The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) board in the US broke ground last week on the $484m Oakland Airport connector project.

The automated people mover project will provide a 3.2-mile connection between BART’s Coliseum station and Oakland Airport, transporting air travellers in about eight minutes.

The electric, driverless, automated trains would run on a fixed, elevated guideway above the congestion and would arrive at the Coliseum BART station every 4.5 minutes.

The Flatiron / Parsons joint venture will design and construct the fixed, elevated guideway and Austria-based Doppelmayr will supply the automated people mover (APM) technology.

The train-to-plane connection project could begin in early 2011, while service is anticipated in three-and-a-half years.