The SamTrans Holiday Bus will begin rolling down primarily El Camino Real this week, either on the ECR or Route 398, and its 10th year of operation is happening in memory of one of its dedicated founders, Elliott Rivas, who died unexpectedly on Jan. 31 this year.
The Holiday Bus was started 10 years ago by SamTrans’ Director of Bus Transportation Ana Rivas and Elliott, her late husband. For the past nine years, Elliott, a 25-year SamTrans veteran who retired from the transit agency as a manager of bus maintenance, acted as the dedicated project manager who helped oversee decorations for both the inside and outside of a 40-foot Gillig bus.
“Each year the team elevated the look and feel of the festive bus by adding in special touches such as a hundreds of Christmas lights, mounting mechanical reindeers on the bike rack and adding snow machines on the roof of the bus,” according to SamTrans. “Ana ensured the SamTrans Holiday Bus was included in the annual Redwood City Hometown Holidays Parade. The Holiday Bus was also used in support of local toy drives prior to going into service.”
The SamTrans Bus Transportation team opted to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the Holiday Bus by featuring a 60-foot articulated New Flyer bus, a newer addition to the SamTrans fleet.
“Before going into service this week, the Holiday Bus was unveiled as an unexpected surprise for Ana,” SamTrans officials said. “She was thoroughly touched by the efforts made by the SamTrans family and adored the meaningful details shown in the decorative bus wrap, including references to a black Mustang, which was Elliott’s favorite car and a pink pig holding a wrench, which represented the three-legged pig charm that Elliott carried with him as a good luck token.”
The Holiday Bus will remain in service for approximately a month through the beginning of January 2021.
Photos credited to SamTrans