BART Plans to Open Oakland Airport Connector by Thanksgiving Holiday

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    BART passengers will soon have a new way to get to the Oakland International Airport. Christie Smith reports. (Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014)

    BART is one step closer to opening a new way for passengers to get to the Oakland International Airport.

    The new $484 million system will feature a driver-less tram running between the Oakland Coliseum BART station and the Oakland airport. Each tram can carry up to 120 passengers. Officials said the system will replace the AirBART shuttle.

    BART officials said the plan is to open the new service before the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Officials said trams will run every five minutes, and will get passengers from door-to-door in about 12 minutes. Riding the trams will cost passengers about $6, double the $3 it costs riders to board AirBART.

    But BART officials said the tram will be more reliable than AirBART, which can take up to 20 minutes for passenger to get to the airport depending on traffic.

    Tom Dunscombe, BART's Oakland Airport Connector project manager, expects ridership to remain steady on the new service as commuters try to avoid traffic.

    "Between the coliseum and the airport there are nine intersections and traffic can vary from day to day depending on what events are happening," he said. "The reliability should be greater because we're grade separated from the traffic."