The good news is that the Oakland airport rail link is not yet a done deal. BART directors are now seeking proposals to build and operate the line. They have until Nov. 30 to pick a contractor or give the money back so the Metropolitan Transportation Commission can redirect the funds.
I say, give it back, so the dollars can be spent on a needed and useful transit project.
BART has a much cheaper alternative — improved bus service — to shuttle passengers from the Coliseum station to the airport terminal. It's time to put the brakes on the light-rail plan and look at other solutions.
"Gutting public transportation funding is a new low for the state," Paine said. "With the state's commitment to reducing global warming pollution and the growing demand for public transportation, there's a mandate to make sure that transit is well funded."
A plan to use $70 million of the stimulus money to build a three-mile BART extension from the Coliseum Station to the Oakland International Airport drew protests.... "We don't need star trek to the airport," said Transform Executive Director Stuart Cohen.
Public transportation is far more than a social service for people without cars. The truth is that buses, trains, and ferries are an integral component of local and regional economies – and must be central to the Obama administration's economic recovery package.
Safe Route to Schools, spearheaded by Oakland-based TransForm,
shows parents and children ways to safely navigate busy streets.... [S]ince the program began two years ago, 40 elementary and 10 middle
schools — including ones in Castro Valley, Cherryland and San Leandro —
Susan Silber, education coordinator at TransForm, a nonprofit organization that encourages the use of public transportation and building of walkable communities, helps lead the Safe Routes to School program. Parents just need to be reminded of the benefits of walking to school, she said.
"The kids get more exercise when they're walking. Environmentally, it's a great way to reduce our carbon footprint, and it reduces traffic in the morning," she said. "It's also great community-building. It's like a play date before or after school. The kids have a great time with each other. Parents tell me, 'I enjoy this just as much as the kids.'"