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Home > county connection – ANTHONY NACHOR
County Connection operates in the central portion of Contra Costa County, particularly in the communities along Highway 4, 24, and 242, as well as along Interstate 680, serving Moraga, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Martinez, Danville, San Ramon, and Alamo. It serves multiple BART stations along the Pittsburg/Bay Point Line, including (from west to east) Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and North Concord/Martinez, and the Martinez Amtrak Station in Martinez. 

On weekdays, services are also provided to Dublin and Pleasanton to serve East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station, as well as additional services to Bishop Ranch Business Park in San Ramon, home to the corporate headquarters of Chevron, and commute services between Hillcrest Park-and-Ride in Antioch and Walnut Creek BART via Kirker Pass Road. 

Although it serves a large area of the county, its services tend to be limited to along the main thoroughfares and the main urban areas along the I-680 corridor, with limited weekend service south and west of Walnut Creek. It also operates a free Broadway Shuttle that connects Walnut Creek BART station and Downtown Walnut Creek daily.

A word on its fleet
County Connection operates a full line of Gillig buses, including the: 

  • Phantom (40-footer)
  • Advantage (30-, 35- and 40-footer)
  • BRT (40-footer)
  • Replica Trolleybus (35-footer) 

These buses are primarily used on most of the regular services (also includes services to and from Diablo Valley College), as well as on the commuter services serving Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, Antioch, and the San Ramon Valley. In addition, these buses are also used to serve East Dublin/Pleasanton BART station to serve communities and Bishop Ranch in the San Ramon Valley. Several Gillig Phantom buses have the special decals of Bishop Ranch Express which provides service between Walnut Creek and the Bishop Ranch Business Park (described above), and these levy higher fares than the local services. 

Baby Buses (30- and 35-footer)

County Connection operates a lot of 30- and 35-footer buses as it serves hilly communities with low population densities, mostly within Walnut Creek, Orinda, and Lafayette. However, these buses are also assigned to routes serving relatively dense areas in Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez where passenger ridership does not necessarily warrant the use of 40-footer coaches.
Gillig Advantage 30-Footer Bus (3xx Series)
These sport the agency’s older livery, with black tops and the agency logo mounted on the middle. These buses are likely to have half- and full-sized advertisement wraps.
Gillig Advantage 30-Footer Bus (14xx Series)
These carry the agency’s revised livery, with all white bodies and the agency’s logo mounted on the top of the bus rather than the middle.
Gillig Advantage 30-Footer Bus (17xx Series)
Similar to the 14xx series, this type will replace the remaining 2xx series above.
Gillig LF30 All-Electric Bus (18xx Series)
The newest bus type operated by County Connection, these are among the first all-electric buses produced by Gillig alongside the all-electric replica trolleybuses (below). These are used on the Free Route 4 between Walnut Creek BART and Broadway Plaza in downtown Walnut Creek.
Gillig Advantage 35-Footer Bus (4xx Series)
These buses are used on multiple services, mostly out of Concord, Pleasant Hill, Walnut Creek, and Martinez where its size is appropriate for mixed-density routes. At least two of these buses (numbered 407 and 408) are used on the free Shadelands Shuttle (Route 7), operating between Pleasant Hill BART and Mitchell Park-and-Ride in Walnut Creek.
Gillig Advantage 35-Footer Bus (17xx Series)
This type has replaced the 4xx series above and primarily serve similar routes out of Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Concord, and Martinez.

Three of these buses, 1710, 1711, and 1712, have the Shadelands Walnut Creek wrapped all around them. These vehicles have no fare boxes on board as Route 7, the Shadelands Loop serving Pleasant Hill BART, is a free service operating weekday peak periods.


Replica Trolleybuses (29-footer)

The County Connection also operates the Gillig Replica Trolleybus which is operated exclusively on Route 4 (Downtown Walnut Creek Shuttle – The Free Ride), which offers unique features:

  • An actual bell that operators ring when departing
  • Wooden seats in a longitudinal style (facing each other)
  • Automated vehicle location annunciators that help passengers determine where the bus is on the route
  • Flip up wheelchair ramp on the front door to accommodate wheelchairs and strollers
Before 2016,​ the buses operated with diesel fuel…
Since December 2016, the buses used on this line have been significantly upgraded to operate as all-electric trolleybuses. After completing a 30-minute circuit around Downtown Walnut Creek, the buses recharge over a mounted, discreet electrical charger for 9 minutes before performing another trip.

Standard-Sized Buses (40-footer)

County Connection is phasing out its high-floored buses in favor of low-floor coaches. Eight of these 40-footer buses are operated with diesel-electric propulsion (branded as DIWA Hybrid), and around 10 of them have WiFi on board (branded as Bishop Ranch Express).
Gillig Advantage 40-Footer Bus (2xx Series)
This is among the first of County Connection’s low-floored buses (along with the 3xx and 4xx series), used on some of the agency’s popular routes.
Gillig BRT 40-Footer Standard Bus (909 to 939)
This is among the agency’s workhorses, operating on most lines. This non-hybrid variant, combined with the 13xx and 14xx series (below), constitute nearly half of the agency’s bus fleet.
Gillig BRT 40-Footer Standard Bus (13xx Series)
This bus type is similar to the 909 to 939 series above, the only visible difference would be the color of the side mirrors (white for the 9xx series, black for the 13xx series).
Gillig BRT 40-footer Standard Bus (15xx Series)
The latest batch of Gillig BRT buses started arriving in late 2015 and continues receiving them in 2016, in which around 10 of these units have been painted with the Bishop Ranch-BART Express livery. These buses will ultimately replace the last of County Connection’s Gillig Phantom fleet (5xx series), which will enable the agency to operate an all low-floor fleet.
Gillig BRT 40-Footer Hybrid Bus (900 to 908)
These buses constitutes the agency’s hybrid (diesel-electric fueled) fleet, also operating on most lines as the standard BRT buses.

Paratransit and Shuttle Vans

These cutaway vans are owned by County Connection, in which these are used for shuttle and paratransit operations. Shuttles that use cutaway vans include the Alamo Creek Shuttle (south of Walnut Creek BART, weekday peak periods only) and Route 260 serving CSU East Bay Concord from Concord BART (Mondays to Thursdays only). 

The paratransit arm of the agency, called County Connection Links, operates in tandem with regular County Connection bus operations and is contracted out to First Transit.

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