East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Receives Highest Overall Ranking in Federal Report
East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Receives Highest Overall Ranking in Just Released Federal Transit Administration Report to Congress
Only Project in Country to Receive
"High" Rating in FY 2012 "New Starts" Report
Today AC Transit announced that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has given its Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project the highest overall rating of any project in the United States this year, marking another significant milestone in the Agency's effort to bring a much-needed new express service line to the East Bay.
"The project would improve the speed and reliability of service to current riders, including large numbers of minority, low-income, and transit-dependent residents, by offering higher frequency service, reduced travel times, and greater schedule reliability," according to the FTA's 2011 New Starts report.
The report also gives AC Transit's BRT a cost-effectiveness rating of "high," making this one of only four other transportation projects in the United States to receive that level of recognition.
"We are very pleased that the FTA recognized the need for BRT in its report to Congress," said Mary King, AC Transit Interim General Manager. "BRT will yield faster travel times, reduce traffic, stimulate our local economy, and decrease emissions."
It was also announced today that President Obama's FY 2012 Budget includes $25 million for AC Transit's BRT project.
"President Obama understands how crucial of an investment BRT will be in our community," said Ms. King. "This is yet another major victory in our effort to bring a much-needed economic boost to the East Bay."
Construction of the BRT project will create local construction jobs and contribute to the economy by generating additional jobs that will support construction. Construction is expected to begin as soon as 2013, and be fully implemented in 2015.
About Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
AC Transit's vision is 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 it serves.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will link one of the busiest traffic corridors in the country with a fast, economical and environmentally-friendly means of transportation.
BRT will be a high-capacity rapid transit system that reduces passenger travel times. With dedicated lanes and signal priority, and prominent stations with convenient boarding of buses, BRT will offer residents a viable alternative to driving on congested city streets. It will reduce traffic levels, significantly cutting emissions and pollutants.
BRT is essentially light rail without the tracks. It combines the express service and capacity of light rail with the convenience and affordability of riding the bus. It can be planned and built at much less expense, and more quickly, than traditional light rail systems.