Page 1

Commuter

Tribune

NEWS FOR THE SOUTH HIGHWAY 101 CORRIDOR - SUMMER 2012

TRAVELING FROM VENTURA COUNTY TO SB SOUTH COAST? DON’T GO IT ALONE! *****

*****

Over the next four years, Caltrans and its partners will construct a six-mile carpool lane in each direction for vehicles with two or more passengers, along Highway 101 from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County. This is the second stage of a four stage highway improvement project on Highway 101 between Ventura and Santa Barbara. SBCAG Traffic Solutions is committed to making the commute through this corridor as easy and pain-free as pos-

*****

NEW VISTA BUS SERVICE OPERATOR After several weeks of uncertainty about the future of the VISTA bus service, the Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC) approved a contract with Camarillo-based Roadrunner to operate the popular VISTA intercommunity bus service. The 11-month pact ensures VISTA will operate the current schedule through at least June 30, 2013. “I am very pleased to announce that Ventura County residents will enjoy the same routes and hours, same fares, and many of the same drivers that our customers have come to value across the past several years,” noted VCTC Board Chair John Zaragoza. “Our new partner, Roadrunner, has worked aggressively across the past few weeks to make this happen, including

organizing a fleet of newly refurbished vehicles. Maintaining quality intercommunity bus service has been our cornerstone goal.” To support the new program, VCTC has introduced both a monthly pass offering unlimited rides as well as a discount-rate 10-ride pass. VISTA riders will continue to enjoy free transfers between VISTA and each of Ventura County’s other public bus services. VCTC will continue to update its website (www.goventura.org) to reflect program developments, as well as distribute Rider Alerts onboard its vehicles. VCTC staff will be out in the field during the first week of August to ensure a smooth service transition. ...Continued on page 2

*****

*****

*****

sible during construction and beyond. A number of new programs and services are available for commuters that travel Highway 101, including CalVans vanpools, the Coastal Express Limited bus service, and SmartRide Real-Time Ridesharing using smartphone and cell phone technology. If you travel the Highway 101 Corridor between Ventura County and Santa Barbara or Goleta, you can save yourself a ton of money and stress by, carpooling, vanpooling, or taking the bus.

COASTAL EXPRESS LIMITED FARE REDUCTION ON AUGUST 1ST AND SERVICE CHANGES ON AUGUST 27TH The Coastal Express Limited bus service operates weekdays between the Ventura County Government Center and Santa Barbara and Goleta. This service is managed by SBCAG and operated by the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District. Limited buses are equipped with reclining seats, individual overhead lighting and WiFi.

Coastal Express Limited routes serve fewer stops than the VISTA Coastal Express, providing a more streamlined and shorter commute. To better serve the needs of commuters in the corridor, on August 1 the Coastal Express Limited cash fare will be reduced from $6.00 to $4.00 per trip, the 10-Ride pass will fall to ...Continued on page 2

FREE WEEK OF VANPOOLING JULY 30 – AUGUST 3 PROVIDED BY CALVANS

The California Vanpool Authority (CalVans) is a newly formed state transit agency that provides vanpool service to 16 counties in California, including Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. SBCAG became a member of CalVans in 2011.

Vanpooling is a great way to experience some of the cost savings, stress reduction and environmental benefits of transit, but can also be tailored to your exact commuting needs. ...Continued on page 2


NEWS FOR THE SOUTH HIGHWAY 101 CORRIDOR - SUMMER 2012

NEW VISTA BUS OPERATOR While this is great news to our community and VISTA passengers, the 57 passenger charter-style coaches that have served VISTA bus passengers over the past 11 years will be replaced with newly refurbished 41 passenger buses previously used in San Mateo County Transit on its Freeway Ex-

press service to San Francisco. These buses will have 16 fewer seats and will lack some of the amenities provided by the over-the-road coaches operated by the previous bus contractor. Many passengers will find the new buses comfortable and reliable. For those that wish to explore other op-

FREE WEEK OF VANPOOLING CalVans provides affordable and flexible vanpool options including: • Minivans and 15 passenger vans • Gas and a gas card so there is no need to spend your own money and wait for reimbursement • Regular maintenance performed by mechanics who come to your location • $10 million in liability insurance • 24/7 roadside assistance and loaner vans

...Continued from page 1

leta, shadowing three of the more heavily used VISTA Coastal Express trips. The FREE vanpooling is provided as a courtesy to VISTA passengers that may be affected by the changes in bus operation on the VISTA Coastal Express. This is a great chance to experience vanpooling as an alternative to taking the VISTA bus or the Coastal Express Limited. Seats are limited, so sign up today to reserve a seat at www.surveymonkey.com/s/VanpoolReservation or call 963-SAVE.

