BART”s plan for a $500 million tramway connecting its Coliseum station with the Oakland airport is now in jeopardy because of civil rights violations. The Federal Transit Administration says it may withhold $70 million in stimulus funds because BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission failed to analyze the financial impact of the expensive new tram on minority patrons. The tram is expected to cost riders $6 per fare, compared to the current $3 to ride a shuttle, and it will take funds that could go to transit operations that serve low-income riders, including AC Transit.
According to the Chron, BART is confident it will be able to satisfy requirements detailed by federal authorities by a March 5 deadline. But activists who filed the civil rights complaint against BART in an attempt to kill the tramway want MTC to pull the plug on the project and redirect the $70 million to other transit agencies around the Bay Area.