Pleasanton Weekly

News - April 8, 2011

Free Wednesday bus rides for Foothill High

Campaign to boost public transportation starts April 13

by Dolores Fox Ciardelli

Foothill High School students can hop on the bus for a free ride to and from school each Wednesday in a new campaign beginning April 13 and running until the end of May. Wheels routes 602 and 604 are "school trippers" that serve Foothill High each school day.

"We're trying to promote awareness and ridership on those two specific routes," said Pleasanton Economic Development Specialist Lisa Adamos.

Free Ride Wednesday is being presented by the city, Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority (LAVTA), which operates Wheels buses, and Foothill High School ASB Leadership Club. The campaign is part of Pleasanton's Rides to School program.

Funds for the rides come from the $2 added to vehicle registration fees that go to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District to be administered through the Alameda County Transportation Commission, Adamos explained.

"Pleasanton received a population-based share of those funds," she said. "The grant we received pays for our Rides to School program."

The Free Ride Wednesday campaign aims to show students that public transportation is a fun, inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to driving. Taking the bus helps reduce traffic on Foothill Road and eliminates the hazards when students are individually dropped off and picked up.

Pleasanton's Rides to School also sponsors Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day, as well as Safety Valet Programs at elementary schools where fifth-graders help younger students in and out of their vehicles.

"This campaign is the first thing we've partnered with LAVTA to promote, this Free Ride Wednesday," Adamos said.

To encourage ridership on Wednesdays, there will be weekly drawings for food, entertainment and movie gift cards as well as grand prize drawings at the end of each month for an Apple iPod.

Route 602 begins in the Mission Drive/Sunol Boulevard area and continues on to the Del Prado Park, Valley Trails and Parkside neighborhoods. Route 604 begins service in the Fairlands neighborhood and continues on to the Hacienda Business Park and the Muirwood Park neighborhoods.

Amador Valley High School is served by three school trippers as well as being on a regular bus route.

All school tripper tickets are $2 one way; 10 one-way tickets for $16; or a monthly pass for $60.

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