Fast BART service to Oakland Airport could come with hefty price

The new BART line to the Oakland International Airport from the Coliseum is almost ready for riders, but the big question is what will it cost? The faster service could come with a hefty price tag.

Starting this fall, the Oakland Airport connector will drop people off at a platform right outside the airport terminals. It's the end of a 3.2 mile tram ride. Now, the BART board is contemplating whether to charge $4, $5 or $6 a trip.

The Oakland Airport connector will run along Hegenberger Road. Driverless trams will pick people up every four minutes. The trip takes about 8.5 minutes.

It's supposed to be faster and more reliable than AirBART, which shuttles people to and from the Coliseum BART Station to the airport for $3.

Air travelers we talked to are split as to how much they should pay for the new service.

BART's board of directors held a public hearing to get feedback. Whether they charge $4, $5 or $6, the connector will be operating at a loss, which is why many say the fare should be at least $6, the maximum that's been proposed.

"If they start off any lower, that shifts the rest of the cost of the operation of that system back onto the rest of our riders," said Joel Ramos from Transform.

"Why should I be subsidizing somebody to get in an airplane? Those tend to people who have more money," said Karen Hester, an Oakland resident.

But Oakland International Airport aviation director Deborah Ale Flint says a cheaper fare will persuade more air travelers to use it, and the more people who use BART, the better.

"Whatever reason you're using the BART system, it serves the entire Bay Area, so we should not be looked at separately or differently than any other part of the BART system," said Flint.

BART'S Board of Directors are scheduled to set the fare on June 12.
Related Topics:
travelBARTairport newsair travelcommutingOaklandOakland International Airport
(Copyright ©2018 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)