After working 30 years in transportation services, David Armijo knows the bus industry inside and out. The new general manager of AC Transit has worked as a bus operator, designed bus routes and schedules and managed operators.
“When I attended San Diego State University, I majored in public policy and had a professor advise me to get into the transportation business because traveling is something that people will always need,” Armijo said. “I’ve worked in the transportation business for decades, and I see that the demand has only increased,” he said.
As the head of the agency, his duties include reducing the carbon footprint left by bus exhaust by utilizing hydrogen batteries and fuel cells for hybrid buses. In the next three years, he says AC Transit will buy 300 new buses to replace the older models.
“Each month, we have about eight operators retiring. So we are definitely looking to expand our brand and hire some fresh faces to operate the buses,” said Armijo. “We are also looking to increase bicycle access.”
Armijo says his goals include providing safe and reliable bus service. One big project has been the Bus Rapid Transit system (BRT), which travels in exclusive lanes to avoid traffic and can be powered by hybrid electric or clean diesel. The $150-million project was approved recently by the San Leandro City Council and the Oakland City Council. The BRT route will begin at the 20th Street Uptown Station in Oakland, continue along East 14th Street to downtown San Leandro, then along Davis Street to San Leandro BART.
Construction is expected to begin in 2014, with the system fully operational in 2016. “We want to do right by the community, and this project will create local construction jobs for the community,” said AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson. “Overall, the BRT will make transportation around the Bay Area faster and safer.”
AC Transit expects BRT will lead to increase corridor ridership from 25,000 to 36,000 people per day and operate at 28 percent faster travel speed during the afternoon rush hour.
Those who interested in applying for jobs as drivers can fill out an application online at http://agency.governmentjobs.com/actransit/default.cfm. Applicants should be at least 23 years old an have a minimum of seven years driving experience and no at-fault accidents in the past three years.