Sunday, May 18, 2008


Some opponents of AC Transit's BRT proposal have claimed that it is not needed because it parallels BART. Actually, BRT and BART will appeal to totally different markets, because they will be used for different types of trips. AC Transit just made this clear by issuing the following Question and Answer:

1. Why build BRT? Doesn't it just parallel BART?

The BRT route parallels BART in some locations-as do other bus routes. East Bay geography and the existing layout of major roadways contribute to this fact. Long streets converge in major origin-destination areas like downtown Oakland, Berkeley and San Leandro.

However, the East Bay BRT Project and BART largely serves very different types of trips. Whereas BART has one and one-half to two miles or more between stations (outside of downtown business districts), BRT will have stations every one-third to at most one- half miles. Unlike BART, station access will be almost entirely by walking and by transferring from other bus routes. Most trips on BRT will be local, relatively short, and to desirable areas near BRT.

This is how the current service in the corridor, the 1R Rapid, operates. BRT is intended to make transit travel faster, more reliable and more attractive. Increasing congestion is causing bus delays and unreliable travel times. Dedicated lanes, prominent stations with convenient boarding of buses will attract more riders. Because buses would be operating in a lighter traffic lane, operating costs per passenger are also projected to decrease. More people will use all forms of transit-BRT, BART and other buses combined.

The 2005 regional profile of commuters produced by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission stated that 67% of people still drive alone to work. Transit carried only 13%. BRT gives residents another option for their travel needs, and it will help to reduce the number of folks who commute by car.