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MTC committee backs away from endorsing BART-to-Coliseum tramway

Oakland's Perata says 'world has radically changed' since plan proposed

A Metropolitan Transportation Commission committee took a pass yesterday on BART's request for $140 million in regional funding to help pay for its $522 million plan to build an elevated tramway between the Oakland Coliseum station and the Oakland International Airport.

Members of the MTC Program and Allocations Committee held a lengthy hearing on the matter but sent it without a recommendation to the full MTC board, which is scheduled to vote on the issue at its meeting on July 22.

Before the committee meeting began Wednesday, former state Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata called on the regional transit planning agency not to approve the $140 million in funding, which includes $70 million in federal stimulus funds.

Perata, whose term in the state Senate expired last year but who now plans to run for mayor of Oakland next year, said, "I'm asking the MTC to reconsider this project and re-use the money in a thoughtful way" for other public transit projects.

Perata authored a 2004 regional ballot measure that included funding for the airport connector but he said "the world has radically changed" since then.

Perata said the estimated cost of the project has quadrupled and the estimated daily ridership has plummeted from 13,450 people to about 4,500.

Jeb Bing,Bay City News

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