The East Bay is getting a new area code. It's 341. Some say it's not a big deal, but most residents in the 510 feel differently

ByLiz Kreutz KGO logo
Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Is a new area code a big deal?
The East Bay is getting a new area code next month, so why do people from The Town care so much?

EAST BAY, Calif. (KGO) -- Something new is coming to the East Bay. It's a new area code: 341.

Some might wonder, no big deal. It's just three numbers.

There are a number of them already in existence in the Bay Area. 415, 510, 650, 408, etc.

Some Bay Area residents feel the "510" area code carries an identity.

"I'm a 510 all day like it's an identification," a local resident said.

"I mean, it's on all of my stuff, my business card, my social media account," Janet said.

"It's about community, it's about our environment, and it's about this beauty around us," Erin said.

Flynn Darby is selling a "415" number on Craiglist . "Just the rarity, the increasing rarity of 415 numbers, especially good ones makes it, so I think this is at the very least an investment opportunity," he said.

"Listen, 510 has always been East Bay. We have the '510 day' that we celebrate on May 10," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. "We sometimes talk about nickle dime because 5,10 is a piece of currency."

"I think this is going to be one more thing that separates the OG's from the newcomers," the Mayor added.

Chris Gradeills, a tattoo artist from "Five and Dime Tattoo," in Oakland said the shop was named after the 510. All the tattoo artist have "510" tattoos.

"They blast their whole stomach, their whole back. Some people get their whole heads and face, and go crazy," he said.

RELATED: New dialing policy for 510 area codes

"We have it on shirts, on hoodies, on hats, on tote bags, pretty much everything we make is either Oakland or 510," said Dave Tom, owner of 510 Brand.

How did area codes even become a thing in the first place?

It turns out area codes were first created by AT&T and the bell system in 1947.

In California, there were three original area codes: 916, 213, and in the Bay Area, 415.

The East Bay got "510" in 1991.

California has 34 area codes.

Since 2016, 10 have been added.

Beth Sprague, Director at North American Numbering Plan Administration, thinks adding a new one is not such a big deal.

"I think that's only on old Seinfeld episodes," she said.

Sprauge also said area codes across the country are going to be entirely used up by 2049.

"The industry will have to get back together and decide which way to go," she said.

If people are wondering if they can still get a 510 number, it will be in limited supply.

"Bay Area problems, hashtag Bay Area problems. How are we going to make a tattoo out of it?," Mayor Schaaf said.