1) The cost of AC Transit’s BRT implementation is staggering, especially compared to the minimal benefits and other environmentally superior alternatives.
a) Projected costs for the 4 alternatives range from $250 to $400 million. 1
b) Projected increased transit usage ranges from 2490 to 4660 new passengers per day by 2025. 1
c) Cost per new transit rider is from $86,000 to $135,000. 2
d) How big is $400 million?
· $400 million could make AC Transit free to all passengers for 9 years. 3
· $400 million could make AC Transit free along the proposed BRT route for 74 years. 4
· $400 million is the entire federal contribution to public radio and television. 5
· $400 million would buy 800 low-emission hybrid-electric buses such as those purchased by New York City Transit and San Francisco Muni. 6
2) Being against AC Transit's BRT proposal is not anti-mass transit or anti-bus.
a) Bus Rapid Transit need not be what AC Transit has proposed.
b) Most of the problems with AC Transit's proposal stem from their insistance on dedicated bus lanes on Telegraph Ave. and International Blvd.
c) Most BRT features (upgraded bus stops with real-time bus arrival information, “proof of payment” ticketing, traffic signal priority) can be implemented without dedicated bus lanes.
3) AC Transit BRT will result in almost no increase in transit ridership.
a) Maximum projected increase in transit passengers is 4660 per day. One alternative foresees only 2490 additional transit passengers per day. (See chart in note 2.)
4) AC Transit BRT will cause essentially no reduction in air pollution and might make pollution worse.
a) Pollution studies were carried out at just 10 intersections along the BRT route. 7
b) Reductions at these intersections are 0.03% or less. 7
c) Completely unstudied are pollution effects at the other intersections where congestion is predicted to increase, and in neighborhoods surrounding the route, where traffic is expected to divert.
5) AC Transit BRT will not save energy.
a) “The energy impacts of the Build Alternatives as compared to the No-Build Alternative would be negligable.” 8
6) The AC Transit BRT route duplicates another transit alternative – BART.
a) The proposed BRT route is never more than 6 blocks from a BART line. Much of the route (especially the International Blvd. portion) runs just 1 block beside the BART line, and several of the BRT “stations” are immediately adjacent to (or literally at) BART stations.
7) AC Transit BRT will force auto traffic onto neighborhood streets parallel to the BRT route.
a) “The decrease in roadway capacity along the project alignment would result in increased congestion and delay in certain locations and have a ripple effect on traffic patterns along nearby roadways. A number of motorists would take alternate routes to avoid traveling on roadways with BRT facilities.” 9
b) This impact was not studied in the EIR. The City of Oakland says, “There is no question that removing two travel lanes along the Telegraph Avenue corridor will result in significant impacts to surrounding streets and intersections as the historic traffic flows find new parallel routes to avoid the congestion.” Also, “This lack of analysis of the immediately adjacent collector streets is not acceptable. Please provide a detailed analysis of the potential impact on these smaller streets, many of which are predominately residential.” 10
c) Berkeley, too, wants this included in the EIR: “Impacts on adjacent residential neighborhoods and corridors need to be assessed, in detail, both from a traffic and parking perspective.” 11
8) AC Transit BRT would eliminate 981-1,116 parking spaces along the entire route (14%-16% of all parking, including side streets in business areas) 12
a) In some areas the reduction is much greater
· Telegraph from Dwight Way to Woolsey, 75% of existing parking to be eliminated 12
· Telegraph from Woolsey to 44th St in Oakland, 48% of existing parking to be eliminated. 12
9) AC Transit BRT would move auto traffic closer to pedestrians and cause other safety issues for pedestrians.
a) “At intersections with median stations or dedicated left turn lanes, the mixed-flow traffic lane would be shifted closer to the curb than under most existing configurations. Traffic would then operate close to the sidewalk. Pedestrians would need to be aware of the proximity of traffic lanes at intersections.” 13
b) “Intersections with significant and unavoidable impacts on motor vehicle delay may increase risk-taking behavior by drivers and thereby adversely affect pedestrian safety.” 14
c) “In short, the City believes that there are potentially significant impacts for pedestrians and bicyclists that have not been addressed at all or only marginally addressed without sufficient analysis.” 15
10) The City of San Leandro has already told AC Transit that the dedicated bus lanes on International Blvd. are unacceptable. 16
11) Both the City of Oakland and the City of Berkeley found the draft EIR inadequate in many ways.
a) “The BRT Project DEIR contains inadequate assessment of many project impacts” 17
b) “In conclusion, the City has serious concerns about the incomplete information, inadequate analysis and failure to identify all of the potentially significant environmental impacts of this major transportation project.” 18
c) “The traffic analysis presented in the BRT DEIR is insufficient to determine the traffic impacts on neighborhoods in Berkeley adjacent to the route.” 19
Notes:1) AC Transit East Bay BRT Project Draft EIS/EIR (http://www2.actransit.org/news/articledetail.wu?articleid=42622c20&r=n#online), Abstract. (The low estimate in the draft EIR is actually $310, but it has been reported that AC Transit has found new, more efficient, construction methods which will reduce the cost to $250.)
|Alternative 1||Alternative 2||Alternative 3||Alternative 4|
|Budget||$365 million||$310 million||$400 million||$345 million|
|Increase in transit trips per day||5320||4580||9320||8020|
|Increase in transit passengers per day (1 passenger = 2 trips) by 2025||2660||2490||4660||4010|
|Cost per additional passenger||$127,218||$135,372||$85,836||$86,034|
a) AC Transit's FY07 budget is $282 million (AC Transit website, http://www.actransit.org/aboutac/budget.wu)
b) 16% of AC Transit Revenue in FY07 came from the farebox. (AC Transit website, http://www.actransit.org/pdf/Budget_FY07.pdf)
c) FY 07 fare revenue is therefore 16% of $282 million or $45.12 million
d) $400 million is 8.87 times $45.12 million
e) Note: AC Transit's fare revenue has ranged from $45 to $49 over the last 4 years
4) Berkeley/Oakland/San Leandro corridor represents “nearly 12 percent of AC Transit's ridership”. (draft EIR, p. 1-1). Calculation:
a) 12% of $45.12 million (AC Transit FY07 fare revenue) is $5.41 million.
b) $400 million is 73.9 times $5.41 million
5) Corporation for Public Broadcasting website (http://www.cpb.org/aboutcpb/leadership/board/resolutions/060718_cpb_fy07operatingbudget.pdf)
6) National Renewable Energy Laboratory evaluation of BAE/Orion Hybrid Electric Buses at New York City Transit (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehiclesandfuels/avta/pdfs/heavy/bae-orion_he_buses.pdf) pp. 9 and 19) and http://www.news.com/The-greening-of-the-city-bus/2100-11389_3-6079090.html
7) Draft EIR, p. 4-131
8) Draft EIR, p. 4-152
9) Draft EIR, p. 3-48
10) City of Oakland response to draft EIR, 7/3/2007
11) Letter from Berkeley City Manager Phil Karmlarz to Mayor and City Council, 7/10/2007
12) Draft EIR, p. 3-113
13) Draft EIR, p. 3-91. This undesirable effect was noted in the Oakland response to the draft EIR.
14) City of Oakland response to draft EIR, 7/3/2007
15) City of Oakland response to draft EIR, 7/3/2007
16) Reported in the Berkeley Daily Planet, 10/9/2007
17) City of Oakland response to draft EIR, 7/3/2007
18) City of Oakland response to draft EIR, 7/3/2007
19) Letter from Peter Hillier, Assistant Berkeley City Manager for Transportation, to AC Transit, 6/18/2007.