Bay Area transit agencies push for bus-only lane on Bay Bridge

Resolutions supporting a bus-only lane on the Bay Bridge will be considered by two Bay Area transit agencies next week.

East Bay bus carrier AC Transit will hear its resolution when it meets at 5 p.m. Wednesday in the district's second floor boardroom at 1600 Franklin St. in Oakland

A similar resolution by Bay Area Rapid Transit Director Rebecca Saltzman will be heard when the BART board meets at 9 a.m. Thursday in its boardroom at 2640 Webster St. in Oakland.

"I've been working on this for years with AC Transit, and we've never been able to get traction," Saltzman tweeted on Friday. "Caltrans has opposed and MTC hasn't prioritized this. It's super exciting to see so much support for this now! It feels like this is the time to make a bus-only lane happen!"

A staff report on the resolution by AC Transit board Vice President Elsa Ortiz concludes: "A bus-only lane on the Bay Bridge could greatly increase the reliability of AC Transit transbay service. It will allow more frequent, reliable and faster service, contributing substantially to the quality of transbay service."

The idea has been floated repeatedly since AC Transit was formed

60 years ago, but "Concern about the effect of bus-only lanes on auto traffic have made it impossible to go forward to date," according to the staff report.

The report notes that the political climate around such an idea has recently created "a new wave of support" for a bus-only lane on bridge as motor traffic congestion increases and agencies such as BART operate over capacity.