You would think that in an era of transit agencies hiking their fares and slashing their service that different systems operating in the same area would coordinate their routes and schedules in order to spend their dwindling resources wisely, right? Well, you would be wrong.
AC Transit, the bus service provider in Oakland, California, and BART, the modern rapid transit system that covers the whole Bay Area in California, have operated routes that have competed with each other for years. The most notable example of this competition is AC Transit's Transbay Express routes operating along many of the same corridors as BART trains. However, they are not totally operating the same routes because while BART can only take riders to a BART station, AC Transit can take riders into the neighborhoods their homes are in and therefore avoid the last mile problem.
Recent plans for a BRT line operated by AC Transit put the transit provider more directly in competition with BART. The proposed BRT line will operate from San Leandro BART station to Berkely BART station. There is already a rapid way of traveling from San Leandro BART to Berkely BART: BART! In addition, the BRT stops will be nearby, although not exactly at, the BART stations in between San Leandro and Berkely. Why is AC Transit spending money serving a route that already has not only BART but frequent local and limited stop bus service, especially when in the past few years they have severely cut their bus service to a point where it is extremely difficult to use public transit in Oakland, with the exception of a handful of mostly northwest - southeast corridors? There is some hope that due to continued budget problems AC Transit may postpone their BRT line, which has experienced difficulty in securing political approval for the necessary bus only lanes in supposedly progressive Berkely and San Leando, in order to spare the rest of their system from further cutbacks. AC Transit needs to spend its money complementing BART and not competing with it.