During the week of July 30 through August 3, CalVans will be offering FREE vanpooling between the Ventura Government Center and Santa Barbara and Go-

Start a new vanpool and qualify for the Traffic Solutions Vanpool Quick Start program, which covers 50% of the first month’s vanpool lease cost and 25% of the second month. And with the New Rider Rebate, each new rider receives $100 after the 3rd month of vanpooling! To form a vanpool, call Susan Haverland, CalVans at (805) 218-2752 or visit www.calvans.org for more information.

Monthly Vanpool Cost Ventura County Government Center to Downtown Santa Barbara

Monthly CalVans Vanpool Cost Ventura County Government Center to Storke Rd., Goleta

• Easy terms: no long-term contracts and no credit checks • Emergency ride home if you fall ill or have a family emergency

Full-size van

$82 per rider

Full-size van

$97 per rider

Mini van

$177 per rider

Minivan

$200 per rider

Estimates based on 15-passenger used vans and new 7-passenger minivans with gas at $4.00 per gallon.

...Continued from page 1

tions, Traffic Solutions can help them find a carpool or vanpool, or direct them to the Coastal Express Limited commuter bus service. Details regarding VISTA routes and schedule times are available at www.goventura.org or by calling (800) 438-1112.

COASTAL EXPRESS LIMITED FARE REDUCTION & SERVICE CHANGES ...Continued from page 1 $35, and the monthly pass to $120. Schedule changes will also be made on August 27 to better meet the demand of current VISTA service in the afternoon. See the existing schedule at www.sbmtd. gov/coastal or call (805) 8834276 for more information.

Coastal Express Limited Schedule effective August 27th, 2012 Departs Ventura Government Center

Arrives Downtown Santa Barbara Stops

6:25 AM 6:45 AM

Arrives in Goleta Stops 7:14 - 7:27 AM

7:20 - 7:33 AM

6:55 AM

7:44 - 7:57 AM

7:30 AM

8:10 - 8:23 AM

Departs Goleta Stops

Departs Downtown Santa Barbara Stops

Arrives at Ventura Government Center

4:02- 4:14 PM

4:58 PM

4:03 - 4:11 PM

5:04 PM 4:37 - 4:49 PM

4:35 - 4:43 PM

5:33 PM 5:36 PM

The gang at Chilson Engineering was committed to saving money on commuting costs.


NEWS FOR THE SOUTH HIGHWAY 101 CORRIDOR - SUMMER 2012

SMARTRIDE REAL-TIME RIDESHARING IN THE SOUTH HWY 101 CORRIDOR BEGINNING OCTOBER 2012 SmartRide Real-Time Rideshare is a 12-month pilot program in the Santa Barbara South Coast that offers instant carpool matching using your smartphone or cell phone. SmartRide is not like traditional carpool technology that makes you plan days or weeks in advance. With SmartRide, everything is done in realtime, right now when you need it. When you’re ready to go to work, just log in to the SmartRide community and look for riders or drivers in real-time. Then the system matches you with SmartRide users going your direction and you have an immediate, real-time carpool ride. Not only will you save money, time and reduce

your carbon footprint, you can also earn some great rewards as you carpool. The project is a federally funded pilot program managed by SBCAG Traffic Solutions and the Community Environmental Council, and is powered by Avego, a smartphone application providing Real-Time Rideshare technology. The pilot project will focus on two travel corridors, one serving Santa Barbara City College students that live in Isla Vista, scheduled to

begin in September, and the other serving commuters traveling along South Highway 101 from Ventura County to Santa Barbara or Goleta, scheduled to begin in October/November. Recruitment is open for twenty Ventura to Santa Barbara/Goleta commuters to beta test the technology in October, and in November SmartRide will be launched for all commuters traveling the South Highway 101 corridor. If you are interested in being part of the SmartRide beta test, contact Kent Epperson, Director of Traffic Solutions at kepperson@ sbcag.org or call (805) 963SAVE. Visit SmartRide.org for more information.

