This week marks the start of a new transit option in San Ramon's central commercial core, with an autonomous shuttle making its maiden voyage and beginning regular service throughout several stops in Bishop Ranch.
The Bishop Ranch Autonomous Shuttle Program is the first of its kind in the Bay Area, and was launched on Monday by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority.
The pilot program, set to run through this fall, is set to offer free shuttle service on automated electric vehicles throughout four stops in Bishop Ranch from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekdays.
"We're excited to be able to provide the public with free access to these zero-emission, low-speed, autonomous shuttles," CCTA Board Chair Federal Glover said in a statement.
Although aimed specifically at the approximately 30,000 employees working at Bishop Ranch amid the winding down of pandemic restrictions, the shuttles are open to the public
The launch of the autonomous shuttles also marks the start of implementing CCTA's PRESTO program, which is aimed at providing even more new transit options including electric scooters and bicycle sharing and express bus routes.
A portion of funding for the project was awarded by the Federal Highway Administration's Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment program in an $8 million grant.
"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," Glover said.