Bus rapid transit (BRT) between Oakland and San Leandro  in the East Bay cleared a major hurdle this week after AC Transit unanimously approved the project’s environmental impact report. Agreements with the cities of Oakland and San Leandro must still be finalized in June before the project can officially break ground.
“This plan represents a big step in making bus service significantly better in the East Bay,” said Marta Lindsey, communications director for TransForm. “But it’s also a big step for the entire Bay Area, as it will showcase what’s possible: faster, more reliable, and more frequent buses – plus a better experience for riders all-around and at an incredible value.”
Marta noted that East Bay BRT has the highest cost-efficiency rating from the Federal Transit Administration of any public transportation project in the nation currently competing for federal funds.
The full Oakland-to-Berkeley corridor won’t get true BRT after merchants in Berkeley complained about losing car parking to dedicated bus lanes. But this section will bring substantial benefits on its own: 22 community organizations have signed a letter [PDF ] cheering the estimated 39 percent improvement in travel times, 300+ jobs, and transit-oriented growth the project is expected to bring along the International Boulevard corridor.