2023 Year in Review

2023 has been an eventful year for SamTrans, with many great accomplishments that will benefit the people of San Mateo County for years to come. This page is a brief summary of what we accomplished this year.
April Chan receiving award


SamTrans General Manager/CEO April Chan named Bay Area Transit Woman of the Year 

Women’s Transportation Seminar (WTS), an organization that helps advance women in the transportation industry, chose Chan for the award back in July and honored her at an event in Oakland on Sept. 20. Chan became the head of SamTrans in November 2022 after more than 20 years with the agency, including her previous role as deputy general manager/CEO.


SamTrans begins rolling out next-generation of zero-emission buses  

The transit agency launched its newest battery-electric bus (BEB) into service this past summer and 16 more have followed this year. In December, the San Mateo County Transit District Board of Directors approved a contract to purchase 108 hydrogen fuel-cell electric buses, and by early next year, SamTrans will begin adding several of those buses into service. 

Microtransit service launched in portions of San Mateo County  

Ride Plus has been gaining in popularity since its June launch. Ride Plus is a microtransit service that allows people to book vans for short trips within East Palo Alto, Half Moon Bay, and the Belle Haven neighborhood of Menlo Park.

SamTrans simplifies fares in the New Year  

After a period of public outreach and approval by the district’s board of directors, SamTrans is changing its fare structure and adding new options and benefits that will reduce the amount paid by many passengers. 

SamTrans helps celebrate Pride in Half Moon Bay and San Francisco  

For the first time in the district’s history, SamTrans wrapped a bus in Pride colors and participated in two different celebrations this past June. The transit agency also helped get many passengers to the region’s various Pride events. 

New bike racks are coming to some buses to help fit fatter tires  

You've probably seen the larger tires on some of the new e-bikes and standard bicycles, too. All the new SamTrans buses now have larger racks to accommodate those bigger tires, and some of the older buses have them, too. 

SamTrans tests complete streets designs on El Camino Real 

An exciting demonstration took place along El Camino Real in the city of South San Francisco this past summer to test safety and efficiency for pedestrians, bikes and transit.  

Steps underway to improve the system’s network of bus stops 

Results from an online survey in the spring are helping SamTrans make decisions regarding seating and shelter options, and real-time bus arrival information at its bus stops. Based on the information collected, SamTrans is working on a plan for how to phase in the improvements to bus stops in the coming years.  

Board of Directors passes first-ever two-year SamTrans budget  

The SamTrans Board of Directors made history back in June when members approved the first biennial budget cycle in the transit district’s over four decades of operation.  The two-year budget will help SamTrans with the purchase of its zero-emission bus fleet, as well as expanding the Reimagine SamTrans project.

SamTrans participates in Hometown Holidays 

On Saturday, December 9, a custom decorated SamTrans holiday bus made its 12th appearance in downtown Redwood City for the annual Hometown Holidays Festival & Parade. The event featured a parade, live entertainment, carnival rides, photos with Santa in the History Museum, and a children’s carnival. SamTrans also had free SamTrans-branded Santa hats for attendees.  

Board greenlights acquisition of new headquarters building 
HQ Gateway at Millbrae

In December, the SamTrans Board of Directors authorized the general manager to move forward with the acquisition of an approximately 180,000-square-foot headquarters (approximately 157,000 sq. ft. office, 23,000 sq. ft. retail) building located at the Gateway at Millbrae Station, adjacent to a transit center serving SamTrans, Caltrain and BART.  

SamTrans launches first-ever same-day paratransit pilot program 

The San Mateo County Transit District will test a same-day paratransit pilot program over the next 12 months, from December 2023 to 2024, within its Redi-Wheels service area. The same-day option will be offered to Redi-Wheels ADA eligible customers on a space-available basis with no limits on the number of trips a passenger can request.

SamTrans awards MV Transportation a five-year contract to operate buses 
samtrans bus

The Board of Directors awarded MV Transportation a five-year contract to operate just under a third of the agency’s fixed-route bus service. The contract to provide Contracted Urban Bus (CUB) service will run from 2024 to 2029. Award of the contract provides SamTrans with an experienced firm responsible for operating, dispatching, managing, and maintaining the district-provided buses for CUB services in a safe, timely and professional manner.

Year in Review Archive