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Transcript of SunCal Exchange on Paying for PRT

The City of Alameda finally posted the video for last Wednesday’s ARRA meeting, wherein SunCal presented to city council members their draft concept for Alameda Point.

In last week’s East Bay Express, SunCal’s planner Peter Calthorpe stated that the developer would pay for PRT only within their development. But at Wednesday’s meeting, SunCal’s Pat Keliher made statements about paying for transit improvements right up to BART. That would mean across the estuary and through downtown Oakland. But it’s not clear if he was referring to PRT or bus rapid transit.

Here is a short transcript of the exchange on this point between Councilmember Doug deHaan and Pat Keliher. If you’re watching the video on the City’s website, skip to roughly the 1 hour and 10 minute mark.

Doug deHaan: On the PRT you were talking about ninety million dollars I guess. Is that just within Alameda Point itself? What about outside of that?

Pat Keliher: The ninety million dollars is the transit improvements up to that 4,000 unit threshold. If we decide we need to go above that or we are going to go above that, because there is a transit solution like PRT, it’s over and above that. You can build a PRT for about twelve million [dollars] a mile. […] We would connect from our point to the transit system. Ok. And pay for it. [Ed. Note – that $12 million per mile figure is questionable – nobody has built any PRT system in California to California Seismic and safety standards, let alone a PRT to California standards at $12 million per mile.]

DD: But there would have to be an associated transit solution to carry it further, to make it viable.

PK: Correct.

DD: So this would just be within the development?

PK: No, no, no. We would connect the PRT from the Alameda Point development to transit.

DD: Where would that be?

PK: To BART. To BART.

DD: All the way through?

PK: Yea, sorry, you’re connecting to the regional transportation solution which is BART.

Pat Keliher’s first statement, and the statement about “with PRT, it’s over and above that” suggests that the $90 million in improvements is not for PRT at all, because they don’t propose PRT for their 4,000 unit plan (well, actually, 4,200 units as of Wed. September 10.) But then he goes on to say they would connect their PRT to BART.

Whatever the answer, City Council better get it nailed down in writing.

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