BART’s Oakland Airport Connector — Yea or Nay? (updates)
Photo by Flickr user sftrajan
Update (9:04 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2009): Transbayblog has a recap of last night’s City Council meeting, in which the council approved the OAC, with a caveat or two.
Original post: Things could come to a boil at tonight’s Oakland City Council meeting, when the council will vote on a resolution rejecting a proposal for an elevated line connecting the Dublin/Pleasanton and Fremont lines to the Oakland International Airport. The estimated cost of the project: $522 million.
We at BART Diaries see both sides of a fairly complicated and certainly expensive project. But we want to know how you, dear reader/BART rider, feel about this. Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and if you’re so inspired, Transbay Blog is awarding prizes to anyone who shows up to tonight’s City Council meeting to speak about the OAC (Oakland Airport Connector).
I’d totally fly in and out of Oakland more if I didn’t have to take that shuttle (which you can forget about riding during peak times). But is it going to be $16 like when you BART to SFO?
The bus is annoying, but it works. If we’re going to spend a ton of money on a new rail line, there are better places to do so, even within Oakland. Spend a few hundred bucks on signage at the OAK terminals and the BART stop to make the shuttle stops obnoxiously obvious, improve the payment options (if they haven’t already) and put that money into something else.
Oh, that’s right, the fare. I knew there was something I really hated about this. Isn’t the proposing fare about the same price as taking a cab?
I’m all for the idea of extending BART service to the Oakland airport. Unfortunately, the reality of such a connection is far more expensive than the value it would provide, and not very practical; the only reason the SFO extension is even halfway useful is because it’s incorporated into a regular BART route, which makes it easy to travel between the airport and the city and the East Bay.
If there were a practical way to include an OAK stop in one of the routes (Fremont or Dublin/Pleasanton), it might be worth the time and the airport surcharge; but for what’s being proposed, I don’t see how an automated, elevated ride is worth twice the fare of the AirBART fare.
I think the connector would be very helpful in shortening travel times. As it is right now, I have an AC Transit pass, so I usually just take the 50 between the airport and the Coliseum BART for free, but taking into account end-to-end and waiting, especially at off-peak times, I have to budget at least a half hour just to travel between the platform and the airport. It would be very convenient to be able to ride directly in, and most likely worth the surcharge. The surcharge would still be much less than a cab fare except from nearby locations. Also, keep in mind that the quoted surcharge is the worst case scenario, not some sort of fixed cost that can’t be adjusted.
Yes, that connecter is super expensive and probably will not generate a profit, but it is necessary. You cannot have transit going as close to the airport as BART does and not have a fast, convenient way to connect the two. Do it.
I’ve never had any trouble with that shuttle, and a BART extension would be a hugely expensive wasteful project with little real benefit, considering how close it already goes. In a perfect world, sure it would be nice, but I just don’t see that the need justifies the costs.
I agree with Sara. It looks good on paper. In reality it will be expensive, add more walking and well hurt our other transit systems. BART included. I voted for the project when it included infill stations. I would like to improve OAK to BART transit, but not this way. Now I am calling BS. Short-term: a few construction jobs. Long term: an easy way for people to ignore the entire Hegenberger business district. What’s the cost of that?
Not fast, not convenient, very expensive, better/faster (to build and get you to the airport)/cheaper alternatives available. This project is a looser. I would never pay $6 plus a BART fare to get to OAK.
I think it will be, at best, the same overall speed and convenience as an improved shuttle bus but at several times the cost.
The city council requiring an intermediate stop is an attempt at a step in the right direction, but that is still just going to add to the cost and the travel time. A shuttle stop can go anywhere one is wanted if there is demand in the future.