, City Councilwoman Pauline Cutter said officials in San Leandro should ask AC Transit to amend the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan to lessen traffic distruptions on the north end of town and prevent the loss of cross-town bus service.
Now opposition to the project has surfaced in Oakland, around 82nd Street and International Boulevard, where the Allen Baptist Church has a senior center, according to a report in the East Bay Express.
"Both the Oakland and San Leandro city councils must still vote to allow the BRT project to move forward," reported the Express. The paper quoted Oakland City Councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan -- who was on the AC Transit Board for six years -- as saying that the transit district "must come back to us to get approval for any actual construction to take place."
Neither Kaplan nor Cutter completely oppose the plan. Instead they want to amend it. Not that the BRT hasn't been amended many times in the dozen-plus years it has been on the drawing boards.
The BRT was designed as bus that ran on a dedicated lane that cars couldn't use. Most BRT stops were meant to be elevated platforms, making the BRT like a trolley that ran on tires.
The BRT was originally supposed to run from downtown Berkeley to Bayfair BART. But the Berkeley City Council withdrew from the project. Neighborhood associations and business groups persuaded the San Leandro City Council to lop off the last leg of the route.
Now the BRT terminates at the downtown San Leandro BART station.
Even in this truncated form, the BRT in the East Bay is part of a national movement to make bus travel a more attractive alternative to cars or trains.
Transit districts in other cities are studying AC Transit's experience is seeking approval for the plan.
Meanwhile, a transportation researcher at the University of Florida has looked at how commuter perceptions influenced their choice of a mode of transportation -- assuming they have a choice.
To summarize, the article suggests that for a BRT to succeed, it must be perceived as offering superior service and a sexier look than regular buses, coupled with a sense of traveling in safety.
Patch today. Anyone who would like to write in support of the plan is encouraged to contact editor Tom Abate.