SamTrans fixed-route bus service began July 1, 1976 with the consolidation of 11 different city bus systems throughout the county. In mid-1977, SamTrans inaugurated its mainline service from Palo Alto to San Francisco.
SamTrans currently operates service on 48 routes and continues to make service and fleet improvements. Over the years, SamTrans has introduced improved vehicles, such as ultra-low emissions articulated buses and low-floor buses.
In 1977, the District initiated service for persons with mobility impairments through its Redi-Wheels program - more than a decade before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The service - provided by Redi-Wheels on the bayside and RediCoast on the coastside - has grown steadily as the San Mateo County population ages, and the service regularly provides more than 1,000 trips in a day.
In 1988, San Mateo County residents passed Measure A, a half-cent transportation sales tax. The San Mateo County Transportation Authority was created to oversee Measure A projects and manage the funds collected. Measure A was reauthorized in 2004 and will remain in effect throught 2033. The TA continues to leverage its revenues with outside funds to invest in countywide transportation projects. The TA has named the transit district its managing agency.
In 1991, the transit district expanded its operations by participating in the purchase of the Caltrain right of way from San Francisco to San Jose. Caltrain now operates 86 trains each weekday, including frequent commute-hour Baby Bullet express service. Less service is offered on weekends.
Caltrain is governed by the three-county Peninsula Corridor Joint Powers Board, which is comprised of representatives from San Francisco, San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The JPB has named the transit district its managing agency.
A shuttle program, which was introduced in 1992, continues to provide a vital link between Caltrain and BART stations and workplace destinations. More than 40 free shuttles provide transportation for an average of 8,000 weekday commuters.
Over the past 35 years, the transit district has become the face of multimodal public transportation services. The District continues to pursue partnerships, service improvements and technical innovations that will increase efficiency and attract new customers to its family of services.
8/17/11 - rph