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AC Transit Receives Small Starts Grant for East Bay BRT Project

AC Transit in Oakland, CA, has received an FTA Small Starts Grant—the first Fiscal Year 2014 grant announced so far—through an agreement that commits funding for the completion of the agency’s 9.5-mile East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project, a project supported by $81 million in federal grants.

“With the East Bay BRT project, AC Transit continues to execute its vision to provide a truly world-class transit service that is convenient, reliable, and safe, one that increases mobility, enhances the quality of life, and improves the health of the environment throughout the communities we serve,” said AC Transit General Manager David Armijo. He thanked the cities of Oakland and San Leandro, Caltrans, and the region’s members of Congress for their help in the process.

AC Transit’s BRT will link one of the busiest traffic corridors in the San Francisco Bay area, from downtown Oakland to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District station in San Leandro, with dedicated lanes, transit signal priority, and artistically enhanced stations with level boarding. In addition to reducing traffic levels and significantly cutting emissions and pollutants, BRT combines the express service and capacity of light rail with the convenience and affordability of riding a bus.

“The Federal Transit Administration is proud to partner with AC Transit to bring bus rapid transit service to the East Bay area, improving access to jobs in downtown Oakland, and making it easier for riders to connect to BART and other transportation services,” FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan said at the event. “This new BRT line will make a huge difference for thousands of commuters who need and deserve reliable transit service.”

AC Transit expects the line to provide approximately 27,000 weekday trips when it opens in 2017. The project includes 7.4 miles of dedicated bus lanes and 34 new bus stations with real-time arrival information, level boarding platforms, and ticket ­vending machines.

The total cost of East Bay BRT is $174 million; the federal funding includes $50 million from FTA’s Capital Investment Grant Program, $25 million in FTA Bus and Bus Facilities funds, and $6 million in Congestion Miti­gation and Air Quality Improvement Program funds. The remaining cost will be covered by state and local sources.

FTA Acting Administrator Therese McMillan joins AC Transit General Manager David Armijo in signing the agreement for an FTA Small Starts grant. At left is FTA Region 9 Administrator Leslie Rogers.

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