BART CUTS RIBBON ON OAKLAND AIRPORT CONNECTOR
BART today (Nov. 21) cut the ribbon on its new Oakland Airport Connector (OAC), with hundreds of elected, business, government and community leaders gathering to celebrate this vital new link in the Bay Area’s transportation system. The three-mile elevated rail line provides a smooth, fast and convenient connection between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and the airport, replacing a bus shuttle line that often gets bogged down in heavy street traffic. The Bay Area Council, which was instrumental in the original formation of BART, was a proud advocate of the Oakland Airport Connector through many years of planning and public review and worked with many other partners to counter opposition and help secure funding.
Bay Area Council President and CEO Jim Wunderman spoke at a VIP breakfast ahead of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, emphasizing the important economic benefits of OAC, its vital role in the region’s transportation network and calling for a “fresh and expanded vision” for meeting the Bay Area’s future transportation needs. “It’s a good time now to consider what BART and our regional transportation system will need over the next 40 years, and to commit ourselves to fight for it, just as hard as we all fought for the project that we are celebrating today,” Wunderman said. He praised the public-private partnership that BART has employed to design, build and operate OAC, highlighted the heavy reliance on local funding to pay for it and called for similarly innovative and creative methods to finance more of the region’s major transportation projects.