Years of public transportation planning will result in changes to local bus routes starting Aug. 7.
The planned service updates, called “Reimagine SamTrans,” are designed to prioritize equity, efficiency and expanded connections. The first wave of updates is mainly line consolidations aiming to increase efficiency.
A full list of the Aug. 7 bus line changes can be found on the SamTrans website.
Research and planning for Reimagine SamTrans began in 2019. After three rounds of public outreach, the SamTrans Board of Directors approved the final set of bus network changes in March of 2022.
Future changes include increased frequency on 15 routes, more weekend
service on 10 routes, new routes to San Mateo
County community colleges and new on-demand service areas.
battery of Reimagine SamTrans changes has been complicated by an operator shortage, according to SamTrans Public Affairs Specialist Dan Lieberman. SamTrans is currently offering $4,000 hiring bonuses and a paid six-week commercial driving training course to interested bus operators in an effort to boost their staff.
Among the Reimagine SamTrans components on hold is an on-demand transportation service in Half Moon Bay. The project research led to the classification of Half Moon Bay as an Equity Priority Area due to its number of zero car, lower-income and/or non-white households. To meet the city’s transportation needs, the on-demand service will allow riders to book curb-to-curb rides. SamTrans hopes to launch the program sometime in 2023, according to Lieberman.
An on-demand transportation service was piloted in the Linda Mar neighborhood of Pacifica in 2019 as an alternative to fixed-line bus services. It was discontinued a year later due to low ridership. SamTrans says they are using the findings of the pilot research to influence how they implement the service in Half Moon Bay.
Ridership on SamTrans had been declining pre-pandemic, with a 10 percent decline measured from 2010 to 2018, and it tanked in 2020 due to the pandemic. By January 2022, 60 percent of weekday and 70 percent of weekend ridership had returned to pre-pandemic levels. The service updates will mean that an additional 170,200 people in San Mateo County will be within a 5-minute walk of a high-frequency bus route, according to the final project report.
Route 294 deviations to College of San Mateo and San Mateo Medical Center will be discontinued. Riders can access College of San Mateo with a transfer to Route 250 at Hillsdale. San Mateo Medical Center will be accessible with a transfer to Route 295 or about a five-minute walk. Route 294 will now operate hourly all day on weekdays.
The former Route 17 will be rebranded to Route 117. The new Route 117 will be simplified with fewer deviations off Highway 1, resulting in more direct service with buses every 60 minutes on weekends. Seton Coastside Medical Center will be added as a stop on every trip.
Service to Sunshine Valley Road, 6th Street, Cañada Cove, and Pescadero will be eliminated. Riders from 6th Street and Cañada Cove will still be able to access Route 117 with a longer walk. Riders in Pescadero will be able to use SamCoast service.
Timed transfers will be implemented at the Linda Mar Park and Ride between Route 117 and Route 110.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.