AC Transit is the public transportation agency serving western Alameda County and western Contra Costa County. It also serves San Francisco, the city of Milpitas in Santa Clara County, and Foster City and the city of San Mateo in San Mateo County. The agency is also a member of a multi-agency organization called Dumbarton Express which provides service between Union City BART and Stanford in Palo Alto.
For more information about AC Transit’s participation in the Bus Rapid Transit program, click here.
This model is used extensively for Transbay services operating between San Francisco and the East Bay. Sometimes, these same buses are used as school lines before heading towards San Francisco. These buses are air conditioned, have reclining seats, are WiFi enabled, and have bike racks that allow two bikes.
6001 to 6040 (with Flip Screen LCD, except 6005)
Low-Floored, Baby (30-Footer) Buses
This model is used for short, low-density routes around Alameda County. In one instance, I have seen AC Transit use this bus to operate to San Francisco on the B-Trestle Glen line; however, more than likely, one would see this bus on hilly lines in Berkeley, Oakland, and Hayward, as well as community routes in Fremont, Union City, Newark, and San Leandro. AC Transit has also added decals on some of its buses as the Broadway Shuttle bus that operates along Broadway in Downtown Oakland between Jack London Square and Uptown.
Low-Floored, Standard-Sized (40-Footer) Buses
Two of the main workhorses of the agency, this bus is used on most local and Transbay routes. Although these buses look nice by design and are low-floored (similar to the A300-K model), these buses have no air conditioning and tend to bounce when these go through bumpy roads around Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. These buses are also used on the 72R-San Pablo Rapid bus line that is also the first Bus Rapid Transit line in the San Francisco Bay Area, operating between Downtown Oakland and Contra Costa College in San Pablo.
Initially sent to AC Transit and Golden Gate Transit as demonstrator buses to show to the riding public the latest innovation of public transit, these buses use water as fuel, in which the hydrogen molecule is broken down from the water’s atomic structure to power the bus while release the oxygen molecules out into the atmosphere, providing a guilt-free and environmentally-friendly ride.
Three batches of this type can be seen operating with AC Transit, two of which are mostly used for urban services, the other for commuter trips. The urban buses (13xx and 14xx series) have a combination of longitudinal and forward-facing seats, and these are used in conjunction with the Van Hool low-floored buses currently in operation on most of the East Bay local routes.
This is the first bus series to have Hanover head signs deployed. Prior to this, Twin Vision was used for most of its head signs.
This bus is the newest hybrid type operated by AC Transit, with its seating interior identical to the 15xx series above. The main difference is that this is the first diesel-electric hybrid bus variant; this is not to be confused with the Hybrid Fuel Cell bus (FC-series) with Van Hool that uses water as fuel.
This bus is modified to have all forward-facing seating, overhead baggage racks, adjustable air vents on select seats, and WiFi on board all buses.
Low-Floored, Articulated (60-Footer) Buses
As a replacement to the New Flyer HF60 articulated buses that were retired in 2014, the Xcelsior (similar to San Francisco Muni’s XDE40) is being used on select bus lines at the moment, most notably on the 40-Foothill (Downtown Oakland-Bay Fair BART via Eastmont Transit Center), 57-MacArthur (40th & San Pablo-Foothill Square), NL-Transbay (limited stops along MacArthur Blvd between San Francisco and Eastmont Transit Center), and O-Transbay (San Francisco-Fruitvale BART via Alameda).
One of two articulated bus types operated by the agency, it is built similarly to the rest of the Van Hool fleet used on high-density local and Transbay lines around Alameda and Contra Costa Counties. It is also the main bus used for the 1R-International Rapid bus line which operates along international Boulevard and Telegraph Avenue between Berkeley BART and Bay Fair BART (weekend and holiday services are truncated to Downtown Oakland instead of operating to Berkeley).
AC Transit Flex
In early 2016, AC Transit started operating two Flex services using Ford E450 cutaway vans (seating up to 20 people), with plans to operate up to six such routes. It operates as a flexible service (with deviations up to 3/4 mile of a regular bus line), with the two lines being:
Being an on-demand service, riders can call a hotline up to an hour before their ride, and the fares are the same as the local bus. Clipper cards are accepted on this service.