Follow BART Oakland Airport Connector meeting on Twitter

14 May

I’m off to the BART board meeting in a few minutes, but I wanted to mention that if you’d like to follow it in real time, check out dto510 and Max Allstadt on Twitter. They both did an excellent job of covering the last meeting, and I promise that you’ll not only be informed, but also entertained.

Also, check out the excellent editorial printed today in several local MediaNews papers:

In the past, we have been supportive of the airport linkage. But the new financial and ridership projections have made us rethink our position.

It’s not surprising that the ridership projections for the airport link have plummeted. Air travel has been hard hit by the economic downturn and soaring fuel prices. Oakland Airport also has been hurt badly because some key carriers have moved more service across the Bay to the San Francisco Airport. The number of Oakland passengers this year will be only about two-thirds the total in 2005…

In an ideal world, it would be great to have a fancy rail system to move passengers from their flights to BART. It would be great to mirror the service across the Bay at SFO. But the San Francisco Airport carries 64 percent of the region’s air passengers, while Oakland serves just 20 percent.

So, even though BART has some federal stimulus money to help pay for the light-rail system, spending it to build a money-losing entity that will create more operating debt for the district in the future makes little sense. The stimulus money could probably be better spent on other Bay Area transportation projects.

Meanwhile, BART has a much cheaper alternative — improved bus service — to shuttle passengers from the Coliseum station to the airport terminal. It’s time to put the brakes on the light-rail plan and look at other solutions.

Now, go read the whole thing, and let’s hope that BART directors have the same revelation.

6 Responses to “Follow BART Oakland Airport Connector meeting on Twitter”

  1. Aldous Huxley May 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm #

    I hate the AirBART bus. I live in Oakland and take BART to SFO. Not getting all the hate on the project – a BART connection to Oakland would have me taking planes out of Oakland Airport a bus – no way.

    To me the SF BART no vote is another way to keep Oakland as the “second class” city to SF. A BART connection would attract many riders who reject a bus line.

    The economy will come back air travel will come back. A Bart line to Oakland would get travelers to Oakland airport to spend money on food airport taxes – it makes Oakland at the same level as SF. Go BART.

    • Becks May 20, 2009 at 7:44 am #

      They are not building BART to the airport! That’s never even been suggested. I recommend reading my other posts on this topic for more info on the proposal, but you should know that the proposed overhead connector is not seamless and will cost $6 fare each way.

  2. Eleanor May 20, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I know I am late in the game on this one, but what is the best way to take action against this? Or is it pretty much set at this point?

    I personally love the idea of rail, but $6? $6! Not only would this discourage people from using the airport, but it would also encourage driving. Parking for a couple days would still be cheaper than the bart plus this connector. On the other hand, the free, quick, nice bus option would encourage people to use this airport more. People are used to buses at airports- rental car shuttle buses don’t get looked down on because they too are nice and they’re free.

    • Becks May 20, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

      It’s not too late to weigh in Eleanor, as this plan is not a done deal (there are still several pieces that need to be lined up). Look for an update here in two weeks or so about how you can get involved.

  3. S Raney May 26, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    Personal Rapid Transit promises a superior solution to Automated People Mover for the Oakland Airport Connector, winning on cost, speed, service area, Oakland economic development, BART ridership, Airport improvement, long-term jobs, in-fill development, visual impact, risk, and AC Transit enhancement. A web page details the arguments:

  4. Anon June 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    I wish that the bus I took to work would be replaced with a half a billion dollar train line. Oh, the bus line gets a lot more riders than Air BART.

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