Vote yes for Bus Rapid Transit in the East Bay on April 25!

Wednesday, April 4th, 2012 by Sara Barz

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Attention, East Bay bus riders: this is it! If you want bus rapid transit (BRT) in the East Bay, which will mean much faster bus trips and beautiful new bus stations, this is going to be the single most important opportunity for you say so. On April 25, AC Transit’s Board of Directors will be casting their final vote on BRT. The opposition to BRT is still fierce, and opponents will be in attendance as always. Greenbelt Alliance supports BRT in the East Bay.

Greenbelt Alliance and allies (see the BRT coalition letter PDF) are trying to turn out 100 BRT supporters to this meeting to speak up for a new world-class transit system in Oakland. The project will generate more than 300 East Bay construction jobs, shorten bus rides along the lines, beautify streets with completed bike lanes, new trees, benches, bus shelters, and more, and  help the City of Oakland meet its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. The best part? It won’t require one dime of money from the City of Oakland’s constrained budget — the funding will come from regional and federal transportation dollars. The entire system will bring more than $200 million of investment to the East Bay. Streets like Telegraph and International Boulevard will benefit from intense revitalization.

How does BRT get you there faster than a regular bus? To be most successful, it requires one lane dedicated to bus travel, efficient boarding platforms, and traffic signal priority. If you attend, please speak up not just for the system as a whole, but particularly for the dedicated traffic lane the system needs to cruise to your destination at optimal speeds. This element of the project is controversial to some, but it is also what distinguishes BRT from ordinary bus service.

Don’t assume that BRT will pass without your help. Your attendance and your voice will be critical in the outcome of this vote. If BRT passes, an estimated 42,000 riders a day will utilize this great, cost-effective approach to transit, joining 60 other BRT systems on 6 continents worldwide. We need strong transit service to ensure a livable, equitable Bay Area for generations to come. Please join us and be one of more than 100 supporters at this vital meeting!

Time: 5 – 8 p.m., Wednesday, April 25
Location: AC Transit, 1600 Franklin Street, Oakland, CA 94612

For more information, contact Joel Ramos of partner organization TransForm at joel@transformca.org, or visit their website.

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