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BART Airport Connector Gets $70 Million From Port of Oakland




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On Tuesday, the suddenly controversial (there's a kicker) Oakland BART Airport connector project was approved for $70 million from the board of commissioners of the Port of Oakland, according to the Oakland Tribune.

The plan, which has ballooned to $522 million over the three decades of discussion, finally looks like it's on the way toward reality. Perhaps the days of $30 cab rides to the airport from Lake Merritt will end. And to put a fine point on it, a cab ride to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from Lake Merritt costs me $40; just $10 more!

Taking BART means waiting for the crowded Oakland Airport bus, a time cost I'm tired of paying. Meanwhile I can take BART to SFO for $6 and I'm placed right in the terminal system; I can take the people mover or walk to my gate from there.

While the connector plan is hated by some, it's a much needed transportation service improvement for an airport that needs a competitive shot in the arm. For some weird reason, the Port's PR person pointed to projected vehicle emissions reductions, but that's not the real issue for me. This is one more step in improving the quality of life in Oakland and removing the "second class" tag from it.

I feel as if there's a wee battle between those who want to improve Oakland and really make it into a city, versus those who'd rather keep it as a small, crime-plagued hamlet. Why they want this is curious to me. They oppose keeping the A's, high rise buildings where we need them, and almost any other large scale project. Thinking small isn't the best way to make a city.
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