The BART Board's decision to set the fare for the Oakland Airport Connector at $6 per ride instead of a proposed $4 fare on June 12 was a huge victory for everyday BART riders.
When BART’s $550 million Oakland Airport Connector opens this fall, BART itself estimates that the project will lose $7-8 million during its first year and continue losing money through 2040.
Charging a higher fare to Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) riders means less funding for the core BART system will need to be used to subsidize the OAC.
TransForm has consistently advocated that the BART Board ensure BART’s core service remains affordable and reliable for everyday riders by asking relatively high-income airport passengers to pay their fair share of the pricey OAC project. Hundreds of transit riders also contacted the BART Board in support of a $6 fare.
At the June 12 meeting, BART Directors Blalock, Fang, Keller, McPartland, Raburn, Radulovich, and Saltzman voted for the $6 fare. TransForm extends its gratitude to the BART Board and management for recognizing the need to find solutions that will help protect core BART service.
This decision will help keep BART fast, frequent, reliable, and affordable for the more than 400,000 people who ride BART every day. (Note: No matter what, airport workers will pay a reduced fare for the OAC).
TransForm has been watchdogging the OAC project for years. The OAC is a tram that will shuttle passengers the 3.2 miles from the Oakland Coliseum station to the airport. This tram will replace the existing AirBART shuttle buses, which currently charge $3 per ride.
TransForm raised the alarm in February and April when information came out at BART Board meetings showing huge anticipated shortfalls for the OAC. In May, we urged BART Directors to set a higher fare than $4.