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SolanoExpress Blue Line Joins SolTrans

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September 06, 2022
News

Press Release: SolanoExpress Blue Line Service Expansion Postponed

Mandi Renshaw

NEWS RELEASE
September 6, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Solano County, CA – On Monday, August 8 Solano County Transit (SolTrans) took over operations of the SolanoExpress Blue Line. The service transitioned with a temporarily “reduced” schedule to allow time to retrofit additional vehicles already in SolanoExpress service for compatibility with SolTrans’ dispatch systems. The Blue Line was then scheduled to expand to the “full” schedule on Monday, September 19, 2022. Unfortunately, leading up to the transition and throughout the month of August, SolTrans has experienced a severe driver shortage. The driver shortage has affected SolTrans’ ability to provide service as currently scheduled, including the other SolanoExpress Lines and Local bus service.  SolTrans with Solano Transportation Authority (STA) has made the difficult decision to postpone the Blue Line expansion until sufficient labor resources are available to operate the service.

Beth Kranda SolTrans Executive Director said, “We need to concentrate on the service we are currently providing and showing up for our passengers. Expanding the service now would result in more missed service throughout our whole system, which is unacceptable.”

The current SolTrans schedule requires 61 drivers to fully operate. In recent weeks, SolTrans has only had 49 “active” drivers available for service, which is 12 drivers less than the amount needed and is resulting in trips being missed daily. Expanding the Blue Line schedule would require an additional 5 drivers – or 66 total.  SolTrans with their contractor, Transdev, has been aggressively recruiting in the community and interested people can learn more at https://bit.ly/3QCLNXk.  No experience is required, and Transdev offers paid training to obtain your commercial driver’s license, as well as hiring bonuses for new drivers.

Ms. Kranda continued, “I want to extend a sincere thank you to our drivers who are showing up and volunteering for overtime to help during this difficult time. We ask that our passengers have patience with their operator because without them we would be far worse off.”

The bus driver shortage has been a national issue affecting transit agencies all over the United States. SolTrans has been combatting the shortage for several months. Transdev also routinely offers cash incentives for our existing drivers to work extra shifts.

SolTrans strives to be as transparent as possible and announce missed service at least 30 minutes in advance on their homepage and on Twitter @soltransride to give passengers time to find alternative transportation options.  For all updated schedules and real-time information visit SolTrans.org.

Solano County Transit (SolTrans) has been the public transportation provider for south Solano County since July 2011. SolTrans provides local and SolanoExpress fixed routes, complementary paratransit, and subsidized Lyft programs. The agency is a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) that is governed by a six-member Board of Directors, composed of two representatives from the cities of Benicia and Vallejo, Solano County’s representative on the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), and a representative from the Solano Transportation Authority.

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