|Bus Rapid Transit in St. Louis|
The new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is particularly important to the Oakland area as it is one of the densest urban population centers in the country and most definitely the densest along the proposed dedicated lane for rapid bus service.
That is why the upcoming planning and approval meeting on April 19 is so important to the future of transportation in San Leandro, Oakland and Berkeley. BRT is an idea who's time has come.
Already in use and popular in major cities around the world like Jakarta, Bus Rapid Transit can speed up travel times at a low cost according to Mass Transit. BRT is much cheaper than heavy or light rail, BRT would simply dedicate a lane for high-efficiency buses along the Berkeley – Oakland – San Leandro corridor. Riders would be taken along at speeds much faster than normal buses and would be unimpeded by traffic due to the use of dedicated lanes. It’s also much quicker to implement and really is a cool, futuristic approach.
At its City Council meeting on Monday, April 19, the City of San Leandro will decide if it wants to be included in this progress that could be in operation by 2015. If the San Leandro City Council follows the advice of the city’s planning commission, it will pass up this project and lose the opportunity to improve transportation for its residents and bring new customers to local businesses.
Hopefully, for the benefit of smart planning, the San Leandro City Council will re-think the recommendation and employ BRT in its City to improve commuter access and reduce vehicle trips.
Regardless of how San Leandro plans for its future, BRT is a must for Berkeley and Oakland and—in many ways—is just as effective and viable without them. In fact, San Leandro’s loss may mean Oakland’s win. Without having to build the San Leandro stop, the cost of the overall project would decrease, and thus save taxpayer money.
In this blogger's view, BRT is the fastest, cheapest way to get much needed improvements to our transit infrastructure in the heart of an urban corridor that so urgently needs it. With or without San Leandro, Oakland must approve if we're to secure a transit system that serves our residents for the future.