AC Transit Bus Rapid Transit Project Clears Major Milestone
Major Milestone for BRT Project That Will Ease Traffic Congestion, Stimulate Local Economy, and Reduce Commute Times & Emissions
With a similar agreement with the City of San Leandro already in place, AC Transit and the City of Oakland have come to terms on the agency’s Bus Rapid Transit Project (BRT), eliminating the last major obstacle between concept and construction. After weeks of discussion, the parties endorsed the East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Operations and Maintenance Agreement (O&M), which outlines specific responsibilities once the BRT service begins.
The BRT will cruise the 9.5-mile stretch from downtown Oakland to San Leandro BART via Broadway, International Boulevard and East 14th Street. The project will make bus transit more efficient and cleaner with dedicated bus lanes, improved street lighting and crosswalks, artistic enhancements, signal priority, elevated boarding stations and more.
Along with bringing a new look to the corridor, the BRT will create more than 1,000 jobs during its construction phase and help stimulate businesses along the street for years to come. The new bus service will provide one of the busiest traffic corridors in the Bay Area with a fast, economical and environmentally friendly transportation system.
“As partners, the District and the City of Oakland have worked hand-in-hand toward building and operating these new transit stations and the host of amenities that will improve the look and safety along this corridor,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo.
The BRT project will invest $178 million in traffic improvements, parking and beautification efforts to dramatically enhance the densely populated, well-worn corridor.
“AC Transit’s approval of the operations and maintenance agreement is a huge milestone for the BRT project, which will be one of the largest investments we have ever seen in East Oakland,” said Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo who represents much of the area and helped shape the agreement. “The City of Oakland looks forward to expanding our working relationship with AC Transit for the benefit of the residents of Oakland. We look forward to the positive transformation that the BRT will bring to International Boulevard.”
BRT construction will begin this year. The service will be fully implemented in 2017.
About the Bus Rapid Transit Project (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 driving on congested city streets. It would reduce traffic levels, 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.