by Daniel DeBolt / Mountain View Voice
On the first Monday of 2015, blue-and-white shuttles will begin circulating in Mountain View, a free service to get people to get to and from most major destinations in the city.
The “100 percent electric” 16-passenger shuttles – equipped with WiFi and donated by Google – will start running on Monday, Jan. 5, on a loop that connects the downtown to various shopping centers, several schools, the city’s hospitals, parks and the movie theaters in North Bayshore, among other places.
While the service starts Jan. 5, the “Mountain View Community Shuttle” will have its official launch on Jan. 9 at 11 a.m. in a ceremony at the downtown train station. There will also be a preview of the MVgo new commuter shuttle, which is also free to the public and launches the following Monday, Jan. 12.
Mayor Chris Clark said both new shuttle services are examples of how Mountain View is tackling transportation “in an innovative and openly accessible way.”
Commenting on the community shuttle’s relatively plain markings, which consist of “high blue banding and digital location marquee,” City Manager Dan Rich said “We wanted it to be simple but recognizable from far away and in traffic.”
On weekdays, the service will run every 31 minutes from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on weekends and holidays every 70 minutes between noon and 8 p.m. Each shuttle is equipped with bike racks, a wheelchair lift and space for two wheelchairs.