The Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District is proposing to eliminate one of its Golden Gate Transit bus routes between Sonoma County and San Francisco.
Currently, there is daily Golden Gate Transit regional bus service on Routes 70, 80 and 101 between Santa Rosa, Marin County and San Francisco.
Route 70 operates between San Francisco and Novato; Route 80 runs between San Francisco and Santa Rosa; and Route 101 operates between San Francisco and Santa Rosa with limited stops in Marin County.
The district is proposing to eliminate Route 80 between San Francisco and Santa Rosa because travel times take up to three hours, compared to 90 minutes for Route 101 because there are fewer stops in Novato and San Rafael on that line.
Almost half of Route 80′s passengers are Marin County local riders who will be served equally well by taking Route 70 if Route 80 is eliminated, according to the district.
Eliminating Route 80 service will prevent duplicate routing that is available on Route 70 between Novato and San Francisco, according to the district.
Route 80 also costs twice as much to operate as Route 101 and ridership on the line is declining, district officials said.
Ridership on Route 101, which was introduced in 2009 as a faster weekday alternative to Route 80, has steadily increased. The line now includes weekend service and buses earlier in the morning and later in the evening, according to the district.
District officials said passengers are requesting more frequent Route 101 service.
If the district’s board of directors approves the changes in bus service, Route 101 will be defined as Sonoma County Regional Service and Route 70 as Marin County Regional Service.
The board is holding five open houses between July 23 and July 31 on the proposed changes in Marin and Sonoma counties and a public hearing Aug. 1 at the Sonoma County Administration Building in Santa Rosa.
If approved by the board in September, the bus route changes will begin in December.
James Lanaras, Bay City News