Alameda Shuttle FAQ

Help us bring a shuttle service to Alameda

Urge City Council to make the Alameda Shuttle a high priority of the new TDM.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Alameda Shuttle:

What is it?

The Alameda Shuttle will feature:

  • Frequent service, with 10-minute headways during peak hours; no more than 15-minute headways during most business hours, and 30-minute headways during off-peak hours
  • Free-to-the-end-user, as a system without fare boxes removes a significant barrier to ridership and indeed encourages greater use
  • Routes that serve schools, parks, senior facilities, business districts large and small, and are within three blocks or less of most Alameda residences
  • Clean fuel vehicles, with accommodations for bicycles
  • Connections to regional transportation hubs – BART and the ferry terminals – to not only ease congestion at our existing choke points, but also encourage ridership by visitors and those who commute to work to our island.

What will it cost?

At the high end, we estimate the service we envision will cost $10 million/year. Our expectation is it will be less than that, but we’d rather under promise and over deliver as we get just as annoyed as you do when costs soar past initial estimates.

Who will pay for it?

You. Send your check to ….

The real answer is still you. And me. And her. And him. And them.

We’re still in the early days of this project, so we have not established a precise financing plan for the shuttle. But our guiding principals are:

  • Everybody should pay, as that ensures everyone will be served. This means the retail, restaurant and service communities will pay, residents will pay, developers will pay, and visitors will pay. It’s not right for one of those groups to subsidize another, and it’s only fair that we all contribute our share.
  • There should be multiple funding sources, all of which already exist in one form or another. Developers are required to pay transportation impact mitigatation fees. We Alamedans already contribute $2 million/year in designated parcel tax transportation assessments, plus additional tax dollars for public transportation. There already are federal, state and county funding programs for public transportation.

What about AC Transit?

We’re big fans of AC Transit. With the O, the OX, the W and Line 51 in particular, AC Transit provides vital links connecting our community to the rest of the region. And if AC Transit wishes to establish the service we envision, we’d be all for it.

Why is it free?

It’s not free. It’s free to the end-user. That just means there is no fare box. We believe asking people to come up with the $0.25 0r $1.00 or $2.10 to get on board creates a barrier to ridership (“I can’t find any change – might as well take my car”). Also, we think the revenue collected in a smaller system such as the Alameda Shuttle will  not make enough of a dent in projected operating costs to justify creating that barrier.

I thought we already had a shuttle?

Sorta. There are some shuttles that serve the Harbor Bay Business Park. And the City used to run the Estuary Crossing Shuttle that connected the College of Alameda, Marina Village, and Alameda Landing with the Laney College/Lake Merritt BART. But the City ended that service in June 2017.

Now the City has decided to rebrand its Alameda Paratransit Service as the “Alameda Loop Shuttle,” which is understandably confusing to many. Perhaps the City thought that calling something a “Shuttle” is the same thing as actually providing the service the community asked for. Unfortunately, the Alameda Loop Shuttle doesn’t come close to meeting the needs of the greater community. It only runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m on very limited circuits. Tuesdays it goes from Alameda Landing to Park Street. Wednesdays from Bay Farm Island to Mastick Senior Center. Thursdays from Bridgeside Center to Shoreline Drive. That’s it.

How can I help?

Please sign the petition urging the City Council to make the Alameda Shuttle a high priority of the new TDM.