Oakland, Calif.-based AC Transit signed an agreement with the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) that commits the last of the funding needed to complete its East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, a nationally revered transit operation that will enhance bus reliability and reduce commute times along a corridor routinely knotted by traffic.
“With the East Bay BRT project, AC Transit continues to execute its vision to provide a truly world-class transit service that is convenient, reliable and safe; one that increases mobility, enhances the quality of life and improves the health of the environment throughout the communities we serve,” said AC Transit GM David Armijo. “I know we would not be where we are today without the support of our project partners: the cities of Oakland and San Leandro, Caltrans, as well as our congressional representatives who provided letters of support at a critical point in this process to ensure this FTA funding.”
As one of the highest rated transit projects in the nation, AC Transit’s BRT will link one of the busiest traffic corridors in the Bay Area with a fast, economical and environmentally friendly means of transportation. It will connect downtown Oakland to downtown San Leandro with dedicated lanes, transit signal priority and artistically-enhanced stations with level boarding.
By reducing traffic levels and significantly cutting emissions and pollutants, BRT offers residents a viable alternative to driving on congested city streets. Additionally, BRT combines the express service and capacity of light rail with the convenience and affordability of riding a bus.
The new BRT line will provide approximately 27,000 weekday trips when the line opens in 2017. The project will include 7.4 miles of dedicated bus lanes to speed service, as well as 34 new bus stations with real-time arrival information, level boarding platforms and ticket vending machines.
The U.S. Department of Transportation is contributing approximately $81 million toward the $174 million total cost of the East Bay BRT project, including $50 million from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program, $25 million in FTA Bus and Bus Facilities funds, and $6 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds. The remaining cost will be covered by state and local funding sources.