I'm a big fan of taking BART to SFO. There really is no better way to get to SFO from the East Bay. But, I've sensed that many people are more reluctant to take BART to OAK. I feel the same way for various reasons. For one, the Coliseum stop is not the safest station. And AirBART shuttle is not as continuous as it should be. Waiting for it both ways just make passengers less willing to use BART as an option to OAK. Then, there's the transfer requirement for those of us on the Pittsburg/Baypoint line. That makes me question whether I'd be saving any time at all by riding BART? I might as well just drive, and I do.
The biggest deterrents for me are MacArthur transfer and the occasional long gaps between AirBART shuttles.
What's your take on BARTing to OAK?
I have used it for years. As to safety, I have never had a problem @ Coliseum. Yes the shuttle bus is sometimes slow, 'course "on time and airlines...
Even the stupid charge for the shuttle is less that the ripoff for SFO.
I tried it once, never again. The shuttle is the deal breaker. I want to get off the train at the airport, not transfer to some other mode of transportation with it's own schedule and fares, and dealing with luggage. It's easier to drive, or park-n-ride, or have a friend take me to OAK.
The biggest problem at the Coliseum are the Bum's who try and help you and beg for money! It is a damm shame BART PD does not do anything to crub this problem. You never see the Bums in the airports bumming for money, yet at the Coliseum Bart Station, that is all you see! How come the police can stop them at the airport, but not the BART Station?
Yep, the shuttle is a deal breaker-- I agree. The system is poorly managed and the drivers have horrible attitudes. AirBART needs a total revamp. There is a way to make BARTing to OAK more efficient but I don't see them making changes in the right direction.
I live on the P/BP line, have to do the transfer, have to take the shuttle, and I'm really wondering why our experiences are so disparate... I've never had anything but a just-fine experience flying in and out of OAK.
I agree that the experience is not as elegant as our airport express train on our line, which is hella-cushy. However, this is public transit, not a limousine service. While people are saying the bus is a problem, I'm not really seeing a coherent narrative about why the bus is a problem, beyond the fact that it's a bus.
How is it possible that an every 10-15 minute shuttle (frequency at or better than headway on BART lines, save for during rush hour) is inadequate?
You know the half-billion dollar urban bling OAC project is _still_ going to require a transfer, right? And it's totally "some other mode of transportation with its own schedule and fares" even though it's a train....
I don't mean to be antagonistic, but I worry that what's being expressed here is just busphobia and is thus, by definition as a phobia, irrational.
I haven't had a problem with AirBART, except that it is not scheduled service departing at fixed times, and with similarly fixed arrival times at OAK. I´ve waited up to 25 minutes for AirBART, which simply means you have to add more flex time into your schedule.
That said, why would we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on a train-type connector to OAK? Is that the best use of BART funds? It seems there are other options--bus rapid transit comes to mind--that would allow BART to better use its scarce dollars while still improving the OAK connection.
I used AirBART about a month ago for the second time, so I was ready for the frustratingly slow ride to the airport from the Coliseum station, and the inconvenient and incongruous payment forms.
The BART website says that a $3 BART ticket is considered valid payment for the ride. Good luck getting one of those at the airport. The driver I had seemed to be willing to accept any BART ticket as long as you told him it carried the right amount. And even though they accept cash, I can't fathom why BART doesn't have the driver carry at least some change so that travelers arriving at the airport with large bills can easily transfer to the shuttle, without having to stop to make some superfluous purchase in order to conform to the limits of this mediocre service. I understand there might be some slight danger that s/he get robbed, but this is a paradigm example of the kinds of misguided policies which destroy the viability of BART and similarly mismanaged public transit authorities from within. I feel like a simplification of the payment forms, perhaps so that they actually seamlessly integrate with the ones which preexist for BART, would be a much more practical and economical way to improve this lackluster service.
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