(KTSF by Sean Au)
High-back seats, luggage racks, personal reading lights and free WiFi. These are some of the features of the new express buses for longer bus routes in the South Bay.
These are diesel-electric hybrid buses, more fuel efficient than old buses by 20%, and have the potential to last longer.
The $15million used to make these 20 buses come from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and California Proposition 1B’s infrastructure bond. The maker of the buses are Gillig Corp. of Hayward.
Santa Clara Council Member Ken Yeager says, “It is a great success story for the entire Bay Area, that we are able to use federal funding, to have them built in the area and it is going to be for the riders here in the South Bay who will be using them.”
The VTA also works with Silicon Valley companies to see what they can better intergrate their services.
VTA General Manager Michael Burns says, “I think they would very much like to see their employees on public transportation as opposed to private transportation they are providing.”
The VTA will first operate these buses on 7 Express Lines. The other half of the express bus fleet will be replaced when future funds are available. Currently, VTA provides services in the South Bay, including from Palo Alto to Gilroy. The longest route takes about an hour.
For more information on which lines will see the new express buses, visit the VTA website at www.vta.org/xbus
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