A plan to build a 3.2-mile automated people mover (APM) between Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) Coliseum station and Oakland International Airport in the US has been approved by the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC).

The agency also approved the use of $70m in federal stimulus money.

The MTC’s support, however, depends on whether BART can address the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) concerns about the project.

The FTA is reportedly concerned that the APM will have a discriminatory impact on minorities and low-income members of society.

BART will submit an action plan to the FTA by next week.

The MTC will then meet on 17 February to see if the project is on schedule and if not the $70m stimulus funding will be redirected to other maintenance projects.

Construction is scheduled to be completed in three-and-a-half years and the service is expected to begin in 2013.

BART also provides train services throughout the San Francisco metropolitan area.