Starting Monday, August 19, SamTrans will introduce express bus service between Foster City and San Francisco aboard Route FCX. To celebrate the new service, the route will operate free of charge for the first two weeks through August 30.
SamTrans’ new route is made possible by funds from Measure W, the countywide half-cent sales tax passed by County voters in November 2018. Measure W was designed to relieve traffic congestion and provide expanded mobility options for San Mateo County residents. The route reflects goals put forth in the SamTrans Business Plan, including the expansion and innovation of transit services to meet the needs of an ever-changing community. This is the first of six planned express bus routes rolling out over the next five years.
Route FCX will serve Foster City’s residents and San Francisco-based employees by providing an easy, affordable option for commuters that will reduce and/or eliminate transfers required to complete their trip to and from work. SamTrans’ US-101 Express Bus Study showed strong demand for this service and found that current public transit options don’t provide a good one-seat ride for these trips.
“The launch of express bus service is an important step in addressing San Mateo County’s traffic congestion, particularly in Foster City which is essentially land-locked,” said Carole Groom, Chair of the SamTrans Board. “Route FCX creates a critical connection between two major employment and residential hubs that currently lack a convenient alternative to driving a car.”
Route FCX will operate five to six trips in both directions every weekday morning/evening at 30-minute intervals during peak commute hours. The route will utilize SamTrans’ upgraded fleet offering onboard Wi-Fi and a low floor design that facilitates easier, faster boarding.
The launch of route FCX comes as SamTrans is making efforts to attract new riders in the face of declining ridership in recent years.. In addition to connecting Foster City’s higher-density employment and residential neighborhoods with San Francisco, the new express bus route will support the District’s mission of serving those most in need of transit services with stops in northern San Mateo’s Shoreview neighborhood – an MTC-designated community of concern.
“Traffic management and mobility is one of Foster City’s top strategic focus areas. We want to create a sustainable multi-modal transportation network that will decrease traffic, delays and congestion,” said Foster City Mayor Sam Hindi. “FCX is a step in the right direction to achieve this. The new bus line will take more cars off the road and encourage public transportation.”
Route FCX also will expand SamTrans’ coverage area in San Francisco by adding stops in the Civic Center area in addition to serving the Financial District. The route also connects to Muni, San Francisco Ferry, and BART along Market & Embarcadero, and AC Transit via the Salesforce Transit Center.
This new service comes as the board is set to vote on proposed fare changes (effective January 2020 upon approval) at their August 7 meeting. Proposed fare changes include the introduction of a $4.50 adult single-ride Express Bus fare and the elimination of the agency’s “out-of-San Francisco” surcharge for local service routes, which will make understanding and paying fares aboard express bus routes simpler for riders.
Upon completion of San Mateo County’s US-101 Express Lane Project in 2022, express bus riders will have access to the newly constructed lanes for improved reliability and travel time.
Route FCX fare and schedule information can be found online at www.SamTrans.com/FCX. For more information or assistance planning your trip, call SamTrans Customer Service at 1.800.660.4287 (TTY 650.508.6448) or visit www.SamTrans.com.
About SamTrans: SamTrans operates 70 routes throughout San Mateo County. Funded in part by a half-cent sales tax, the San Mateo County Transit District also provides administrative support for Caltrain and the San Mateo County Transportation Authority. SamTrans has provided bus service to San Mateo County customers since 1976.
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