The SamTrans Board voted to adopt the final new SamTrans bus network as recommended by Reimagine SamTrans, a nearly three-year analysis of the bus system designed to improve service and respond to ridership and travel patterns throughout San Mateo County. This new network features increased frequency on 15 routes in the system on weekdays and weekends, additional service later in the evenings and on weekends, more direct routes and reduced duplication of service, improved access with new routes and connections, new on-demand services, and discontinued service on select routes and route segments.
The new service plan, which can be found here, will start to be introduced in August 2022 in a phased implementation to be determined by expected workforce levels. Future implementation phases will correspond with scheduled service changes throughout 2023. The agency is actively hiring additional bus operators to support the expanded service, leading SamTrans to expand its hiring efforts.
In the new network, Routes ECR, 130 and 296 will join Route 120 in offering service every 15 minutes throughout the day, seven days a week. Routes 278 and 276 will run later hours on weekdays, while Routes 121, 130 and 281 will run later on weekends. Routes 251, 260, 275, 276 and 295 will see more weekend service. SamTrans will better serve college campuses, as new Route 124 will provide more direct service from BART to Skyline College while Route 141 will connect South San Francisco to the campus, new Route 249 will provide a new direct route from downtown San Mateo to the College of San Mateo, and Route 281 will be extended to Stanford University from East Palo Alto. Additionally, connections to job centers were a priority, resulting in Route 130 offering new service to Oyster Point, while the new Route EPX connecting East Palo Alto and Redwood City to SFO and the San Bruno BART Station.
Reimagine SamTrans launched in June 2019, with the goal of analyzing the current state of the SamTrans bus system and conducting widespread outreach and market research to refresh the system. Those efforts resulted in the creation of three new bus network alternatives with potential changes to each route in the system, and after receiving further public feedback, those alternatives were developed into a single preferred bus system.
The draft Recommended Network was first presented to the Board at the August 2021 Virtual Board Retreat. After hearing the Board’s feedback, staff finalized the draft Recommended Network, which was taken to stakeholders and the public for the last of three rounds of public outreach. The Reimagine SamTrans public outreach process concluded with a formal public hearing held at SamTrans’ November 2021 Board meeting after over 200 outreach meetings and events, and over 4,000 comments were received on the proposed route changes which were analyzed and included in the final recommendation. The Board was presented with the final recommended network last month.
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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