WORK IN SB COUNTY AND NEED COMMUTER ASSISTANCE? CONTACT TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS Contact Traffic Solutions at (805) 963-SAVE or info@ TrafficSolutions.info and a commute consultant will assist you with transit schedules, carpool or vanpool assistance, and a host of other services for workers who commute to Santa Barbara County. Traffic Solutions also provides vanpool incentives, an Emergency Ride Home program and employer commuter program consulting, and holds rideshare promotions such as SmartRide and the Commuter Challenge.

COMMUTER OF THE MONTH - SUMMER ISSUE RON LAFRICAN DIRECTOR, COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS AT COTTAGE HEALTH SYSTEM

“Over the past 11 years while commuting from Ventura, I have vanpooled, carpooled, telecommuted and used the bus. I was excited when the Coastal

Express Limited began because it provides express service from Ventura to my office in Goleta and best of all, it shaved about 45 minutes per day round trip on my commute. The buses are new, clean and comfortable. I have to add that the MTD drivers were some of the friendliest and most courteous people I have encountered over the years. The current fare for the 45-mile ride was one of the best deals in town. And in a time when prices

are rising for just about everything, it is amazing to hear that the fare is decreasing to just $4. I always found it ironic to look out the bus window at all the people driving alone, some unsafely using their iPhone to do work in their car. Meanwhile I am sitting here using my laptop and iPod being safe, and saving money and wear and tear on my car. I would say that I am a true fan of the Coastal Express Limited now more than ever.”

WORK IN VENTURA COUNTY AND NEED COMMUTER ASSISTANCE? CONTACT VCTC VCTC’s Commuter Services program is a one-stop shop for rideshare information for commuters traveling to Ventura County. Register with VCTC Commuter Services and a commute specialist will prepare a free customized RideGuide tailored to your individual situation. Your RideGuide will include a list of potential carpools and vanpools, bus information, Park & Ride locations, and bike commute partners. Contact VCTC at (805) 642-1591 for more information.


NEWS FOR THE SOUTH HIGHWAY 101 CORRIDOR - SUMMER 2012

HIGHWAY 101 CONSTRUCTION THROUGH 2015 Over the next four years, Caltrans and its partners will construct a six-mile carpool lane in each direction for vehicles with two or more passengers, along Highway 101 from Mobil Pier Road in Ventura County to Casitas Pass Road in Santa Barbara County. Additional improvements include a pedestrian undercrossing in La Conchita, a southbound bike lane, median landscaping, reconstruction of existing drainage, closing existing median openings, and installing vehicle detectors and video cameras.

The $102 million project will alleviate congestion, encourage carpooling and improve air quality. The project began in April and is expected to be completed in 2015. Caltrans has a multi-faceted outreach program in place to inform the public about the construction effort. Notices of construction activities and closures will be posted on the project website, where you can also sign up for a project related newsletter. For more information, call toll-free (855) 454-6335 or visit www.us101info.com.

SBCAG LAUNCHES SBROADS.COM TRAFFIC INFORMATION WEBSITE On May 17 the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) launched a redesigned SBRoads.com website focused on providing real time traffic information for travelers on the South Coast. The SBRoads.com site features real-time traffic conditions for Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Goleta, freeway cameras with live video feeds, and information about incidents reported by the CHP, all provided on an interactive map of the South Coast. The website also offers estimated travel times for common trips in the region.

“The new SBRoads.com site is a big improvement for travelers who want to take a quick look at what traffic conditions are like before

they get on the freeway” said SBCAG Executive Director Jim Kemp. “There’s nothing like being able to watch live video of where

you’re going to be in a few minutes so you can know what to expect – commuters now have a new way to plan their trip and make adjustments if necessary.” SBRoads.com also provides detailed information about major transportation projects in the county, including the Santa Maria River Bridge, the Union Valley Parkway Interchange, and additional passing lanes on HWY 166. The site has an entire section on the four-phase US 101 widening program, including a video simulation of the six mile carpool lane expansion between Mussel Shoals and Carpinteria that began construction in April.

TO PLACE YOUR AD HERE, CONTACT TRAFFIC SOLUTIONS AT 963-SAVE This quarterly publication is produced by Traffic Solutions. For an online version go to TrafficSolutions.info/news

Commuter Tribune - Summer 2012  

Quarterly news for the South Coast Hwy 101 Commuter.