Why is the Transit Center being moved?
Constructed in 1995, the Hercules Transit Center is no longer adequate
for the park-and-ride demand. The use of this park-and-ride facility by
casual carpoolers, many of whom do not pay transit fares, is an important
factor. Consequently, many commuters have resorted to parking along Sycamore
Avenue and John Muir Parkway, even though many of these locations are
posted with ‘No Parking’ signs. With new construction projects
such as Sycamore Downtown underway, having a larger transit center has
become an even more pressing need. Due to site and funding constraints,
the Hercules Transit Center could not be expanded on-site so a new location
had to be found.
Is the new Transit Center larger?
The relocated Hercules Transit Center will be 66% larger, with a total
of 422 parking spaces. This increase would have been impossible if the
transit center were not moved. In addition to the capacity increase, there
is a pedestrian and bicycle path to connect the facility to the Sycamore/Willow
Avenue intersection, and plenty of lighting both on the paths and around
the Transit Center.
Will I have to pay to park?
Yes, the parking fee is $3 a day. A parking permit is not required on weekends.
With a printed parking permit, the $3
includes two one way trip vouchers good for travel on WestCAT local and
Express routes. These vouchers are not included when you obtain
a permit by phone. Transit Center users also have the option
to purchase a monthly permit for $80, which includes a 31 day WestCAT
bus pass or a monthly parking permit without the WestCAT pass for $63.
The 31 day WestCAT pass allows unlimited travel in any direction on WestCAT
Local Fixed Routes, Express, and Martinez Link 30Z buses which is activated
from the first day of travel. There is also a one time fee of $4.95 when
you purchase a monthly parking permit.
How do I obtain a parking pass?
Visit www.herculestransitcenter.com to purchase a monthly or daily parking
permit. Patrons can register their credit card information on the secure
server. You can either print out a daily permit or request mailing of
a monthly permit hang-tag. The printed daily permit includes two tear-off
bus transfer instruments. The permanent transit windshield decal will
be mailed with a 31 day WestCAT pass. Remember, your daily or monthly
pass reserves a parking space. Unless canceled, your account will be charged,
your monthly parking permit will automatically renew andanother 31 day
WestCAT pass will be mailed to you.
Patrons now also have the option to purchase a daily permit using
their cell phone. To use your cell phone, transit center users
must first register at www.parkinghelp.com.
You will be prompted to create an account and enter your address, the
cell phone number you will be calling from and your credit card information
for billing. This is a one time process that takes approximately two minutes.
There is an annual fee of $5.95 for the Park-by-Phone account.
After you register, print a temporary ID card that must be placed on the
dashboard of your vehicle. Patrons are also encouraged to write the location
code 12181013 on the back of the ID Card. A permanent ID card will be
mailed to you for long term use.
Once you’re registered, obtaining a permit is easy. After you arrive
and park, call 1-888-310-PARK from the cell phone number you’ve
already registered. Then enter the location code 12181013 and you are
all set! The ID card on your dash lets the system know you’ve paid.
The permit cost is $3, but does NOT include the bus vouchers as
does the printed permit. Any required bus tickets will need to be obtained
separately. At the end of the month, your credit card will be
billed only for the number of days you obtained a permit.
Can I still participate in a casual carpool?
The new Transit Center facility was specially designed to improve the
safety and capacity of passenger loading. At the new Transit Center, motorists
picking up or dropping off riders should use the east entrance, and stop
alongside the platform marked with signs reading "No Parking - Loading
Zone". Persons waiting for rides can now form queues on this platform
without interfering with bus or automobile movements. The loading zone
platform also has a wheelchair-accessible ramp.
There is no charge for entering the lot to pick up riders. However, motorists
parking their cars in the lot will need to obtain a daily or monthly parking
permit. The $63 monthly rate was designed to suit the requirements of
regular carpoolers who do not require WestCAT transit inconnection with
their parking. Otherwise, there is no change in policy or regulation of
carpoolers at the new Transit Center location.
