BART to charge $6 per ride for airport tram
BART will charge $6 per ride for its new tram rail service between the Oakland International Airport and the Coliseum train station, the BART board decided Thursday.
The board left open the door to consider a temporary, lower promotional fare at some later date,
The $484 million Oakland Airport Connector is scheduled to start service in the fall, shuttling passengers on an automated guide way system 3.2 miles between the Coliseum station and the airport.
The elevated tram will replace the AirBART shuttle vans, which currently charge $3 for the same trip by bus.
A BART rider traveling by rail from Walnut Creek to the Oakland airport would pay $3.70 to reach the Coliseum station and then an additional $6 to reach the airport.
In comparison, a taxi ride from Walnut Creek to the airport costs about $73, and daily parking at the Oakland airport costs between $16 and $22 per day, BART reported. Parking at satellite lots in Oakland costs less.
Officials at the Oakland airport had said they would oppose any fare higher than $4, but transit advocates said a $6 fare was warranted to reduce the big subsidy that BART will pay to operate the service.
-- Denis Cuff, Staff
Pittsburg man sentenced in murder
A 30-year-old Pittsburg man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years to life in prison for fatally shooting an Oakland man in 2012 to avenge a carjacking.
Westley Young pleaded no contest in April to second-degree murder for shooting 19-year-old Aaron Marks several times on Nov. 24, 2012, outside a barber shop on San Pablo Avenue and 60th Street.
Young took a plea deal, but had he gone to trial the prosecution intended to prove Young's motive was that Marks carjacked him at gunpoint in the same neighborhood 10 days before the fatal shooting, according to Young's probation report.
Judge Jon Rolefson on Thursday commended Young for a seven-page letter he wrote in which he took responsibility for Marks' murder and the damage the killing caused to Marks' family as well as his own.
Attorneys in the case were not immediately available to comment.
-- Malaika Fraley, Staff
Bike theft suspect arrested after chase
A man suspected of trying to steal a bicycle from a North Oakland bike shop Wednesday morning was arrested after being chased down by a store employee and a homicide investigator who was driving by, police said.
Police said the man apparently had cased the Tip Top Bike Shop at 4800 Telegraph Ave. earlier Wednesday before returning about 11:40 a.m., picking up a $730 bicycle and carrying it out of the store. In pulling the bike from its post in the store, the chain came off and the front wheel was damaged. That may have been the reason the man did not ride the bike from the store, said shop owner Richard Oelerich.
Seeing the man running down the street with the bike, a nearby bar employee who was outside shoulder-checked the man while he was running away. Then a bike store employee chased the man and he dropped the bike and his backpack.
The man then ran onto 49th Street, where homicide investigator Officer Nick Calonge was driving by. He saw the man being chased by the employee who was yelling for him to stop.
Not knowing at the time what the man was wanted for, Calonge got out of his car and arrested the winded man at gunpoint. No one was injured. The man's name, age and city of residence were not immediately released.
-- Harry Harris, Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Police: Two shot in South Berkeley
Two men were shot Wednesday afternoon in South Berkeley and police are asking for the public's help locating the shooter.
The men were both taken to a hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening, said Berkeley police Officer Jennifer Coats. One of the victims was 21 years old; the other was either 17 or 18, she said.
The shooting occurred about 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of Russell and California streets, she said.
Multiple 911 calls came into dispatch following shots heard in the area. When police arrived they found one victim and then the second victim not far away, Coats said.
Their names and cities of residence were not released.
Police do not have a motive in the shooting, and no arrests have been made. Coats said it wasn't clear if a vehicle was involved in the shooting, and investigators were trying to determine if there was more than one shooter involved.
Anyone with information should call Berkeley police at 510-981-5700 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572.
-- Kristin J. Bender, Staff
Man, 60, critical after he was hit by car
A 60-year-old man was in critical condition Thursday after an unlicensed driver struck him with a car Wednesday evening in the city's downtown area.
Officers went just before 6 p.m. to the intersection of Watkins and D streets for a report of a pedestrian who had been hit by a car, said Sgt. Mark Ormsby.
They found a man on the ground with skull fracture and bleeding from his head. The unidentified victim was hospitalized with critical injuries but was expected to live, Ormsby said.
Police say the man was in a crosswalk when the driver hit him.
The driver, who remained at the scene, did not have a license or any identification, and was arrested. His name was not immediately released.
-- Natalie Neysa Alund, Staff