Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Rediculous Costs + Dumb Ideas

If you can't take a 2 of 6 lanes for rail or bus and get to the Oakland Airport just 3.2 miles away for $386 million dollars, there is something seriously wrong. I posted this a month ago, but after seeing this post, it seems as if BART is just not paying attention to what is going on in the world. No wonder people don't trust you to build the extension to San Jose. You're just trying to spend all the money you have when you don't really have to in order to get the job done. What a waste of money. It's not hard guys. Wake up.


jfruh said...

I used to live in Oakland, and took the AirBART a lot, and I honestly think that this would be a great place to put in some solidly designed BRT. Honestly, the worst part of this trip isn't the road journey per se; it's schlepping your bags downstairs out to the dismal curb, and fiddling with the various irritating ways to pay for the damn thing.

What I'd like to see would be an internal bus bay within the existing station -- most importantly, within the faregates -- with a more pleasant waiting experience. Maybe a flyover ramp could be built to actually get the bus onto Hegenberger (sp?) Rd. Once there, there by rights ought to be room for dedicated lanes, but even signal pre-emption would help speed up a trip that isn't really terribly long. Upon arrival at the terminal, there could again be dedicated lanes and a spiffy station, with extra-wide BART faregates. Vehicles would be more spacious (maybe artics), though obviously the current fleet could still be used to supplement.

I would have to imagine that this plan would be a fraction of the cost of most the fixed guideway proposals, and would probably significantly improve over the current experience.

dto510 said...

You are totally right - how can it be so hard to build an airport connector? The media says that asking Oakland for a bus-only lane or two is out of the question, but a good mass-transit airport connection is vital to the region and something just has to be done. No maglev, and no more excuses.

Justin said...

I totally agree with you jfruh. I used the AirBART service, and all it really needs is larger buses running in their own lanes, or even a simple streetcar system, using lightweight streetcars. It's insane how long it takes to do things in the US, and Canada.

Winston said...

The problem with taking lanes to for rail or a busway to connect BART with the Oakland Airport is that the majority of users of the airport drive there and will continue to do so, so taking lanes will hurt access for the average traveler. AirBART does a very good job and running it a bit more frequently and providing a couple of queue jumping lanes would do the job far more cheaply than a rail connection or a full fledged BRT system. There are many better places to spend the money.

As for BART to San Jose, this project is VTA's baby, not BARTD's. In fact, in the early going, BARTD tried to prevent the extension to Santa Clara county. The problem with BART to San Jose isn't that BART is incompetent so much as that a long extension of BART into San Jose just isn't cost effective approach for someplace so low density