Skip to main content

Press Release



August 07,2020

The East Bay’s first-ever bus rapid transit system serves 46 all-new platform stations
and replaces Bus Line 1

OAKLAND, Calif. – The Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) proudly introduces Tempo – offering service from Uptown Oakland to the San Leandro Transit Center – launching Sunday, August 9, 2020.

The history-making Tempo system is a $232 million investment in our East Bay communities and seamlessly integrates the frequency of light-rail train service, but instead delivers unparalleled bus frequency through a nearly 10-mile network of dedicated and painted bus-only lanes.

“The AC Transit board of director’s greenlit Tempo seeking more than a new bus line,” says Board President Joe Wallace. “We sought a new way to deliver innovation, jobs to East Bay workers, and a commitment to inclusion and diversity; all the while ensuring our riders, merchants, and city, state, and federal partners had an active voice from design to final construction. And AC Transit’s staff made it happen. That’s why we are proud to launch Tempo.”

Transition from Bus Line 1

“Tempo represents a tangible commitment to our neediest riders along International Boulevard and East 14th Street, to replace Bus Line 1,” says General Manager, Michael Hursh. “Line 1 was stalled by heavy traffic, which created bus bunching, and undermined on-time performance, rendering Line 1 unreliable. The bus-only lanes now bypass traffic bottlenecks, eliminates bunching, and by managing traffic signals through transit signal priority technology, Tempo will ultimately achieve its optimal frequencies of a bus every 10-minutes.”

Please note, Tempo operates as Line 1T, offers all-night service, and replaces a portion of Line 801. Riders transferring from Lines 1T to Line 801 are not required to pay an additional fare.

Tempo Coaches

Tempo will operate 27 all-new 60-foot coaches. Manufactured by New Flyer, Tempo coaches are powered by hybrid technology designed to reduce both particulate and Nitric oxide (NOx) emissions. The Tempo coach is also constructed with lighter weight components for improved fuel savings. Embedded technology allows the Tempo coach to kneel to variable heights and minimizes the slope difference between the platform and bus floor.

Each Tempo coach is equipped with five wider doors. Its middle doors feature bridge plates, to ease access for riders with mobility devices, and bright yellow gap fillers or Carey Fingers bridge even the smallest distance between the platform and coach. Cyclists are welcome on board as Tempo has moved bike racks to the interior of the coach. Tempo offers seating capacity for 58 riders and standing capacity for 38.

County ordered physical distancing mandates currently limit onboard rider capacity. Decals on coach doors highlight the occupant limits.

Face coverings are required on onboard Tempo and all AC Transit bus lines.

Tempo Stations

Tempo’s 46 curbside and center median stations are the juncture of form, function, and modern art. Station handrails and some windscreens artistically depict generations of culture, heritage, and industry, along Tempo’s corridor. Also woven into the station’s architecture is a miles-long poem, crafted by Bay Area artists in the haiku tradition of unrhymed poetry.

Each station also features either a 16’, 32’, or 48’ original designed canopy. Overhead variable message signs provide up-to-the-minute bus arrivals. Vision impaired riders receive bus arrival playback via the Real-Time Audio push button. Platform-mounted ticket vending machines and Clipper card readers quicken boarding by transferring fare payment to the platform. Tempo stations are also awash in LED lighting and speakers permitting Tempo’s Line Management staff to communicate system disruptions or emergency updates. Stations are also bordered with all-new high-visibility crosswalks, push-to-walk signal controls, and ADA curb ramps and sidewalks.

Tempo Bus-Only Lanes

To achieve optimal operations, Tempo’s bus-only lanes must remain clear of stopped or illegally parked vehicles, including any delivery vehicles. Following a 31-day warning period, on August 1st, AC Transit began issuing $110 parking citations.

Onboard forward-facing cameras now capture images of illegally parked or stopped vehicles. AC Transit is also working with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department for bus-only lane enforcement. It is important to note, some bus-only lanes violators may be towed. Similar camera enforcement, in use in the City and County of San Francisco, was approved in 2016 by lawmakers for Tempo’s use.

Tempo Fares

As a thank you to our valued East Bay communities, Tempo will operate fare-free for its initial 90 days of operations.

In November 2020, riders are required to pay the full fare before boarding Tempo. If riders have purchased a paper ticket, retain the ticket, as Tempo will deploy a proof of payment inspections. Riders who pay the fare by tagging a Clipper card should be aware an inspector may subsequently scan your card to verify the appropriate payment. Tempo riders are also subject to fare evasion fines.

During our 90-day fare-free period, crews will remain hard at work installing Tempo’s final fit and finishes that include testing ticket vending machines, fiber optics, and additional technology that will support real-time data and rider apps.

Tempo Customer Service

Newly installed Tempo Platforms Agents can be found at stations along the 9.5-mile corridor and will support the transition from Line 1. Tempo Platform Agents are easily identified by both their Tempo logoed uniforms and high visibility vests. Platform Agents are mobile customer service centers that have undergone rigorous training and stand ready to assist riders with how to complete electronic fare purchases, Clipper card concerns, directions, details on service disruptions or emergencies, and assistance to riders with disabilities. Tempo Platform Agents do not perform fare enforcement assistance.

Tempo by the Numbers

• 8 miles of new safety enhanced bike lanes.
• 9.5 miles of new curb-to-curb pavement and dedicated bus-only lanes.
• 11 platforms feature windscreens with commissioned artwork by local artists.
• 13 miles of fiber optic cabling power the Tempo system.
• 27 60-foot hybrid technology coaches.
• 35 new traffic signals that improve bus frequency.
• 46 stations with iconic canopies; ADA accessible station sidewalks and ramps; LED lighting, overhead variable message signs, platform seating, and Real-Time Audio for the visually impaired; Clipper card readers and ticket vending machines; map cases and wayfinding signs.
• More than 450 new high visibility crosswalks for pedestrian safety.
• 515 new curb ramps allow walking along Tempo’s corridor easier for people using mobility devices and strollers

Tempo Ceremony & Events

Alameda County remains on California’s coronavirus Monitoring List. Therefore, county health orders for reopening, including large public gatherings, are on pause. As a result, Tempo’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is temporarily delayed. We are currently exploring alternative plans and will announce very soon.

AC Transit will host a media availability Tuesday, August 11th, at 10:30 am. This event will be hosted at the start of Tempo’s innovative route, the Uptown Oakland Tempo Station – Southbound, at the intersection of Broadway and 20th Street.

Tempo Images

For a look at AC Transit Tempo’s state of the art hybrid coaches, the vibrant architecture of Tempo stations, station platform amenities, and more, please click here.

Detailed safety features for Tempo riders, bicyclists, and motorists, is available by visiting