BRT Plan Can Still Be Amended

An Oakland City Councilwoman says her city and San Leandro can still tweak this futuristic plan that is part of a national effort to make bus ridership more attractive to commuters.


, 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.

(Get San Leandro Patch delivered by email. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @sanleandropatch)


David May 10, 2012 at 01:17 PM
"if people have a choice"--they do--the local bus, 1R, BART, or *gasp* driving. There is no reason to have BRT. If you are taking a "long trip" i.e. over the 3 miles or so between BART stations: 1) People will take BART. It's 25 minutes on BART from SL to Berkeley, the BRT will take about an hour (compared to 75 minutes now). It's 21 minutes from the Coliseum to Berkeley, and 18 minutes from Fruitvale to Berkeley. 2) Or people will drive. If you are taking a short trip: 1) you can take the 1/1R. The BRT will produce zero time savings for trips less than 2-3 miles, and what time savings it might produce are taken up by walking the extra distance to a stop. 2) you can drive/bike/walk.
Cleo Goodwin May 15, 2012 at 12:30 AM
It's never 25 minutes on BART by the time you park, pay for parking, and hike to the platform and wait... a Rapid line can be within 5 minutes door to door when compared to taking BART depending on where you are going. A BRT line will be much faster. BART takes you from city to city and dumps you -- a bus will go all over town.
David May 15, 2012 at 02:59 AM
Cleo, no it won't. It'll take you to a few stops on E. 14/Int'l. And it'll take 1 hour to go the same distance BART covers in 25 minutes. You can cover a lot of distance in 35 minutes on either end, making BART a better ride (never mind driving) even if you live right on the corner of a BRT stop.
Leah Hall May 15, 2012 at 05:35 AM
A current events story about NIMBYism gone AWESOME: George Lucas pushes low-income housing option http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2012%2F05%2F08%2FBAFP1OF38Q.DTL I hear George is looking for a new location for locating his movie ma----gic...


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »