Take Action: Last chance to ensure an equitable Oakland Airport Connector

4 Feb

Disclosure: I am again doing some work for TransForm on the Oakland Airport Connector campaign.

As you’ve no doubt heard, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) voted last week to give BART a bit more time to convince the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that it has its act together and can complete its equity analysis in time to secure stimulus funding for the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC). The drop dead date approved by MTC is February 16th – by that date, if FTA does not approve BART’s equity action plan, the $70 million in stimulus funds will be redistributed to the regional transit agencies that desperately need it.

If FTA does approve BART’s action plan, MTC will meet on February 17th to vote on what to do. At that point, they can vote to keep the funds with BART for the OAC and pray that BART will follow through on its equity analysis. Or, they could vote to re-appropriate the funds to the transit agencies.

So there are still two decision makers at play here – FTA and MTC.

Many people have been asking me if there’s anything left to do. They want to take action. They want to make sure that the MTC does not roll the dice and gamble $70 million away, when the transit agencies desperately need it and BART has shown repeatedly that it is unable or unwilling to move forward with an equitable connector.

The one year fight for an equitable connector is likely coming to an end – either we’ll be stuck with an unequitable overhead connector that does not improve transit to the airport and wastes the region’s limited funds, or BART will have to start over and will hopefully embrace the bus rapid transit alternative that TransForm proposed last year.

There is one last thing you can do. Write to the FTA. Applaud them for their actions to date to ensure an equitable project, and urge them to insist that BART objectively and publicly complete the required civil rights analysis.

It’s easy to do. Visit TransForm’s action page and personalize your message. I know you have a lot to say. Say it, but keep it civil and positive. FTA has shown that they care about equity and that they will hold BART accountable for its actions. Let’s make sure they continue to do this. Send an email now and ask your friends, family, and coworkers to do the same.

Previous posts on the Oakland Airport Connector:

9 Responses to “Take Action: Last chance to ensure an equitable Oakland Airport Connector”

  1. Andy K February 4, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Thanks. Never thought of sending something to the FTA.

  2. Naomi Schiff February 4, 2010 at 10:39 pm #

    I did it, and it was easy (just as easy as sending stuff to CBS to protest the stupid ad from Focus on the Family).

  3. Max Allstadt February 5, 2010 at 1:08 am #

    I’d like a comprehensive list of all the illegal and deceitful tactics BART used during their efforts on the OAC. Sending that to the FTA, sourced, would be a great way of saying, “Look, these guys will lie to you through their teeth about Title VI compliance. Even if they do the required study, it’ll be nothing but fakery.”

    • Becks February 5, 2010 at 8:15 am #

      Don’t worry Max – TransForm and Public Advocates are communicating with FTA and have documented all of BART’s transgressions.

      The list of mis-truths from BART over the past year are somewhat astounding when seen in list form. Maybe I’ll post them here at some point.

      • Naomi Schiff February 5, 2010 at 10:54 am #

        Might be useful when we try to replace a Director or three!

  4. Sam February 5, 2010 at 10:09 am #

    Thanks, that was an easy form to use, and I probably wouldn’t have thought to do it otherwise.

  5. Karen S. February 6, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    I was asking if we should do this, if it would have an effect, when I saw TransForm’s easy email access. I wrote a few words to express my concern. Thanks to TransForm, Urban Habitat and Public Advocates for keeping us on point and to Becks and all who keep us informed.

  6. Dennis H. February 11, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    I wish you people would just leave it alone. We can’t ever move forward with anything in Oakland, without the naysayers coming out of the woodwork. It never fails.

  7. Dennis H. February 12, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    Well it looks like the project is dead. Congratulations! You got what you wanted. Another Oakland project down the drain. Good job!

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