Oakland — Streetcar Study Released
The E'ville Eye web site reports that the Emeryville Berkeley Oakland Transit Study (or "EBOTS") prepared by consultants CMS Smith has been released and the Emeryville City Council has unanimously supported the most ambitious option for streetcar service presented.
Streetcar service would connect the MacArthur BART station to Jack London Square, by way of 40th Street, Mandela Parkway, and West Oakland BART. A second route would replicate much of the existing Emery Go-Round bus shuttle, servicing Emeryville in a circular route beginning and ending at MacArthur BART, by way of Hollis Street, the Berkeley city border, Christie, and Shellmound Streets.
The goal of EBOTS was to “explore future visions for the study area…Planned population and job growth and increased investment in the area will spur the need for additional transportation investments,” the study’s preparers said.
The study projects that it would take 10 to 20 years before streetcar service would start. However, a few city council members were adamant about the economic boost it would provide. “I believe streetcars in the East Bay, especially this inner East Bay, is absolutely the future and we’ve got to start now if we’re going to crank this in. We’ve seen the successes of the streetcar lines in Seattle and in Portland. We know they work.” added Councilmember Nora Davis.