Tempo offers seating capacity for 58 riders and standing capacity for 38.

 Tempo offers seating capacity for 58 riders and standing capacity for 38.

AC Transit

The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) is set to launch its new BRT service — Tempo.

The history-making Tempo system is a $232 million investment in the East Bay communities and seamlessly integrates the frequency of light-rail train service, but instead delivers unparalleled bus frequency through a nearly 10-mile network of dedicated and painted bus-only lanes.

Tempo will operate 27 all-new 60-foot coaches. Manufactured by New Flyer, Tempo coaches are powered by hybrid technology designed to reduce both particulate and Nitric oxide (NOx) emissions. The Tempo coach is also constructed with lighter weight components for improved fuel savings. Embedded technology allows the Tempo coach to kneel to variable heights and minimizes the slope difference between the platform and bus floor.

Each Tempo coach is equipped with five wider doors. Its middle doors feature bridge plates, to ease access for riders with mobility devices, and bright yellow gap fillers or Carey Fingers bridge even the smallest distance between the platform and coach. Cyclists are welcome on board as Tempo has moved bike racks to the interior of the coach. Tempo offers seating capacity for 58 riders and standing capacity for 38.

County ordered physical distancing mandates currently limit onboard rider capacity. Decals on coach doors highlight the occupant limits. Face coverings are required on onboard Tempo and all AC Transit bus lines.

Tempo’s 46 curbside and center median stations are the juncture of form, function, and modern art. Station handrails and some windscreens artistically depict generations of culture, heritage, and industry, along Tempo’s corridor. Also woven into the station’s architecture is a miles-long poem, crafted by Bay Area artists in the haiku tradition of unrhymed poetry.

Each station also features either a 16-, 32-, or 48-foot original designed canopy. Overhead variable message signs provide up-to-the-minute bus arrivals. Vision impaired riders receive bus arrival playback via the Real-Time Audio push button. Platform-mounted ticket vending machines and Clipper card readers quicken boarding by transferring fare payment to the platform. Tempo stations are also awash in LED lighting and speakers permitting Tempo’s Line Management staff to communicate system disruptions or emergency updates. Stations are also bordered with all-new high-visibility crosswalks, push-to-walk signal controls, and ADA curb ramps and sidewalks.