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Project Overview

The West Contra Costa County Express Bus Implementation Plan identifies the opportunities for expanded express bus service from Hercules, Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond, and unincorporated west Contra Costa County communities to destinations in west Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco. After identifying specific transit expansion opportunities, WCCTC prepared a plan to implement those services. An “express” bus is a public bus that gets people to their destination faster than a regular or “local” bus by making fewer stops than local bus services and by taking advantage of transit priority improvements (for example, queue jumps or signal priority), thereby reducing travel time. Express buses primarily operate during commute periods on highways and freeways, often utilizing a carpool lane.

Why Expand Express Bus Service?

There currently is no direct express bus service that connects the West County with employment centers in west Berkeley, Emeryville, and Oakland. That journey now requires most transit users to make a “three-seat trip” using multiple transit providers. In addition, existing express bus service to San Francisco is at or nearing capacity and/or may not be serving emerging employment centers in San Francisco efficiently. Prior travel demand analysis has shown a need for a high-capacity transit option, like express bus service, to serve areas where BART doesn’t go. In addition, the 2017 West County High Capacity Transit Study found there was unmet transit need in the West County that could be served by express busses.

Project Goals

The Interstate-80 corridor is one of the most congested freeways in the Bay Area, and traffic jams often occur throughout the day and on weekends too. By offering expanded express bus service along the I-80 corridor, WCCTC hopes to reduce commute times, improve air quality, and increase transit ridership and quality of life for commuters. To meet these goals, the study:

  • Identifies infrastructure improvement projects that give the express bus travel advantages, so it can travel more quickly than other vehicles under both free-flowing and congested conditions.
  • Assesses the viability of both expansion and enhancement to existing routes and the provision of new routes, including direct connections from West County to employment centers in west Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco.

  • Identifies clear direction for action, including preferred bus route alignment, bus stop locations, proposed operating schedule, suggested fare, and bicycle and pedestrian facility gaps in the areas surrounding future bus stops.


Review the Final Plan!

The Final West Contra Costa Express Bus Implementation Plan and its appendices are available. The Final Plan provides a framework to expand express bus service from West Contra Costa County to job centers in Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco. The WCCTC Board approved the Final Plan on Friday, February 28, 2020.

Public Outreach

In addition to gathering feedback online, in-person outreach was an important part of the West Contra Costa Express Bus Study's development.  WCCTC hosted pop-up events in West Contra Costa communities and held focus groups with major employers in west Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, and San Francisco. WCCTC spread the word about the project through press releases, eblasts, and direct mailings. Help us spread the word about this exciting project.


Project Documents

Background Documents

Click on the links below to learn more about the Express Bus Implementation Project.

Project Factsheet

Final West Contra Costa Express Bus Implementation Plan (Adopted 2/28/2020)

Final West Contra Costa Express Bus Implementation Plan -Appendices (Adopted 2/28/2022)


The following studies have previously identified the need for express bus service in West Contra Costa County.

West County High Capacity Transit Study

CCTA Express Bus Study Update

Study Sponsors

Funding for the Express Bus Plan comes from Caltrans via “Additional Sustainable Communities Grants” authorized by Senate Bill 1 – The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017. Local matching funds come from Contra Costa County’s Measure J’s Transportation Sales Tax 28b fund and WCCTC in-kind contributions.

Study Partners

AC Transit