A new and innovative bus service is coming to the East Bay. BRT is shorthand for Bus Rapid Transit. BRT is often called “light rail on wheels” because it brings the frequency, safety and reliability of light rail to the bus rider. BRT will run the 9.5-mile corridor from downtown Oakland to San Leandro BART. Bringing the best of transit experiences from around the globe, BRT will revolutionize public transit in the East Bay.
Frequent and Reliable — A fleet of brand new hybrid-electric buses will arrive at least every 7 minutes during peak times, reducing wait times! Traveling mostly through a bus-only lane will result in improved transit speed. Emergency responders will have access to the bus-only lanes at all times.
Accessible — The bus floor and the station platform are at the same level to ease the boarding experience for people in wheelchairs or with strollers. Median stations will reduce street crossing distance.
Innovative — Transit signal technology helps buses and traffic flow. Clipper Card readers installed on the platforms will quicken the boarding process. Buses are hybrid-electric and low emission. Bicyclists will enjoy new bike lanes along the corridor, bike racks at bus stations and on board bike storage.
Safe — BRT riders and pedestrians along the corridor will enjoy the added feature of improved lighting, a state-of-the-art camera systems, new landscaped medians, sidewalks, high visibility crosswalks and new pavement.
Prior to the start of major construction along the BRT corridor, the following route changes were implemented replacing lines 1/1R that operated along the BRT corridor:
Once BRT Is in Operation:
Buses will be subject to the same speed limits as posted for existing traffic.
When it opens in 2020, AC Transit will offer FREE FARES during the first 90 days of operation as a sincere thank you to East Bay communities for their collective support during construction. After the free fare period, BRT fares will be the same for other local service at that time. Most of the cost to build BRT is being paid by government and other funding partners. There is no intention of raising fares on other routes to pay for BRT.
North to South (Oakland to San Leandro):
BRT will have self-service, proof-of-payment fare collection. Upon boarding, passengers must be able to show fare inspectors proof of payment or they will be subject to fine. Passes and Clipper will still be an acceptable form of payment.
The BRT route parallels BART in some locations, as do other bus routes. However, the East Bay BRT Project and BART largely serve very different types of trips. BART has one and a half to two miles or more between stations (outside of downtown business districts). BRT will have stations every one-third to at most one-half miles. Unlike BART, station access will be almost entirely by walking and by transferring from other bus routes. Additionally, all BRT stations are above ground, making them easily accessible.
The Parking Improvement Plan calls for replacing lost parking, either by constructing or funding the construction of new spaces or by converting currently unrestricted spaces to time-restricted spaces. The objective is to ensure at least 15 percent of spaces are unoccupied and continually available for new users during normal business hours. For more parking information, please visit the Parking page of this website by clicking the Construction menu and selecting Parking.
BRT will have 12 curbside stations and 21 center-median stations. For curbside stations, passengers will catch the bus as they do now. For center-median stations, crosswalks will be improved with clear markings, and with active or passive warning signs and signals. An additional benefit to BRT is that median stations will also provide a safe refuge for individuals crossing the street but not able to make the full crossing in the allotted time.
Emergency vehicles will be allowed to use the BRT lanes whenever necessary to avoid traffic delays as they arise. BRT bus operators will be instructed to always yield to emergency vehicles.
To accommodate emergency vehicles, there will not be a barrier between the traffic lane and the bus lanes. Only directly before and after BRT stations would there be a need for barriers between traffic lanes and bus lanes. These divisions will help channel traffic safely past a BRT station and protect pedestrians crossing the street at the station or waiting for a bus at the station.
Possibly. For safe and efficient operations, the state-of-the-art BRT buses require a dedicated bus lane in each direction. Therefore, the length of time driving along the BRT route may increase during certain peak times. If your destination takes you along the 9.5-mile BRT route, we encourage you to use BRT between San Leandro and Oakland for faster travel.
Various transportation service types were evaluated for the project route, including light rail. While light rail would have been a suitable service type for this project, it would have cost at least two and probably three or more times the cost of bus rapid transit. Additionally, the construction impact and timeframe would have been greater because of the additional space required for light rail. In addition, light rail would require building of major support facilities, such as a vehicle storage yard and maintenance facility. For the International Boulevard/E14th Street corridor, BRT is the best option because of lower cost, its flexibility, and shorter construction timeframe.
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