Systemwide Services Standards

Title VI Systemwide Service Standards and Policies

Revised March 2019

I. Introduction

This attachment provides Santa Rosa CityBus standards and policies related to the four quantitative indicators and two procedures required by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) for inclusion in each fixed-route transit operator's Title VI Program. The four indicators for which quantitative standards are required include: 1) vehicle load, 2) vehicle headway, 3) on-time performance, and 4) service availability. In addition, operators must adopt qualitative policies addressing the following procedures: 1) vehicle assignment, and 2) distribution of transit amenities.

The full set of adopted service standards and policies for Santa Rosa CityBus are available in the FY 2016-25 CityBus Short-Range Transit Plan

II. Service Standards

  1. Vehicle Load: Vehicle loads shall not exceed 1.5 in peak periods and 1.0 in off-peak periods. (Note: The vehicle load standard is expressed as a ratio of passengers to the number of seats available on a particular vehicle.)
  2. Vehicle Headway: The Phase I and II service plans resulting from the 2015-17 Reimagining CityBus project were developed using “route types” adopted by the Santa Rosa City Council in August 2015 as part of a set of Service Design Guidelines used to guide service planning.  Standards for vehicle headways have been adjusted to reflect these route types and the role that different types of service play in the new CityBus network.  These standards were developed with significant public input and review through the Reimagining CityBus Short-Range Transit Plan processes.  These route types include:
    • Rapid Bus:   A specialized service for the busiest segments of high-demand corridors that features direct route alignments and limited stops.  CityBus does not currently operate Rapid Bus service but may pursue development of rapid bus service as part of Reimagining CityBus Phase II.  Headway:  15 minutes or less
    • Trunk Routes:  The core routes in the system, serving the busiest corridors with direct, frequent service.  Trunk routes typically operate 7 days/week and may provide “local” service along rapid bus corridors.  Headway:  15-30 minutes
    • Local Routes:  Routes that serve moderate demand areas or corridors with service that may run as frequently as trunk routes, or less often.  Local routes may incorporate productivity and coverage-oriented segments within the same route, and are designed to connect with transfer hubs, trunk routes, and rapid bus corridors.  Headway:  30-60 minutes
    • Circulators/“Flexible” Services:  Services that primarily exist to provide coverage in areas with lower transit demand, and to connect residential neighborhoods to transfer hubs and local/trunk/rapid routes.  They may take the form of fixed-routes, deviated fixed-routes, or other coverage-oriented transit service models.  Headway:  60 minutes or more
  3. On-time Performance: At least 90% of scheduled arrivals will be on-time (within 5 minutes).
  4. Service Availability: 90% of transit-supportive areas within the City of Santa Rosa will be within ¼ mile of a bus stop.  Transit-supportive areas are defined as areas with continuous densities (i.e., as opposed to “leapfrog” development) with minimum household density of 3 households/gross acre or 4 jobs/gross acre.  Some areas may achieve these thresholds but feature street networks or other features that preclude transit operations, or be served by other transit operators at levels approximately what CityBus would provide.  This service availability standard was also developed with significant public input and review through the Reimagining CityBus and Short-Range Transit Plan processes and is subject to regular review when major service changes are considered to ensure this standard is preserved.

III. Service Policies

  1. Vehicle Assignment:  CityBus fleet composition is identified and maintained in accordance with the System Safety Program Plan, taking such factors as ridership levels and operating conditions into account.  Based on this evaluation, CityBus currently operates 25 40-foot transit buses and 4 30-foot transit buses that are able to serve two routes that include narrow streets or turns that are too tight for 40-foot buses to safely operate.  These routes are lower-ridership, coverage-based routes and passenger overloading on these smaller buses is not a concern based on low ridership levels.  40-foot vehicles are randomly assigned to the remaining vehicle blocks each day, ensuring that older and newer vehicles are rotated across all routes and neighborhoods.  In addition, because the CityBus system is heavily interlined with vehicles serving several different routes over the course of the service day, vehicles are heavily rotated throughout the city over the course of the service day. In this way CityBus ensures that discrimination does not occur through the vehicle assignment process.

  2. Transit Amenities: CityBus ensures that discrimination does not occur in the process of installing and maintaining new bus stop amenities by following adopted guidelines that prioritize locations based on empirical data related to transit service ridership levels and demand, subject to constraint related to safety and ADA compliance. The City of Santa Rosa Design Guidelines specify that:
  • Bus shelter(s) and bench(es) should be provided at stops where 50 passengers or more per day are expected to board buses
  • Bus bench(es) should be provided at stops where 30 passengers or more per day are expected to board buses
  • Developments that advantageously should provide bus shelter(s) and/or bench(es) include shopping centers, office buildings, hospitals, schools, large apartment complexes, and major residential subdivisions (200 or more dwelling units, or contains 100 acres or more of land).

New bus stop amenities provided by the City of Santa Rosa and private developers are distributed according to the City of Santa Rosa Design Guidelines, with the caveat that installation of bus stop amenities is subject to space and other constraints at the bus stop location, including the need to maintain an ADA-compliant landing pad and path of travel.  Further improvements to bus stops are additionally guided by a bus stop audit documenting compliance with ADA requirements, as well as other conditions and amenities, at all bus stops throughout the system.  A transition plan has been developed to prioritize improvements.  The transit Division reviews all applications by private developers and identifies improvements to be required through the entitlement process based on these guidelines to ensure an equitable distribution of developer-provided amenities. 

Free-standing waste receptacles are installed based on the number of passenger boardings at a particular stop, the level of activity in the area, and the availability of other trash receptacles nearby. Installation of pole-mounted waste receptacles may additionally require identification of an adjacent property owner who agrees to regularly empty the receptacle.

Printed information, including system/route maps and schedule information, is available on every CityBus vehicle and is provided at the Transit Mall, Coddingtown Transfer Hub, and Westside Transfer Center. All bus stops in the CityBus system are identified by a standard CityBus bus stop sign.

Provision of digital information such as real-time transit information signage will be prioritized for major activity centers in the CityBus system.