Oakland City Council Approves Bus Rapid Transit
Following a similar vote by the San Leandro City Council on Monday, the Oakland City Council has unanimously endorsed AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project that is designed to improve bus service and reduce commute times in one of the most congested traffic corridors in the East Bay.
“The council’s action is a great win for our transit infrastructure,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. “This is an investment in the region that will improve air quality, enhance service reliability, upgrade streets along the corridor and make smoother, quicker commutes.”
The BRT route, nearly 10 miles long from San Leandro BART through downtown Oakland, will make bus transit more efficient and cleaner for East Bay residents. Now with the cities’ approval, $150 million project is a step closer to reality and the creation of at least 700 jobs during its two-year construction phase.
“We are very excited to be moving ahead with the BRT project. Streets along this corridor will be beautifully upgraded and commutes times will be reduced,” said AC Transit Board President Elsa Ortiz. “The Oakland vote, coupled with last night’s tremendous victory in San Leandro, is truly a major step forward for public transportation in the East Bay.”
BRT will reduce auto travel by 2,000 single trips and 8,000 miles daily—reducing daily fuel consumption by 210 gallons. BRT is the first and only mass transit technology certified under the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to reduce greenhouse gases that are associated with climate change.
An analysis published in the Journal of Public Transportation called BRT the best transit strategy for most U.S. cities to reduce transportation-related CO2 emissions.
The Federal Transit Authority has given AC Transit’s BRT plan the highest overall rating of any of the transit projects under consideration across the United States. Construction is expected to begin in 2014, with the system fully operational in 2016.
About Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
AC Transit’s vision is to provide a truly world-class transit service that is convenient, reliable and safe; one that increases mobility, enhances the quality of life and improves the health of the environment throughout the communities it serves. Bus Rapid Transit would be a high-capacity rapid transit system that reduces travel times. With dedicated lanes and signal priority, and prominent stations with convenient boarding of buses, BRT would offer residents a viable alternative to congested city streets. It would reduce traffic congestion, significantly cutting emissions and pollutants. Bus Rapid Transit is essentially light rail without the tracks. It combines the speed and capacity of light rail with the convenience and affordability of riding the bus. It can be planned and built at much less expense, and more quickly, than traditional light rail systems.