CCTA announces first in Bay Area free service to enhance mobility for both work and play
By Linsey Willis, Director of External Affairs, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
SAN RAMON, CA – Yesterday, Monday, April 24, 2023, the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) 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 $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.
Beep delivers the next generation of autonomous, shared mobility solutions through its software and services. Specializing in planning, deploying and managing autonomous shuttles for private and public communities, Beep safely connects people, places and services with autonomous networks that reduce congestion, eliminate carbon emissions, improve road safety and enable mobility for all. Beep leverages the data and learnings from its deployments to enhance and advance the safety, experience and operating capabilities of autonomous platforms. For more information visit ridebeep.com.
About Bishop Ranch
Owned and developed by Sunset Development since 1978, the family-operated company is guided by the long-held vision of making Bishop Ranch a distinct Californian community. Spread across 600 acres in Northern California’s San Ramon Valley, Bishop Ranch is where community, commerce and culture collide to create a thriving, walkable downtown for the city of San Ramon and a significant job center for the region. At its core, the 10-million-square-foot, next-generation workplace is one of the country’s largest office campuses and home to 30,000 employees and a dynamic mix of more than 600 businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, local startups and everything in between. With an award-winning transit program and a deep commitment to sustainability, Bishop Ranch aims to be the largest distributed power generation site in the world with 80% of its energy produced on-site by solar.
The heartbeat of Bishop Ranch is City Center, a $300 million, 300,000-square-foot, open-air shopping, dining and entertainment destination. With its range of nearly 60 distinctive retailers and notable restaurants – including The Slanted Door, LB Steak, Boba Guys and Fieldwork Brewing Company — along with Equinox Fitness, the luxurious LOT Cinema and the inviting public square, City Center is a unique and ever-popular gathering place. From art and music events to a thriving farmers’ market, City Center is the destination for social and cultural experiences.
With an unwavering commitment to build a walkable downtown, Bishop Ranch will soon introduce several distinctive residential communities, eventually numbering some 6,000 homes. Also planned is a new boutique hotel, as well as restaurant and retail options throughout the various neighborhoods. For more information, visit BishopRanch.com.
About the Contra Costa Transportation Authority
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts. With a staff of twenty people managing a multibillion-dollar suite of projects and programs, CCTA is responsible for planning, funding and delivering critical transportation infrastructure projects and programs that connect our communities, foster a strong economy, increase sustainability, and safely and efficiently get people where they need to go. CCTA also serves as the county’s designated Congestion Management Agency, responsible for putting programs in place to keep traffic levels manageable. More information about CCTA is available at ccta.net.