At a board meeting Wednesday, AC Transit will discuss proposed changes to routes that could potentially affect Berkeley residents and students.
The agency plans to make changes to several bus lines, including the F — which runs from campus through Emeryville and into San Francisco — by rerouting the lines to approach Emeryville from the north via Shattuck Avenue. The J-line bus will replace the F-line in the unserviced areas during rush hours.
Three Oakland neighborhood groups and some Emeryville residents are sponsoring a petition to oppose the route changes. The petition has garnered more than 450 signatures, and closed Monday night.
Propositions for changing the F line came from concerns that the route services only those who live near the southern border of Emeryville, among others.
Martha Evans of Oakland’s Golden Gate Neighborhood Association, however, is concerned for many campus students, who she says use this route to access both Emeryville and San Francisco.
Residents of and commuters to those areas will have few options if these changes are made, according to a press release.
Greg Harper — AC Transit director for Emeryville, Piedmont and portions of Oakland and Berkeley — said the changes are proposed to help public transit and favor riders, including students.
“There are no cuts. In fact, there are a lot more services going in,” Harper said. “We are using our passenger counters every day on every bus. We know how many passengers get on and what time they get on at every stop.”
But Evans found that the data she thinks are being used for this proposal were collected three years ago in 2012.
“I’m surprised that he didn’t know,” Evans said. “This 2012 data doesn’t affect today’s numbers at all. People are reporting full buses now. This whole study is from three years ago … and it is out of date.”
Harper suggested that as an alternative to taking the F line or the J line, people in the neighborhood could take BART to San Francisco. According to Harper, BART could cut approximately seven minutes from their travel time to San Francisco, as trains are less crowded during midday hours.
“Considering it from the rider point of view, it’s no good,” Evans said. “Why would you tell someone to take two buses and then BART if they could take one bus?”
Evans said that she supports most of the proposed changes but that rerouting the F line could cause serious inconveniences for people traveling in — or to and from — Oakland.
Evans said she believes there will be a large showing at the Wednesday AC Transit board meeting, where the proposed changes will be discussed.