The Highway 17 Express is an inter-county express bus service jointly operated by the Valley Transportation Authority ( VTA ), California Department of Transportation (CalTrans), Amtrak, Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), and the Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (SCMTD). This service runs between the Santa Cruz Metro Center and the San Jose Diridon train station, with specific routes making additional stops at the Cavallaro Transit Center in Scotts Valley, Soquel Park-and-Ride lot, and a few other roadside locations in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, and San Jose. Some people use the bus everyday to commute over the hill; others use it to get to and from places outside Santa Cruz.
If your travel schedule is flexible, generally the least-busy time of day is late morning and early to mid-afternoon, between morning and evening rush hours. During busy hours and days, occasionally you may find yourself without a place to sit. Additionally, the days before and after a school holiday (or any holiday in general) experience heavy crowding, and sometimes will have to call an additional bus in order to handle the rider overload.
The bus has two wheelchair restraint mechanisms in each bus, as well as ramps/lifts. If there are more than two wheelchairs needing accommodation, the bus driver will call an additional bus from the depot to get the rider to his or her destination.
Each bus has space for three bikes on the front rack. If there is room, additional bikes can be put inside the bus or in the luggage bins under the bus. It is common for there to be a bus full of people and more than two of them have bikes they want to bring along. If you commute regularly, it may be worth it to purchase a folding bike, since there is no restriction due to their small space requirement. If that is not a possibility, get to the station early to get in line, since generally the first bikes to show up get dibs on the bike rack spots.
Wi-Fi internet service is available on board all Highway 17 Express buses.