The Emeryville Transportation Management Association (ETMA) has proposed major commute hour changes to the Emery Go-Round, including splitting the service into four routes to alleviate overcrowding during commute hours (weekdays 7-10 am & 3-7 pm). The changes are purportedly to address longer travel times associated with ridership capacity and traffic congestion. Community feedback through email is due January 8th, 2016.
The Emery Go-Round PBID was successfully approved by voters last August ensuring that popular shuttle would be around for at least another 15 years. One of the concerns expressed by some residents was since we were now directly contributing (you should have received an itemized special assessment in your last Property Tax bill shown below), we should have more input into the routes and service.
The good news is the ETMA is indeed asking for our feedback of the proposed changes through email, the bad news is that the proposed changes do not include a route to West Oakland BART that E’villains have indicated they are overwhelmingly in favor of and The E’ville Eye has advocated for. Meanwhile AC Transit is exploring routes from Emeryville along Mandela and Adeline (L19 & L22) that would better connect our city to the major transfer station hub into San Francisco.
COMMUTE SERVICE PLAN:
A 2014 service evaluation concluded that the peak ridership levels occurred during the commute period with the majority of riders traveling to/from the MacArthur BART Station. ETMA is proposing to modify the Emery Go-Round routes during the commute period in an effort to maximize service efficiency by reducing travel times and increasing rider capacity. The frequency of service on the proposed routes will remain the same at 10-15 minutes. However, travel times from the north end of the service area will be reduced.
The Hollis route would be split into two separate North and South Hollis routes. The North Hollis route would depart MacArthur BART and use West MacArthur Blvd. to hop onto the I-80 connector ramp. After exiting at Powell Street, it would make a right on Hollis Street, circle under the Powell Street overpass at Stanford Avenue and Horton Street, and connect back to Hollis at 59th Street. The EGR would continue up Hollis until completing it’s run at the Berkeley Bowl in West Berkeley.
EMTA says that the North Hollis route would see a reduction in travel time and increase in capacity. The route will be served with 10-15 minute frequency during commute times.
South Hollis Route
The South Hollis route would serve the existing Hollis route, but terminate at Hollis Street and 59th Street. It would serve the same circular route that the North Hollis route does, by proceeding under the Powell Street overpass via Stanford Ave., Horton Street, and 59th Street at the end of its route.
Those who will be impacted the most will be riders who must traverse the entirety of Hollis Street, where a transfer between the North and South Hollis route would be required during commute times. However, there will be 3 overlapping stop where this could be accomplished.
The South Hollis route would be served with 10-minute frequency during commute times.
North Shellmound/Powell Route
On the other side of Emeryville, the Powell route would be split into the North Shellmound/Powell and South Shellmound/Powell routes.
The North Shellmound/Powell route will follow the same path as the North Hollis route, via I-80 until it reaches the Powell Street exit. It will make a loop around Christie Avenue and Shellmound Streets, going onward to the Public Market and 65th Street. The EGR would then turn around and continue southbound on Christie Avenue to Powell Street, where it will then take the Frontage Road back to West MacArthur Blvd. and MacArthur BART.
This route would be served with 10-15 minute frequency during commute times.
South Shellmound/Powell Route
The South Shellmound/Powell route would take the existing Shellmound/Powell route along 40th and Shellmound Streets, turning around at the Public Market, continuing to The Towers office complex, then terminating service for approximately every other run.
Riders who need to go west of The Towers, to the Watergate Condos and the Emeryville Marina, will be most impacted. These riders are encouraged to take the Watergate Express, which is not changing. However, those who choose to take the South Shellmound/Powell route to reach the Marina area will be in for a long wait, with frequency increasing to every 20-25 minutes during the commute period.
Service along this route would be every 10-15 minutes.
NON-COMMUTE SERVICE PLAN:
The Non-Commute routes and will remain mostly the same with some with an exception of the Hollis Route and some addition time for delays caused by the rising traffic congestion.
Revisions to the route include the removal of the 66th/Vallejo/65th loop at the request of some residents due to noise, blocked access and overall low-levels of ridership. The modifications will reduce route times by 2-3 minutes.
The entire proposal with ETMA described advantages & disadvantages can be read here [PDF]
The EMTA is looking for immediate community input by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments must be submitted by January 8th.