Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Uptown-Waterfront shuttle plans

By awoodall
Friday, October 16th, 2009 at 3:11 pm in Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Old Oakland, Uncategorized, Uptown.

Lately I have been enjoying the dissonance at Jack London Square between watching tanned boaters aboard their crafts at the water’s edge and pop music from the temporary ice rink under the palms at the end of Broadway. Most Sundays I walk from near downtown to the square and back again, a return journey that deflates my mood because the highway overpass at Fifth Street, which pedestrians and motorists can’t avoid (in most directions). The walkway is ugly, dirty and noisy. It doesn’t really do anything to lure people to the waterfront, either. I have often thought how great it would be to at least have a shuttle, especially at night.  I even thought about launching a Mexican Bus style of transportation. Now comes good news that Oakland is launching a free shuttle that will run about 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays between the Uptown District and Jack London Square. The route: Amtrak station along Broadway to West Grand loop around the Uptown via Telegraph Avenue. The days and hours might expand later if there is more money. The shuttle is geared toward getting downtown workers to other neighborhoods and encouraging people to use the ferry. I guess that’s how they got the $1 million grant to fund it. But restaurants and bars are going to be disappointed to hear that it’s not a nighttime service. I know I am even though I am glad for even limited service. I don’t want to sound ungrateful. But we will be stuck with taxis after 7 p.m., which haven’t improved. PRIUS autos have been added to the fleet but that doesn’t make the service any better. Last month, a visiting SF commissioner said Oakland’s taxi service is worse than in a third world country. Aside from the PC issues in that statement, the comparison stung.
As an aside, I heard that the fence around the OPD parking lot under the overpass used to be decorated but that covering was taken down to put up the fenders (?) that now hang there. Wouldn’t it be pretty easy to cover that eyesore with something? I have seen drawings of a plan when there was talk about a BART extension to the waterfront that never took off.

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One Response to “Uptown-Waterfront shuttle plans”

  1. Cecily Says:

    There was just such a FREE shuttle in the early-mid 1990s and it was great. I’m not sure who paid for it, whether it was the Port or the city, but the comfy coach ran from JLS down Broadway to downtown and back during the day, so you could hop on and go shopping, or to City Hall, or grab lunch. Can’t recall when it stopped; whether it was before or after the Trib moved back to the Tower.

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