Thursday, July 09, 2009

Oakland Airport Connector Hot Button in BART Talks

I had just written about how much I disliked the AirBART-- mostly because of the terrible experiences I've had waiting and dealing with the unsafe surroundings. Again, maybe I've just seen the worst of it. I will always prefer to drive to OAK from Orinda unless there is a major pile-up on 880 or Caldecott Tunnel.

Personally, I don't feel the need for direct BART access to OAK. It would be GREAT to have, like the SFO connector, but when it comes down to it, is it necessary for me? No. But perhaps passengers living in Dublin, Concord, Pittsburg, and especially those at the other end of 80 freeway in El Cerrito, might find it very helpful as it will help them skip the major traffic pain points.

I've been very negative about the Coliseum BART station but let's focus on the positive for a moment. There is no easier way to get to an A's or Raiders game. I only wish it was that easy to go to a Giants and 49ers game. The MUNI connection going to AT&T Park is not terrible but it is a cluster ****.

Will a BART OAK extension increase ridership? I can't say but I sure hope BART has done their research and are certain that this is a project worth pursuing.


Anonymous said...

I have a few questions for the Bart Board members who voted for this Bart to OAK extension:

Q. Which airport is busier, SFO or OAK?

Q. If Bart to SFO has been a money losing line from the get go*, what makes the Bart board think a Bart to OAK line will be profitable?

Q. If SFO is busier than OAK and the line to SFO is not profitable, what on earth makes you think an OAK extension is going to be profitable?

I rest my case on how profitable, er unprofitable, the Bart to Oak line will be.

* google it - every article I find indicates ridership to SFO has never come close to Bart's projections.

bartmusings said...

I agree. SFO ridership is lower than projected although I believe it is rising year to year. Will it ever reach the projections? Only time will tell.

As for OAK, I don't think it is a project that should be considered priority.

Anonymous said...

i bet the BART SFO line will be more valued in future years when people appreciate it more and are more used to taking it.

Master Chief said...

Just because ridership is lower than projected does not mean that the line is "not profitable."

Perhaps part of why ridership is as low as it is is BART's decision to add ridiculous surcharges to SFO travelers.

But even with the surcharge, I still take BART every time I go to SFO.

Anonymous said...

There's a good amount of BART OAC discussion over at

The consensus over there is that the proposed design is an incredible waste of money relative to cheaper options that would function just as well. Also, it has significant problems, like not actually going to the terminals (instead, it requires a walk not unlike that from the L to Chicago Midway).

The BART-MUNI transfer at Embarcadero is a "clusterf***?" Really? It seems really easy, especially compared to what used to be a 7-block run/walk down to the Caltrain station. How would it be better (aside from free transfers)?