Can I buy a parking permit that includes fares for the Lynx service?
Not at this time. The Lynx service is operated by WestCAT separately and
independently from BART. Separate fares and payments are required for
transportation on the Lynx direct-to-San Francisco bus service. More information
on Lynx service packages can be obtained at westcat.org.
Is there handicap parking?
Yes, handicap parking spaces are available, however all vehicles must
have a daily or monthly parking permit.
What if I don’t have a credit card or internet access?
Transit Center users who do not have a credit card or access to the internet
may call 1-800-997-0197 from 8:00am to 4:00pm Monday through Friday to
arrange for their payment and permit to be mailed. This method requires
a money order payment to be received by Clancy Systems upon which the
proper permits will be sent via US Postal Service.
Can I use Wage Works or Commuter Checks to pay for my parking
Yes, you can use wage works or commuter checks to purchase monthly
parking permits. Just let your employer know the amount you want the voucher
for and make payable to Hercules Transit Center. As long as the payment
is received by the 15th of the month, your credit card will not be charged.
Never heard of Wage Works or Commuter checks? Check out http://www.bart.gov/guide/taxbenefits.aspx.
How do I use the electronic bike lockers?
There are twelve electronic bike lockers, called eLockers, available at
the Hercules Transit Center. The lockers provide on-demand bike parking
on a first come, first serve basis. To use the lockers, you first need
to purchase a BikeLinkTM Card at www.bikelink.org
or by calling 1-888-540-0546. Once you have the card, insert the card
into the machine and the screen guides you though the process. The cost,
approximately 5-cents an hour, is automatically deducted from your card.
When you return, just insert your card into the slot, get your bike, and
any unused time will be automatically refunded back to your card. The
BikeLink cards can be used at any BART eLocker location. For more information,
Why do we have to pay for parking?
Even though the facility may seem like a big empty lot, the Transit Center
does require maintenance and police services. The parking fees help cover
those expenses. In 2005, BART passed several resolutions approving parking
fees at different Park and Ride Facility locations, including Hercules.
With the opening of the expanded center, these approved fees will now
be enforced. The parking fee structure is also designed to encourage Transit
Center users to ride BART, since a WestCAT bus ticket to BART is included
in the pass. In effect, this provides a ‘discounted’ parking
rate to the Transit Center users who choose to take BART.
Will there be bus service to the new facility?
WestCAT is revising its system schedule to accommodate the Transit Center
relocation. You can preview the new schedule now at www.westcat.org.
The new schedule includes one new ‘J’ line stop near the corner
of San Pablo and Sycamore. Of course, this one stop does not solve every
issue, but it is a first step. While adding more routes would be ideal,
public agencies are facing steep budget constraints.
In addition, WestCAT is facing budget issues not connected to the Transit
Center relocation. Consequently, adding new routes or services in the
near future is not possible with current or anticipated funding levels.
As more redevelopment projects are completed in the area, WestCAT does
plan to provide additional service to locations west of San Pablo, however
these services are not expected to be needed for three to five years.
Who will maintain the new Transit Center?
The new Hercules Transit Center is owned and operated by BART. On Tuesday,
July 14, the City Council will be reviewing and possibly implementing
an agreement with BART where the City would oversee the day-to-day operations
of the facility on behalf of BART. These services include routine maintenance
such as water and power, trash pick-up, landscape maintenance and graffiti
removal. Hercules police will continue to respond to calls for service,
although incidents requiring significant follow-through resources will
be turned over to BART Police. Hercules would also provide, through a
vendor, the day-to-day services required for BART’s paid parking
program. The net revenue from the paid parking program would be used to
reimburse Hercules for its maintenance costs.
What will happen to the old Transit Center?
The City of Hercules will take ownership of the existing transit center
once the new Hercules Transit Center is open. Plans for Phase 1 of the
New Town Center are well underway. Construction is expected to
begin in the Summer of 2010.