AC Transit Taking Comments on Bus Service, By: Suzanne LaBarre

Tuesday March 14, 2006

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District will hold public hearings next Wednesday, March 22, on bus and service changes in North Alameda and West Contra Costa counties.  

The public will have the opportunity to weigh in on major AC Transit policy, including the Service Deployment Plan and the Fleet Composition Plan. 

The Service Deployment Plan is a long-range plan that defines bus routes and schedules in the East Bay. Service changes were implemented in 2003 that affect Berkeley, Albany, San Pablo, Richmond and El Cerrito.  

The Fleet Composition Plan called for diesel buses to replace gasoline-powered vans. 

Changes put forth by both plans already went into effect in 2003, but because of a lawsuit filed by community groups, AC Transit was ordered to draft additional impact reports.  

Livable Streets Network, an ad hoc group based in Berkeley, and Neighbors Against Big Diesel challenged AC Transit in court after the agency adopted a draft initial study/negative declaration for the Service Deployment Plan without adequate public notice. The suit also calls for AC Transit to study the environmental impacts of the Fleet Composition Plan. 

Comments on the plans are accepted online at www.actransit.org through March 22, or at the hearings, slated for 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., at the AC Transit General Offices, 1600 Franklin St., in Oakland.