AC Transit Gets $15 Million In Federal Funds for Bus Rapid Transit

By Riya Bhattacharjee
Thursday February 04, 2010 - 08:39:00 AM

The U.S. Department of Transportation will award $15 million to AC Transit’s Bus Rapid Transit project, which proposes to develop an express bus system along a 17-mile route through Berkeley, Oakland and San Leandro. 

Some Berkeley residents and businesses have opposed the plan to convert Telegraph Avenue into a two-lane street, complaining that it will cause unnecessary traffic impacts. 

Others see BRT as a way toward a more efficient transit system, reducing commute time, smog and congestion along the Telegraph Avenue–International Boulevard– East 14th Street route. 

BRT’s federal funding comes from the New Starts and Small Starts Program—the first time the transit agency has been singled out in President Obama’s budget. 

In addition to the original BRT proposal, the city of Berkeley is examining two other options for its Locally Preferred Alternative, including “no build” and a Rapid Bus Plus plan. 

Oakland and San Leandro are developing their own locally preferred alternatives.