Oakland council to vote tonight on bid to oppose BART airport connector

Group seeks 'to stop a terrible waste of stimulus and taxpayer money'

The Oakland City Council will vote tonight on a resolution expressing opposition to BART's connector from the Coliseum station to the Oakland International Airport.

The resolution was introduced by City Council members Nancy Nadel and Rebecca Kaplan at a Public Works Committee meeting in September, when committee members questioned BART about the 3.2-mile connector.

A coalition of transit, social justice, labor, environmental, and business advocates are urging the City Council to pass the resolution at today's meeting, which begins at 7 p.m.

John Knox White, the program director for TransForm, an Oakland-based transit advocacy group, said in a statement, "This project has become a shell of the project that was promised to voters and offers no benefits to the city of Oakland."

White said, "The City Council has a chance to stop a terrible waste of stimulus and taxpayer money in favor of creating jobs, providing real transportation improvements and actually benefiting Oakland."

The resolution, in part, urges that the Metropolitan Transportation Commission reconsider using the $70 million in federal funding currently slated for the connector project for local bus system improvements and "a more cost effective and environmentally sound airport connector alternative."

City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan said in a statement, "To use these funds to build an over-priced and questionable project - when we desperately need these funds to save vital local transit service - is bad for our economy, our environment, and the public."

Jeff Shuttleworth,Bay City News

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Like this comment
Posted by Open Your Eyes
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2009 at 10:41 am

Politicians and Union Leaders are two-faced! Only want what is good for themselves not what is good for the community! Building a BART extension to OAK airport should be a no-brainer. I guess some people have brains but don't work well! We (as Americans) complain about we don't have a good transit system, we snub our noses at what should be a natural transition - BART extension to OAK. It transforms the 'regional' OAK airport to a truly INTERNATIONAL Airport. World travelers can finally say, I can get to OAK without going through the torturous transfer. Oakland City Council, wake up and smell the coffee. Oh yes, the weeds are the smoke of choice!

Building a 2nd station in Pleasanton/Dublin is the silliest thing I have seen! We are NOT big enough for 2 stations!

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Oct 6, 2009 at 10:54 am

Stacey is a registered user.

It is not a BART extension. It's a $6 per ride automated people mover.

Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Foothill Farms
on Oct 6, 2009 at 10:58 am

Build it, but not at $500 million.

Like this comment
Posted by Why Not?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 6, 2009 at 11:39 am

Why not build it? Before we say no, where is $500 million going? How is it being spent? Have you seen cost of labor? I just saw construction projects are coming in on the low end of the cost scale... let's have a re-bid. It is amazing that we talk about having a mass transit system and we continue to use buses and jamming up the local traffic! Oakland City Council needs to reconsider.

Like this comment
Posted by David
a resident of Foothill High School
on Oct 6, 2009 at 12:07 pm

The thing that upsets me about this ordeal with the Oakland City Council is this project has been in the planning stages for quite some time and they never said a word about it and now at the 11th hour they want to weigh in?

From what I can gather this is not a City of Oakland project, it's a BART project so I'm not sure if there is anything Oakland can do to stop it. If Oakland thinks they can stop this project and use the funding for a different project within Oakland they are kidding themselves because regional transportation boards make funding decisions on where the money goes, not the City of Oakland. I'm positive this move by Oakland is not sitting well with the members who sit on the regional transportation boards.

If only Oakland spent this much time working on the violence issue!

Like this comment
Posted by Judy
a resident of Country Fair
on Oct 6, 2009 at 2:29 pm

The connector is a great idea. As a 30 year resident of Alameda County I know I would use it. It is good for all the people of Alameda County. The money will end up being squandered on something far less usefull. At least we could still SEE our money in 10 years...otherwise it will evaporate.

Like this comment
Posted by D W
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2009 at 2:08 pm

This is another example as to how wide the gap is between Oakland and its suburbs. Does anybody remember when Oakland was just as efficient as Pleasanton, regardless of how we feel about the current leaders? I don't. Sometimes I wonder how fractured all the Alameda County cities are as we've never grabbed a handle on how to work together as neighboring cities. It seems that only the Tri-Valley has any clue on the importance of teamwork.

By the way, the BART people mover? Oakland may feel it may not benefit them, but it benefits everybody else along the BART line, especially our fine business people at Hacienda, Valley, Stoneridge, and the rest of Pleasanton's business parks. The sooner it is built, the less expensive it will be later, downturn or not.

Like this comment
Posted by Why Not?
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Oct 7, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Glad to see Oakland City Council came to their senses, at least for now! However, I think the $6 fare tag is ridiculous! This is the reason for people not to take public transit. If it is not reasonably priced, people will avoid it!

Like this comment
Posted by Safety First
a resident of Vintage Hills
on Oct 7, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Until Oakland fixes their violence problem, building this Bart extension will have little value. Not long ago a friend witnessed a shooting at a BART station. Take your car and use offsite parking with free shuttle service. Government transit is just not safe, especially in Oakland, SF and other urban areas.

Does anyone know what is motivating the Oakland politicians to oppose this?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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