Like It or Not, Here Comes Oakland Airport Connector

By Matt Baume
|  Friday, Oct 22, 2010  |  Updated 12:19 PM PDT
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Like It or Not, Here Comes Oakland Airport Connector

Airport connector rendering via SF.Streetsblog

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If you're like most residents with Bay Area love, you love complaining about politicians and transportation. Well, have we got a story for you.

This week BART broke ground for the Oakland Airport Connector, an automated train-like vehicle that will ferry people between the Coliseum BART station and the Oakland Airport.

The cost of the project: $484 million, or about $29,000 for each foot of track.

That rather outrageous figure is just one source of controversy. Another point of contention: jobs. Unions hailed the project, which has pledged to hire locally. Estimates of jobs created have ranged from several hundred to several thousand.

Various activist organizations have tried to derail the project for a variety of reasons. Their arguments ranged from the system not serving certain communities, to it not being cost-effective, to a bus system being a better option.

The groundbreaking seems a little premature -- the actual order to start construction doesn't come for another few weeks. But the event did give some politicians an opportunity to smile for cameras. That includes James Fang and Carole Ward Allen, BART board members up for re-election in just a few days.

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