Part of the Bay Area News Group

bus for one?

By enelson
Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 10:59 pm in AC Transit, Buses.


Bus service in low-density areas has the distinction of being some of the most inefficient public transit around.

To quote a former editor of mine, “most of the time,┬áit’s just you and the driver.”

Well, rather than agonize over that scenario, AC Transit is taking a stab at making it work better with one of the many bus service changes it’s making on Sunday.

The 333 line in Newark acknowledges that it’s just you two, and dispenses with the inefficient formality of a route, according to this synopsis in today’s AC Transit press release:

LINE 333 is particularly interesting because it functions much like a taxi service in that it picks up passengers at only three locations but will take them directly to a Newark bus stop closest to wherever they need to go. The bus will run from 7 p.m. to midnight from Union City BART to NewPark Mall with only one other scheduled stop (Lido Faire Shopping Center) in between. A passenger simply boards the bus at one of these locations and tells the driver where to go.

Line 333 is a perfect service option for low density areas, eschewing a costly “fixed” service in favor of a more flexible, economical and yet a more direct ride.

When a bus service starts eschewing, I have to take notice.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

5 Responses to “bus for one?”

  1. Lou Lew Says:

    Line 333 sounds great. What do the actual passengers say? Would it work in the daytime?

  2. Bruce De Benedictis Says:

    This had been tried before on a section of the 376 route in Richmond.

    It is a good idea for getting people home from a transfer point. It will not work so well going from home to the transfer point.

  3. Liz Says:

    Bad PhotoShop on that bus with the cap…

    AC tried this in the 70s. It didn’t work so well.

  4. Capricious Commuter Says:

    Liz, I admit that I’m not a graphic artist. And, in fact, I don’t even have PhotoShop on my computer. No matter how I tried, white stuff keeps showing up around the margins of the cap. I attempted to clean it up a little, so I hope it meets with your approval now.

    What about this 70s experiment? Can you tell me what you know about it?

  5. Aaron Priven Says:

    I believe what was tried in the past was dial-a-ride service, where you could call in and get a ride from anywhere to anywhere. That was expensive. This is much more limited. There’s no need for a bank of phone operators who you can call, because you can get on at only three points. It’s really good only for getting home from the malls or from BART, unlike dial-a-ride, which is good for getting anywhere. On the other hand, it’s a lot less expensive to run per trip.

Leave a Reply