BART Would be Good for Alameda

Alameda’s Rev. Beth Foote of Fremont’s St. Anne’s Episcopal Church likes what BART could mean for the Island.


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Historic BART sketch courtesy of Eric Fischer

With the interest by transportation planners in a second BART crossing under the bay, it’s time to talk more seriously about having our own BART station here on the Island. It’s a long-term project, and an exciting one.

BART stations are economic assets to their communities. San Leandro has recently leveraged the value of its existing BART station by encouraging economic development around it. I think an Alameda BART station would be an economic anchor, and take some of the pressure off the tube and bridges during traditional commute times. But we need public transportation way beyond rush hour. Lots of people work nontraditional hours, in many places other than downtown San Francisco. A BART station would serve the many people traveling on and off the Island throughout the day and evening, for business and for pleasure. Imagine how much easier it would be to spend an evening in San Francisco, or to catch an A’s game.

My husband and I have raised our three children here in Alameda, and its small-town charm and diverse population have been among the defining reasons we’ve stayed for the past 25 years. But, as we know, the economic boom is changing the Bay Area and our beloved Island. How can we keep Alameda from being yet another affluent enclave?

A BART station in Alameda is not the whole answer to that conundrum, but it could help. More reliable public transportation would benefit people living in Alameda to get to better-paying jobs wherever they find them. In my opinion, a BART station in Alameda would enhance the quality of life for all Alamedans for generations to come.

Civic Drawing Board asks Alameda citizens and leaders to identify a concrete change that would improve their town.

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