Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 at 10:28 am in Uncategorized.
The Oakland City Council tonight takes its first crack at defining the route and bus stops for a new speedy bus serviced aimed at transforming public transit in the East Bay. It’s called bus rapid transit.
Preliminary preferences for routes for the $234 million project, known as BRT for short, go before the Oakland council tonight, Berkeley City Council on April 27, and San Leandro City Council May 17. Read about it here.
Supporters tout BRT as a way to rejuvenate public transit and downtowns by attracting more riders to a faster and more reliable service that makes stops every five minutes in the rush hour on a 17-mile route connecting the three downtowns. But critics, including some East Bay residents and merchants near the route, say the plan is a recipe for disaster because BRT will take away street parking spaces and convert some auto traffic lanes into bus only lanes in some places.
This is an interesting story that has more chapters yet to be told. Once the cities designate their preliminary preferences for routes, AC Transit must do more studies on defining the project, estimating the final cost, and considering ways to offset the environmental impacts
Berkeley residents in November 2008 handily rejected a citywide ballot measure aimed at detrailing bus rapid transit.