The AC Transit Board of Directors delayed their contentious decision to alter the Transbay F & J Lines back at the November 11th hearing. These changes, as part of their “Service Expansion Plan”, were intended to provide a more efficient and frequent all-day connection from Berkeley & Emeryville to San Francisco. Residents of some neighborhoods clearly felt hung out to dry.
They instead opted to hold community meetings and solicit input on four alternative proposals. The first of these two planned meetings will be this Saturday morning in Emeryville Council Chambers. The AC Transit Board consists of seven directors including former Emeryville Councilmember and current Park Avenue District resident Greg Harper.
Their original revised proposal saw over 700 North Oakland & Emeryville residents protest the changes through a Santa Fe Community Association and Neighbors led petition drive. Many southern Emeryville residents specifically in the Park Avenue Area would have seen their walk to bus stops change from a couple of minutes to a less manageable twenty minutes or more or have to use the already taxed Emery Go-Round system to transfer.
“If the C were the only bus running along 40th Street during morning commute hours, it would essentially reduce service along that corridor by half. It would be full by the time it got to us.” noted Park Avenue District resident Jack Ghizzoni who boards at 40th at Horton. “Everything other than the first alternative would probably mean I stop getting a monthly AC Transit pass, and start riding my bike to Bart.”
Existing Route overlaid with alternatives (Animated GIF):
Four Alternatives Proposed
AC Transit is currently seeking input on the following potential service alternatives for lines F and J.
Alternative 1: Modified Existing
Line F：Modified slightly to serve the area around 64th and Shellmound streets before getting on the freeway to cross the Bay Bridge. It will serve the same area in the reverse direction before continuing on its current path. There would be no loss of service along 40th or Market streets.
Line J：No changes.
Alternative 2：Current Proposal
Line F：Would travel southwest from Berkeley along Adeline Street before turning west on Alcatraz Avenue and 65th Street then south on Shellmound Street to access the freeway. Market and 40th streets will retain peak-hour Transbay service and have enhanced local service to access BART and Line F.
Line J：From Berkeley, would travel south along Sacramento and Market to access the freeway via MacArthur Blvd.
Line F：The loop around UC Berkeley will be eliminated with the trip starting adjacent to campus near Center/Shattuck. From there, Line F will travel to Emeryville via Adeline and onto Stanford/Powell. Prior to entering the freeway, it would loop north along Christie Avenue to 64th Street then Shellmound Street. It would do the same upon exiting the freeway in the reverse direction. Market and 40th streets would retain peak-hour Transbay service and have enhanced local service to access BART and Line F.
Line J：From Berkeley, would travel south along Sacramento and Market streets to access the freeway via MacArthur Blvd.
Alternative 4：Split Line F
Line F：Split Line F into a Transbay route originating at Powell Street in Emeryville. with direct access to the freeway. The remainder of the current Line F would become a local line that would provide timed connections with Line F. Areas currently served by Line F would continue to have either direct all-day Transbay access or would have all-day local service with a timed connection to all-day Transbay service.
Line J：No changes.
Santa Fe CAN is putting their support behind Alternative 1 and some Park Avenue neighbors I’ve spoke with favor this route as well. The Golden Gate Community Association has also been active in the interests of North Oakland residents. AC Transit has also prepared a Facts about Future Service sheet that outlines these changes and alternatives.
AC Transit will hold two public workshops to discuss these alternatives:
Saturday January 9th, 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Emeryville Town Hall Council Chambers
Monday January 11th, 6:30 p.m.
St. Columba Church, 6401 San Pablo Ave.
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Care2.com is a great platform for petitions and may help in this case.