The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system in San Francisco has unveiled the first of the four new test vehicles on the Oakland Airport Connector (OAC) tracks at the OAC wheelhouse hub.
The test vehicles, which are expected to be in testing this spring, will travel along the 3.2 mile track between BART’s Oakland Airport and Coliseum Station, and a new station next to the terminals at Oakland International Airport.
The vehicles are being built in Oregon and shipped to the Bay Area for final assembly on site. They will replace the existing AirBART buses that drive through nine intersections on local streets and take 20 to 25 minutes in suitable traffic conditions.
BART director Robert Raburn said: "Passenger travel on the elevated guideway between Coliseum BART and the Oakland Airport Station is now less than a year away.
"I’m heartened that the Oakland Airport Connector will boost development in Oakland and the fact that the project has already put local people to work."
When operational, the trains will complete the trip in eight minutes and 30 seconds, with total travel time including walking from the BART Coliseum Station to the OAC platform and from OAC to the airport terminals between 12 and 14 minutes.
BART has not disclosed the fare for OAC but is expected to be equivalent to the $3 AirBART fare. About 1,508 on site workers were hired for the project.
The $484m project, which moved into one of the final phases, is expected to be completed on time and on budget by the fall of 2014.