Wednesday, September 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

trafficW

Congested freeways like this one are expected this spring while repairs are made to Highway 50 in Sacramento. CanStock photo

By Lucas Frerichs

As some of you may know, there is an important construction project Caltrans is about to undertake in Sacramento, called the Fix 50 project. If you go to www.Fix50.com you will find background information on the project.

What this means is that between Tuesday, April 22, and Wednesday, June 25 (with a break May 22‐26), significant traffic delays and re-routing are expected due to construction work on U.S. 50 between 18th and 24th streets.

As chairman of the Yolo County Transportation District, I wanted to let you know that we have undertaken several steps to give you some alternatives to driving your car alone.

* Most, if not all, Yolobus routes operating along Interstate 80, U.S. 50, Highway 113, Interstate 5, throughout West Sacramento and in downtown Sacramento will experience congestion and delays. This also applies to buses on local streets, as they likely will be backed up due to traffic getting on or off the freeways. Know in advance that your trip could be delayed by 60 minutes or longer.

* Before traveling along these roads and freeways, we encourage you to plan your trip carefully. Please consider alternatives to driving, such as Yolobus, Unitrans, the Capitol Corridor trains, ridesharing, walking, bicycling, telecommuting, flex time and otherwise not making unnecessary trips. You also might want to consider taking an earlier bus, if one is available.

* Check online at such sites as www.fix50.com, www.dot.ca.gov/hq/roadinfo, www.waze.com, www.yolobus.com, www.Unitrans.com and with the media about the traffic situation. Yolobus and Unitrans both provide real-time bus location information.

* We plan to run extra Yolobus buses to help fill in on some routes, like Routes 42A and 42B, to help get them get back on schedule where possible. Unfortunately, we can’t do this for every route and every trip.

* If needed, we plan to operate an extra paratransit vehicle to deal with delays in central and east Sacramento for people using our service for things like kidney dialysis, cancer treatments and other medical appointments.

Davis

Yolobus currently operates 11 morning peak-hour bus trips from Davis to downtown Sacramento. We also run Routes 42B and 42A to and from downtown Sacramento throughout the day. Because all of those buses operate along I‐5, Highway 113, I‐80 and U.S. 50, expect delays of 60 minutes or more.

On weekdays from April 22 through May 21, we plan to run an extra Route 232 bus trip from Davis to Sacramento in the morning and back in the afternoon. It leaves the first bus stop at Covell Boulevard and Sycamore Lane at 6:14 a.m. and leaves the first downtown Sacramento stop at 5:13 a.m.

To minimize the number of cars getting caught up on local streets, we’ve arranged for Unitrans to offer free rides from April 22 through May 21, including Saturdays! This is a big thing and I encourage all Davis residents to ride Unitrans service for free.

The Capitol Corridor train system offers several peak-hour trips between the Davis and downtown Sacramento Amtrak stations. We will be selling Capitol Corridor train tickets in sheets of 10 for $3 per ticket ($30 total). Those tickets will be valid only on weekdays on certain commute-hour trips. We will make these tickets valid from April 22 through June 25. There is a limit of 80 tickets (eight sheets) per rider. They will be for sale at the following places:

* Online at www.yolobus.com;

* At the Yolo County Transportation District office, 350 Industrial Way in Woodland; open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. throughout the project;

* City of Davis Department of Community Services, 600 A St., Suite C;

* UC Davis Transportation & Parking Services, on North Dairy Road north of the West Entry Parking Structure and southeast of the ARC. Office hours are Mondays through Fridays, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.;

* Davis Farmers Market, for a limited time, on Wednesdays and Saturdays through April 26; and

* Just outside the Amtrak station, Second and H streets, from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. April 22-25 and at the same time Mondays and Tuesdays from April 28 through May 20.

If you are taking the Capitol Corridor train and want to transfer to a Yolobus, RT bus or RT light rail, be sure to ask the train conductor for a transfer slip.

Woodland

Yolobus currently operates five morning peak-hour bus trips from Woodland to downtown Sacramento. We also run Routes 42A and 42B to and from downtown Sacramento throughout the day. Because all of those buses operate along I‐5, Highway 113, I‐80 and U.S. 50, expect delays of 60 minutes or more.

On weekdays from April 22 through May 21, we plan to run an extra Route 45 bus trip from Woodland to Sacramento in the morning and back in the afternoon. That bus leaves the bus stop at East Main Street and Matmor Road at 6:47 a.m., and we’ve added a 4:55 p.m. return trip from downtown Sacramento.

West Sacramento

We run a lot of Yolobus service in West Sacramento and into downtown Sacramento. Many surface streets in West Sacramento likely will be very congested. Those local buses are, therefore, likely to experience delays.

For local West Sacramento Routes 40, 41 and 240, if we find the buses on these routes stuck in traffic, we may end the routes at the transit center and have our riders transfer to the frequent Route 340 service. This would happen only on weekdays from April 22 through May 21.

On weekdays from April 22 through May 21, we plan to run an extra morning Route 39 trip from Southport to Sacramento, plus the reverse of that in afternoons. It starts at 6:35 a.m., plus there is a 4:35 p.m. trip from downtown Sacramento that we’ve added.

On weekdays from April 22 through May 21, we plan to modify local Route 340 so that it runs between the West Sacramento transit center and downtown Sacramento. Some trips will be extended to the Sacramento Amtrak station. Some afternoon Route 340 trips will be operated into the early evening. To speed up boardings on this trip, rides will be free.

For up to 31 Sacramento River Cats home games, there will be Yolobus trips after the game from Raley Field to Southport, plus from Raley Field mimicking Route 41. That information will be available at www.yolobus.com.

For more information, go to the websites I mentioned earlier, or call Yolobus at 530-666‐2877 for Davis and Woodland or 916-371‐2877 for West Sacramento.

— Lucas Frerichs, a Davis City Council member, is the chairman of the Yolo County Transportation District board of directors.

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