BART board OKs airport connector contracts

An elevated rail connector between BART's Coliseum station and the Oakland International Airport could be in service in four years after the transit agency's directors voted 7-1 Thursday to award two contracts for the long-awaited project.

BART spokesman Linton Johnson said Thursday's action was final and promised that the 3.2-mile-long automated people mover will be built after being discussed for 20 years and numerous public hearings and votes by various transit agencies.

Johnson said contractors for the project, which is expected to cost $492 million, will spend the next several months finalizing the design
for the connector and BART hopes that construction work will begin next summer and that the connector will begin service in 2013.

BART Director Tom Radulovich of San Francisco cast the lone vote against the project and Director Lynette Sweet, also of San Francisco, was absent.

The board awarded a $361 million contract to the joint venture Flatiron/Parsons to build the people mover.

Flatiron is based in the Denver area and has a regional office in Benicia. Parsons Corp. is based in Pasadena.

The board also voted to pay Doppelmayr Cable Car Inc., which is based in Austria, about $5.7 million a year for 20 years to operate and
maintain the connector once it is built.

BART officials say the project, which will use $70 million in federal stimulus money, will create up to 5,000 direct and indirect jobs
during the construction phase, which is expected to take about three years.

BART officials also say the ride from the Coliseum station to the Oakland airport will only take eight minutes and 12 seconds and will be more reliable than the current shuttle bus service, which can be slow if there's heavy traffic on its route.

Andreas Cluver, the business representative for the Building and Construction Trades Council of Alameda County, said the project will create many jobs and have “a very positive impact on a job situation that is very dire.”

He said more than 30 percent of his union's members are currently out of work.

But representatives of several public transit advocacy groups told BART directors that the elevated rail plan is too expensive and that a rapid bus system could be implemented at a fraction of the cost.

John Knox White of TransForm, an Oakland-based advocacy group, also said he doesn't think the people mover service will be as quick as BART is projecting and he thinks there will be fewer riders than BART is estimating.

White said some studies indicate that the cost of a one-way ride on the people mover will be $6 but Johnson said the cost hasn't been
finalized and BART hopes that the cost will be closer to the $3 fare that riders pay on the current airport shuttle service.

Bay Area NewsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police officers speak with people while responding to a call outside a market on Leavenworth Street in the Tenderloin on Tuesday, June 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SFPD makes the case for more officers, citing Walgreens video

Most of us have seen the video. It shows a man filling… Continue reading

A 14-Mission Muni bus heads down Mission Street near Yerba Buena Gardens. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Pandemic experiments morph into long-term solutions for SF transit agency

The streets of San Francisco became real-time laboratories for The City’s public… Continue reading

NO CONNECTION TO SERVER:
Unable to connect to GPS server ‘blackpress.newsengin.com’
Debate reignites over San Francisco’s first public bank

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, momentum was building for San Francisco to… Continue reading

Apprenticeship instructor Mike Miller, center, demonstrates how to set up a theodolite, a hyper-sensitive angle measuring device, for apprentices Daniel Rivas, left, Ivan Aguilar, right, and Quetzalcoatl Orta, far right, at the Ironworkers Local Union 377 training center in Benicia on June 10, 2021. (Courtesy Anne Wernikoff/CalMatters)
California’s affordable housing crisis: Are labor union requirements in the way?

By Manuela Tobias CalMatters California lawmakers introduced several bills this year that… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed spoke at the reopening of the San Francisco Public Library main branch on April 20. (Sebastian Miño-Bucheli/Special to The Examiner)
SF reopening more libraries through the summer

After a handful of San Francisco public libraries reopened last month for… Continue reading

Most Read