CONCORD -- One of the most densely populated neighborhoods in Contra Costa County will soon have a free shuttle for its residents -- again.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution to request grant funding approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in June to be used for the Lifeline Transportation Program for the Monument Neighborhood Shuttle.

The $311,704 grant will be available in 2013. No city funds will be used for the project.

A shuttle service in the Monument Corridor that began in 2007 ended in 2009 after a three-year funding period for the project expired.

While that service was on a fixed route, the next shuttle will be based on demand, serving residents within a triangular area bounded by Highway 242 to the northwest, Galindo Street to the northeast, the BART tracks to the east and south, and Bancroft Road and the Walnut Creek channel to the southwest.

The shuttle will provide rides to low-income, disabled and seniors, and other residents without cars to a variety of nearby destinations, including the downtown Concord BART station, John Muir Medical Center, La Clinica, the Concord Senior Center and local shopping centers.

The grant covers three years, and the program will be operated by the Monument Community Partnership, which recently merged with the Michael Chavez Center for Economic Opportunity.


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Maria Reyes, a health educator at La Clinica de la Raza, said the shuttle will provide seniors better access to the clinic. A lack of transportation for that population has been one of the clinic's biggest barriers, Reyes said.

"We are very excited, very supportive and interested in this shuttle opportunity," Reyes told council.

Within the Monument Corridor, 63 percent of the population lives below the federal poverty line and 18 percent of households do not have a car. By comparison, the county average is 6 percent of households without a car.

Mayor Ron Leone said he drives to San Francisco each week to take his mother shopping and to church, but said: "Not everybody has a family like that that can give that type of assistance. So it's important that we do try to help where we can. I'm proud to support this Monument shuttle."

In the grant application, officials assumed the shuttle would provide 8,000 one-way rides by year two and double that number by year three. The assumptions were based on the shuttle operating four trips per hour, 12 hours a day, five days a week for 50 weeks.

"Given these trip levels, it is anticipated that the majority of Monument residents who do not have access to a car, employed workers who need quicker access to BART and the major employment centers, seniors and the disabled, will ride the shuttle at some point during the pilot program," according to the grant application.

David DeBolt covers Concord and Clayton. Contact him at 925-943-8048. Follow him at Twitter.com/daviddebolt.

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