El Camino Real is the area’s major public transportation thoroughfare and SamTrans has figured out a way to better serve its customers along the corridor by merging two routes into one and have it run every 15 minutes.
Routes 390 and 391 will be replaced by Route ECR starting Aug. 12.
The 390 and 391 routes are not interchangeable at some locations now and each line runs only once every 40 minutes, according to a statement by SamTrans spokeswoman Jayme Ackemann.
With the new ECR line, every bus goes to the same stops, so customers do not have to worry about whether they are on the right bus, according to Ackemann’s statement.
El Camino Real provides the transit agency with almost 50 percent of its riders.
Route ECR began weekend operation as a pilot project in August 2012 and the service has proved to be popular among weekend customers adding new riders nearly every month since its launch. Weekend ridership has increased 4 percent since the route’s launch last August.
The move is part of the SamTrans Service Plan, which is a comprehensive assessment of all bus service and is intended to grow ridership and improve efficiency.
Route ECR will not go into San Francisco but every bus will go into Palo Alto and run every 15 minutes.
“With ECR, customers can throw away the schedule,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer Chuck Harvey wrote in a statement. “The service is intended to be ‘spontaneous use,’ which means that a customer can walk out to El Camino and expect a bus every 15 minutes without consulting a schedule. Route ECR will take them anywhere they want to go along the corridor.”
Additional SSP changes will be rolled out in January 2014.
Route ECR will provide service to all Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit stations along the route — South San Francisco and San Bruno BART can be accessed via a short walk from El Camino Real — as well as other key transit centers served by routes 390 and 391, according to Ackemann’s statement.
In other transit news:
Construction crews have begun excavating and removing portions of the road at the new San Bruno Caltrain station to lower the streets and allow for greater vehicle clearance under the crossings. Once completed, the clearance for each intersection will be approximately 15 feet. The work will require road closures on Angus, San Mateo and San Bruno avenues between now and Sept. 2.