Bay Area Region
The Oakland Airport Connector project received a rather rude wake-up call from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) in a letter dated January 15th where both BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) were advised that funding was in jeopardy. The FTA had received a complaint filed by Public Advocates, Inc. on behalf of Urban Habitat, TransForm and Genesis that the OAC project was not compliant with Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
BART officials will be working over the next six weeks to address civil rights issues raised about its Oakland Airport Connector project by the Federal Transit Administration, which could withhold stimulus funds for the project if the agency does not take corrective action.
Officials from BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission were sent letters Friday from the FTA about the $522 million project to build a 3.2-mile-long rail connector between the Coliseum station and the Oakland International Airport.
BART's long-planned rail extension to Oakland International Airport is in jeopardy because a federal agency has threatened to block a $70 million economic stimulus grant over concerns the project may discriminate against the poor and minorities.
In a move that stunned BART officials, the Federal Transit Administration late Friday warned it would give away the $70 million to other projects unless BART prepares an adequate analysis by March 5 on how the project would affect low-income and minority residents.
Action Alert: Help Secure Our Oakland Airport Connector Victory at the MTC Board, January 27th at 9:00
We have won a major victory on the Oakland Airport Connector, as the federal government has ruled that BART has not complied with Title VI civil rights law. There is a strong chance that this could be the end of the project, and millions of dollars could go to supporting the basic transit service low-income people and people of color depend on.
However, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) could still decide to take a $70 million dollar gamble and move forward with the project, betting on BART’s ability to meet the FTA’s requirements. We need your help cementing our victory. MTC will be meeting on Wednesday (the 27th) to decide whether to continue to support the project. We need a strong and loud community presence to make it clear that this unjust, discriminatory project does not have our support!
The meeting timeline is not yet firm, so stay tuned for details
Please plan on joining us:
Wednesday, January 27th at 9:30 am. 101 Eight Street, Oakland.
Contact Will Dominie: (510) 839-9510 x 316 to RSVP or for more information.
The Bay Area may be headed down a longer, bumpier road in its journey from recession to recovery if public transit continues to carry fewer commuters.
As the region attempts to push toward economic recovery in 2010, transit agencies expect to be moving in the opposite direction, stuck offering service levels and fares established during the downturn - or worse.
The Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) is restructuring the committees tasked with representing the people of the Bay Area in transportation planning and funding decisions. One of these, the Minority Citizens Advisory Council, has in the past been a crucial voice for low-income communities, communities of color, and busriders. The MTC is now folding this committee into a larger panel, and there is a very real risk that we will lose this voice. Help us hold MTC accountable for their decisions. The Bay Area needs representatives who are willing to demand better, equitable, and affordable transportation. Apply!
The deadline to submit an application is February 1st.
Join the Bay Area Environmental Health Collaborative (BAEHC) in demanding that the Bay Area Air Quality Management District address the cumulative and inquitable impacts of toxic air pollution that hits hardest on low-income and working class communities of color.
BAEHC is demanding that the Air District adopt our proposed Pollution Reduction Protocol that calls for an end to most new pollution permits and implementation of pollution reduction plans in overburdened communities.
Recently, the Air District proposed regulatory changes that were a step in the right direction, and would have created stricter pollution thresholds in highly impacted communities.
Oakland Airport Connector Complaint Leads to Broader Title VI Probe
November 17th, 2009
San Francisco, CA—The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) Office of Civil Rights will conduct an on-site compliance review of BART’s entire Title VI program “within the next several months,” based in part on a complaint filed by transit policy experts and community advocacy groups. That complaint charged that in the rush to build the controversial Oakland Airport Connector (OAC), BART officials were evading well-established civil rights obligations.