BART Director Looking To Halt Oakland Airport Connector Project

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Oakland Airport Station rendering (www.bart.gov)

An artist’s rendering of the BART Oakland Airport Station. (bart.gov)

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Despite having already spent $64 million in construction costs, one BART director is looking to put the brakes on a project that would connect the Coliseum station to the Oakland Airport.

BART Director Robert Raburn said the money should be spent on more pressing needs.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Last October, ground was broken on the long-debated three mile line. Utility lines have already been moved and materials have been ordered for the project. But since then, two of the project’s biggest supporters have left the district and complete funding for the $484 million project still isn’t secure.

Raburn said he is hoping to stop selling the bonds it needs to fund the tram.

“I would support it if it were not a burden on BART’s operating budget,” he said. “But it certainly will be and it constrains us from looking at the priorities that we really want. We need to replace our fleet of cars. Our cars are the oldest in the nation and they average over 30 years.”

Raburn said some of the $64 million already spent can still be recouped and if there isn’t funding in hand, they should legally be able to back out of the contract. But supporters contend that it will create jobs in a community that needs them.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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