THE LONG-awaited BART extension to San Francisco International Airport was opened on June 21 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the airport station. Participating in the celebrations were California Governor Gray Davis, Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, several local members of Congress, BART board members and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Environmental problems and construction delays had pushed back the scheduled opening by about 18 months.
The $1·5bn, 14 km line was opened for revenue service on June 22, bringing the BART network to 152·9 km and 43 stations. Trains run to the airport every 15min from the Dublin/Pleasanton line, with Pittsburg/Bay Point trains running to the Millbrae interchange, which provides connections to Caltrain commuter rail services. A shuttle runs every 20 min between Millbrae and the airport.
The line is expected to carry around 33000 passengers a day, increasing to 70000 by 2010. By the end of the first week of service the daily average had reached nearly 23000.
HThe BART board of directors on June 26 voted 7-2 to approve the final environmental impact report for the 8·7 km extension from Fremont to Warm Springs. Construction of the $634m project is expected to start in late 2004 or early 2005. Funding has also been approved for routeing and environmental studies on the 26·5 km from Warm Springs to San José.