Peoplewatching, eavesdropping, and more on the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) *** Rants from a reluctant public transportation rider.
I voted for both at the same time.
Since I am seeing so many "no"'s maybe people can explain why that is such a bad idea, to me. I must be missing something. Whats wrong with getting to the airport easily???I voted yes :-)
@Anon: If the OAC meant getting to the airport easily for a reasonable amount of money, I'd be all for it. But they're not building an extension like goes to SFO. The OAC is a glorified people mover, that will move about the same speed as the current AirBART (slower in some stretches), but cost around $500 million to build. For that kind of money they could build a new station at 98th Ave. to better serve the people of east Oakland *and* implement a BRT (bus rapid transit) system. No, actually they could do those things for less.
@Anon, another way to look at it:The OAC requires 2-3 times more walking, twice as many escalators, travels slower than traffic on Hegenberger and the Airport Roadway, stops for 10-15 seconds halfway through the journey while people at the stations at each end board the vehicle AND will cost riders twice as much to ride as AirBART. More walking, no time savings, high ticket cost. The OAC makes traveling to the airport harder and more expensive at a cost of half-a-billion dollars.
Is the vote final? Anything others can do to reverse their vote? Just trying to understand the process.
Anon 1:"Whats wrong with getting to the airport easily?"Well, nothing if that were the true outcome of this. But, the reality is that it is not. Just the day before the vote I read (in the Chronicle) that the OAC would run 2 times an hour, for about $12 each way. Is that easy to you? Twice an hour? for $12? The cost benefit is just not there. Most everyone sees it, but BART BOD are completely blind and ignorant to this fact.I'm absolutely against it, because just like the SFO connector, the OAC will be an absolute money loser. In comparison, more people fly out of SFO than OAK, but for every single year the SFO connector has been operational it has lost money. This is the reality, even though BART BOD projected yearly profits from the SFO connector. Losing money year after year after year isn't fiscally solvent to me, or any other sane person out there. Money-losing projects are only sane when it comes to the government and their employees, who figure "Who cares, it's not my money." Most every one is against this OAC project because it's not fiscally responsible, except for the incompetent BART BOD. It's ridiculous.
All done, unless the FTA holds off approving the funds...which is a "I wouldn't hold my breath" issue.
Here's BART's dirty little secret: BART is not being "extended" to the Oakland Airport. You will not be able to get off your BART train at the airport, as you can at SFO. The proposed people-mover is actually less direct than the current AirBART shuttle bus, with longer walks and more stairs, escalators, and elevators.Something else worth pointing out: Unlike the SFO extension and every other part of the BART system, AirBART actually pays for itself, even with low fares that are half the proposed fares for the people-mover. Even by BART's own optimistic projections, the people-mover will not pay for itself, despite a ridiculously high $12 round-trip fare in addition to the regular BART fare to reach Coliseum Station.Everybody agrees that AirBART could use some improvements, such as the ability to board the buses from an enclosed, level platform inside the BART paid area, through glass doors that open when the bus arrives. Such improvements could be made for a fraction of the cost of the people-mover, and would actually yield a better experience for riders, with much shorter walks and many fewer stairs, escalators, and elevators.
why would the Board vote for it then? what's wrong with them?
I think they're afraid that if they don't spend the money, someone else will get to. Which is true for some of the money, but a bad reason to build a bad system. It's like using a coupon to get a discount on snow tires when you don't own a car.
Gene wrote "think they're afraid that if they don't spend the money, someone else will get to."Isn't this the dirty little(huge) secret of many government agencies? If they don't spend X dollars per fiscal year, then they risk receiving less dollars the following fiscal year. So regardless if something is needed or not, govt agencies will spend money for the simple reason of "If we don't spend what they gave us, we won't get it in future years". So, instead of exercising fiscal conservancy (and common sense), and saving money for future years (in consumer terminology this is the emergency fund we should all have), they spend, spend, spend wantonly with disregard what is good for the citizens, their constituents. This is true for every single level of govt and govt agency it's despicable.
I would be on board if it took me right to the airport. But AIRBART is also pretty decent and parking is also cheap, so it seems hard to justify a huge investment at this point.
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