is an additional $2.50 which can be paid by tagging a pre-loaded Clipper card.
  3. The old SmartPass Express program will no longer be offered, but employees of companies who sponsor any VTA Express route may use a new employer-issued SmartPass Clipper card for unlimited rides on any VTA Express Bus.

For more information about the new Express Bus Partnership Program, please contact VTA Community Outreach 408-321-7575 community.outreach@vta.org

For more information on bus fares, please visit vta.org/go/fares

For route and trip planning information, please contact VTA Customer Service: 408-321-2300 customer.service@vta.org
 

Timeline

Title
Plan Development
Phase Date Range
-
Title
Public Input - 2019 New Transit Service Plan Community Engagement
Milestone Date
Title
Final 2019 New Transit Service Plan following public feedback
Milestone Date
Title
VTA Board Adopts Final 2019 New Transit Service Plan, including Express Bus Partnership Program
Milestone Date
Title
VTA contacts companies to sponsor routes, notifies passengers
Milestone Date
Title
Implementation
Phase Date Range
-
Title
VTA Service Planning and sponsor companies determine route and schedule refinements
Milestone Date
Title
VTA Board adopts Express Bus Partnership Program and service plan
Milestone Date
Title
Passenger Notice confirming discontinued routes distributed on all Express buses
Milestone Date
Title
Express Bus routes that don't receive sponsorship are discontinued. New Express routes begin service.
Milestone Date