Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) said the Oakland Airport Connector (Connector) project is on time, on budget and will be complete one year from now.
The 3.2-mile link between BART’s Coliseum Station and the Oakland International Airport will replace AirBART, a shuttle bus operated by the Port of Oakland, with a driverless automated people mover (APM) system similar to the APM used at SFO and many other airports. BART said buses are often bogged down by traffic on Hegenberger Road, Coliseum sporting events, freight trains and accidents, all of which create great angst for anxious air travelers rushing to make their flights. The Connector should offer a far more relaxing ride with swift, reliable service on a system will be all electric and run on a fixed, elevated guideway above the congestion. The APM trains will arrive at the Coliseum Station every 4.5 minutes and will quickly transport air travelers to the airport in eight minutes and 12 seconds. BART’s APM includes its own vehicles, a new platform a short distance from the Coliseum Station and a platform at Oakland International Airport. The Connector is set to open in the fall of 2014, just in time for holiday travel.
In a related action, the BART Board of Directors voted to return the Coliseum/Oakland Airport Station to its original name. It will again be dubbed “Coliseum Station,” which allows the Oakland Airport Connector’s end of line stop to use “Oakland International Airport Station” as its designated name. The decision to name the stop at the Oakland International Airport Station mirrors the BART designated name for the San Francisco International Airport Station, which established the precedent of naming a station after the airport where it’s located. The new station is approximately one year from opening and the required signage, system maps and other printed material must be ordered, produced and installed.