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Rail News: Passenger Rail

BART seeks contractor input on Oakland Airport Connector


On April 21, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) officials will hold a forum for the construction and automated people-mover industries to provide an update on the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) project and seek market feedback.

The Metropolitan Transportation Commission recently allocated $70 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds — as well as $70 million in discretionary funds from Regional Measure 2, and state and local dollars — to BART to build the transit connection between Oakland Airport and the Coliseum BART station. The agency must begin advertising for bids by June and award a contract by year’s end or the money will be reallocated.

The 3.2-mile OAC would include two stations and operate on exclusive right of way with automated driverless vehicles. The project would create and/or support about 13,000 construction-related jobs and generate $1.2 billion in economic activity, according to BART.

The agency previously attempted to complete the project under a public-private partnership, but the connector was tabled because of technology and civil costs, as well as a decline in passenger traffic at the airport. BART now plans to adapt several contract specifications that will enable the project to still meet capacity goals, but allow for a broader range of technology solutions to increase competition. In addition, the contractor would not be responsible for providing project financing.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 4/15/2009