Parents, students and drivers love it. It creates jobs, cuts greenhouse gases and it costs just fractions of a cent.
Not bad for a program just entering its second year. The program, Traffix, uses some of the half-cent sales tax money from Contra Costa County's Measure J to run buses for students at seven San Ramon Valley schools.
"It's going great after our first year," said Program Manager Aram Boyd. "Parents and kids embrace the program."
With more than 1,000 registered to ride and a few hundred more expected to sign up in the coming days, the program is clearly a hit. Boyd said parents have good reason to like it -- it saves them money and time.
"The way we priced it is cheaper than driving," he said, explaining that the cost is $250 a year, with the price capped at $200 for those who signed up last year.
Boyd said children love it too.
"The kids really like their driver. They love the extra time on the bus," he said, adding it gives them a little more time to socialize with their friends.
And the program is accomplishing what it was intended to do -- cutting traffic.
"We're taking between 700 and 800 cars off the road. This is peak time during the morning," Boyd said. "It's made a huge difference, especially at the most congested intersections."
He said it's also made a noticeable difference around the schools as well, cutting the congestion and making it easier for those who live near schools to come and go.
The transportation service is offered at two middle schools, Los Cerros and Pine Valley; and five elementary schools, Country Club, Green Valley, Walt Disney, Neil Armstrong and Vista Grande. Those are the schools where traffic surveys and parent input said it would do the most good.
Boyd has been spending the last few days at registration for the sites Traffix serves. He said one route is entirely sold out, and he expects three more to sell out as well.