The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) in California has launched the Bay Area’s first autonomous shuttle program to be open to the public.
The Bishop Ranch Autonomous Shuttle Program will run through fall 2023, providing free, electric shuttles to four key destinations within Bishop Ranch in San Ramon, California.
CCTA’s groundbreaking program will be available to the community Monday through Friday from 7:30am – 5:30pm. This marks the launch of CCTA’s Presto – a new suite of mobility options that will include bike share, scooter share, and express bus service in addition to autonomous shuttles.
Presto will prepare the Bay Area for the future of transportation and increase transit options for all, including transportation-challenged and underserved communities in Contra Costa County.
“We’re excited to be able to provide the public with free access to these zero-emission, low-speed, autonomous shuttles. The service can help cut down on harmful emissions, reduce congestion on our roads, and create a new, accessible connection to transportation hubs throughout Contra Costa County, and we’re grateful to Bishop Ranch and the city of San Ramon for sharing our vision of a brighter future for the county,” said CCTA board chair Federal Glover.
CCTA’s partnership with Bishop Ranch allows campus employees and anyone from the public to experience the safe and accessible service that autonomous shuttles offer. Bishop Ranch’s 30,000 employees and miles of private roadways, bisected by public roads, make it an ideal location for the program’s launch. The program is funded in part by an US$8 million grant award from the Federal Highway Administration’s Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) program.
“We are proud to be a part of such a beneficial project and we look forward to seeing members of the community trying out Presto here on Bishop Ranch,” said Alex Mehran Jr., president and CEO of Bishop Ranch by Sunset Development Company. “CCTA is bringing impactful innovation to the everyday lives of people and will help positively impact how we all get around.”
CCTA is also partnering with Beep, which specializes in testing autonomous shuttles to create and manage stress-free and self-sufficient autonomous mobility solutions. Beep has tested autonomous shuttles around the country, including in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and even at Yellowstone National Park. Presto shuttles do not have drivers, pedals, or a steering wheel, but an attendant is always on board to make sure riders have a safe and pleasant experience. The Beep Command Center also remotely monitors the shuttles at all times to ensure the shuttles are operating safely.
“It’s an honor to partner with CCTA to deliver autonomous mobility solutions to Bishop Ranch,” said Joe Moye, Beep CEO. “CCTA shares our commitment to bringing these innovative technologies to communities to test how shared autonomous mobility can transform how we access goods and services. Our autonomous shuttles in San Ramon will provide all members of the community access to key destinations and opportunities at Bishop Ranch.”
The Bishop Ranch Presto shuttle will take passengers along a route with four stops throughout Bishop Ranch and City Center. Presto shuttles hold up to eight passengers plus an attendant and have a maximum speed limit of 15 miles per hour. The service is family-friendly, but riders under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. More information on how to use the shuttles can be found at ridePRESTO.com.
The Bishop Ranch Autonomous Shuttle Program will help CCTA develop services that could soon provide transit solutions in office parks, campuses, suburbs, and town centers. Just as CCTA’s Innovate 680 program aims to connect the I-680 corridor through seamless, efficient, and accessible modes of travel, this latest deployment is another example of how CCTA is bringing the future of transportation to Contra Costa County and the greater Bay Area.
CCTA plans to bring shuttles to several public events across the county this summer to make it easier for people to see and experience autonomous shuttles first-hand.