The County Connection transit system serves residents in central Contra Costa County, California. In 2012, Nelson\Nygaard began working with the agency to identify new opportunities for more efficient and productive bus service in County Connection’s primarily suburban environment. One of the proposed improvements involved Route 5, one of the least productive routes. We recommended a restructuring of the route to provide faster, more direct, and more reliable service connecting downtown to a BART station.
The changes were implemented in 2015 and, within less than a year, weekday ridership on the route shot up from an average of 75 daily passengers to an average of 531, more than 600%. Productivity during the same time period increased from 7.5 passengers per hour to over 28 passengers per hour, an increase of just under 400%. According to Paul Jewel, the project’s lead planner, “the improvements really highlight the relationship between providing fast, direct, and frequent transit service with improving the number of people using the bus.”