29 Nov New ‘Glydcars’ Transit System Potentially Headed to East County
Glydcar is a personal vehicle designed for public transportation. Glydcars autonomously move in dedicated lanes, carrying up to 4 passengers directly to their destination with no stops and with space for item such as bikes and luggage. (Glydways via Bay City News)
By Tony Hicks
Bay City News
To say commute traffic on state Highway 4 is painful is probably being overly kind to the concept of pain.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority and Tri Delta Transit are aware of the headaches caused by Highway 4 traffic and announced Wednesday a potential new transportation option for East Contra Costa County residents.
It’s called the East Contra Costa County Dynamic Personal Micro Transit project. It would use zero-emission, autonomous, four-person Glydcars.
The electric vehicles would travel in narrow, dedicated elevated or at-grade guideways fully separated from traffic. One of the goals is to make more efficient use of space, substantially cutting operational costs, and providing a sustainable option that aligns with local, regional, and state emission reduction goals.
The guideways would run along 28 miles worth of dedicated paths across Pittsburg, Antioch, Oakley and Brentwood. Phase one of the project will work to identify an initial viable segment.
According to a statement from CCTA and Tri Delta Transit, the Glydcars are designed with convenience in mind, with enough space for passengers to travel with their luggage or bikes. The vehicles are also fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and provide enough room to comfortably fit a wheelchair.
“We’re very excited about this project and believe it will significantly improve the quality of life in our community,” said CCTA board chair and Contra Costa County Supervisor Federal Glover. “It’s a bold step towards a more sustainable and accessible future for Contra Costa.”
This fare-based transit system is aimed at lessening congestion on Highway 4. The project also aims to enhance transit accessibility in East County by improving connections to existing options such as BART and local bus services.
The initial cost estimate for the system is $450 million and would come from regional, state, and federal sources.
In spring 2021, the cities of Antioch, Brentwood, Oakley and Pittsburg completed the East County DPMT Feasibility Study to support a potential micro-transit deployment with autonomous vehicles in East Contra Costa County. Tri Delta Transit and CCTA then partnered to evaluate the potential deployment of the East County DPMT project.
The transit authorities selected East County Connection Partners — a collection of five firms — as the project’s vendor, with the initial goal of delivering a viable segment of the larger project through a unique public-private partnership called P3.
“This partnership is a significant milestone for us,” said Tri Delta Transit board chair and Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe. “By working with ECCP, we can leverage their expertise in innovative transportation technologies to better serve East County residents.”
The partners will also collaborate to pursue funding for implementation of the initial segment.
More information about the DPMT project is available at https://ccta.net/projects/east-county-dynamic-personal-micro-transit-project/.
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