Oakland Airport Connector

Boondoggle moves forward, regional planning changing for the better

Imagine a world, where convenient, sustainable transportation was the norm, instead of the exception. If the Bay Area is going to simultaneously combat global-warming, create an equitable transportation system, and provide more convenient, easier to use transit, something has to change. And the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) is a shining example of the problems our region faces.

The OAC is a $500 million dollar people mover that will average 23mph between the Oakland Coliseum BART and the Oakland Airport. It will require luggage toting passengers to navigate more escalators and walk further than the current AirBART shuttle. All while paying a likely $6 fee, on top of the regular BART fare, for the privilege. The system will require BART to take on more than $110 million in new debt, a serious risk to the core-system financial stability at BART.

While the OAC boondoggle is moving forward at a cost of over half-a-billion dollars, and growing, transit advocates changed the conversation about how planning in our region takes place. The OAC may very well stand as a monument to the balkanized transportation planning of the past. As TransForm's pivotal report shows, airport travelers and East Oakland residents would all benefit from a cheaper, quicker alternative that frees up money for other priority regional projects.

It wasn't just TransForm and our allies saying so, Steve Kinsey, Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC)'s Programs and Allocations Committee, and took a strong stand against our region's status quo planning efforts

“We’re going to have to understand the greenhouse gas, the land use, the social equity and the transportation efficiency aspects of our investments. …(the OAC) was backward technology, not forward technology, was the loss of an economic development opportunity to a lifeline community because the stops were eliminated, and had high operating subsidies and high cost fares. All in all, over time, this is going to be a continuing challenge for BART….. we (at MTC) are going to have a harder time making decisions going forward.  We aren’t going to be able to just say it’s too big, it’s been in the pipeline so long. We’re going to have to really evaluate those things.... we cannot afford to be cost-inefficient as we go forward.”

For more information contact John Knox White.

Title VI complaint filed 9-1-2009200.87 KB
Presentation to Oakland City Council on project info3.14 MB
Letter to MTC re: RapidBART report106.06 KB