The Oakland Airport Connector (Connector) project is on time, on budget and has created much needed jobs for Bay Area contractors and apprenticeships for local youth.
In the three years the project has been under construction, 1,316 on-site jobs were created. Of these positions, 807 were filled by Bay Area talent with 240 of these workers living in Oakland or other communities directly adjacent to the project.
“BART delivered on its promise to hire the project’s work force from the Bay Area’s job pool and we made sure local residents were employed to work on our crews,” BART Board Member Robert Raburn said. Raburn represents BART District 4, which includes the Oakland Airport. “In fact, when we broke down the number total of labor hours worked, so far those from Oakland have been working on site the longest.”
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. 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. By contrast, the connector will be a far more relaxing ride that will offer swift, reliable service because the 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 1/2 minutes and will quickly transport air travelers to the airport in 8 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, today 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.