AC Transit has won approval from the Berkeley City Council to proceed with a construction project to improve traffic flow along one of the East Bay’s busiest and most congested transit corridors.
The Council approval means AC Transit can now complete construction of “Line 51A&B Corridor Delay Reduction/Sustainability Project” which includes nearly $3 million in traffic and street improvements from the Berkeley Marina to the Rockridge BART station, via University, Shattuck and College avenues.
The improvements include bus stop relocations, traffic signal coordination, priority and upgrades, queue jumps, bus bulbs and more.
The project's primary objective is to increase the speed and reliability of the service. But it will also improve the pedestrian experience and the streetscape with bus bulbs that add public space and shorten street crossings for pedestrians. It does all this without impacting other users of the street, whether in cars, on bikes or on foot.
As two of the most heavily used bus routes in the East Bay, Lines 51A and 51B combined carry 19,000 passengers a day to Berkeley, Oakland, and Alameda. At times, service along the entire 15-mile stretch has been unreliable due to bus bunching, late vehicle arrivals and overcrowded buses.
AC Transit has received a $10.5 million grant to design and implement infrastructure modifications along the route that would increase reliability and on-time performance, decrease travel time, and improve safety for AC Transit riders and pedestrians.
Construction of the project is due to begin in June, pending final approvals from the cities of Oakland and Alameda.