E’ville commuters will soon have a new way to get to and from San Rafael. Starting Monday December 14th, Golden Gate Transit will launch a new commuter service called Route 580.
The westbound route begins at Hollis & 59th Street, then makes another stop at Hollis & 65th Street, sharing the existing Emery Go-Round stops. The bus then continues onward to Berkeley, Albany, over the Richmond-San Rafael bridge, and makes local stops in San Rafael in and around the city’s transit center. The return eastbound route mostly mirrors the same route in reverse.
Service will begin at 6:33 a.m. at the Hollis and 59th Street stop and departs every half-hour until 8:33 a.m. The return service departs the Golden Gate Transit bus yard in San Rafael at 3:35 p.m. and departs every half hour until 5:25pm. The entire trip will take just under an hour.
As with all Golden Gate Transit buses, free WiFi will be offered. Fares will be set at $5.25 each way. Clipper cards are accepted on-board.
As part of the launch of Route 580, the existing Golden Gate Transit Route 42 bus has been eliminated. Previously, the bus route served the Richmond BART station via Marina Bay Parkway and Harbor Way in Richmond. Beginning December 14th, Route 42 will merge into the existing Route 40 bus service, providing straight line routing from Highway 580, direct down Cutting Boulevard in Richmond to the El Cerrito del Norte BART station.
Both routes will traverse a heavily congested corridor. According to a San Francisco Chronicle analysis, Richmond-San Rafael bridge traffic during the morning commute increased 21.4 percent over the last five years. But the agency says they have taken this into consideration.
“Route 580, as well as the revised Route 40, have been completely re-timed to account for the heavier congestion. We will monitor on-time performance and make adjustments quarterly as necessary,” noted Golden Gate Transit Spokesperson Priya Clemens.
The Route 580 service is funded by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission’s Regional Measure 2 funds, says Clemens. These funds were raised through a 2004 voter-approved one-dollar toll increase on the Bay Area’s seven state-owned bridges.
The new route is being launched as a nine-month demonstration project, managed by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District. If the route meets the agency’s performance targets, Route 580 may be made permanent. Currently, the agency projects 220 riders will use the service on a daily basis.
Routes, Schedules and Stops can all be viewed on GoldenGate.org