OAKLAND (KCBS) – After nearly twenty years of planning, BART finally broke ground Wednesday on its Oakland Airport Connector project.

BART has had plenty of trouble trying to get the money together for the nearly $500 million project, so the groundbreaking came rather quickly after the government gave final approval for the funds.

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KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner told the crowd at the Coliseum Station ceremony the project will put people to work.

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”If you look around Europe, or other cities in the U.S., it’s so convenient to get to the airport,” said Skinner. “You just hop on transit, get right off at the airport and go to your gate, check in, and boom you’re on the plane! That’s the 21st century.”

Critics claim the 3.2 mile long monorail system is too expensive, and the money can be better spent elsewhere. They also say passenger projections are too optimistic.BART hopes to have the people-mover to the airport complete in three and a half years.

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