California Department of Transportation

Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Air Freight


Matt Hanson

Project Description

Trucks are currently the primary mode for air-freight door-to-door service delivery in San Francisco Bay Area for all the integrated/non-integrated carriers, providing connectivity between airports, sorting sites, local distribution (collection) centers and customers. However, trucks have a significant impact on peak period highway congestion, auto drivers’ safety, security and air pollution in the vicinity of major airports and on the highway corridors that lead to them. To mitigate those impacts, it is important to leverage other modes as alternatives.
This research will investigate the feasibility of using the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) rail system in place of trucks to move air freight in and out of San Francisco and Oakland international airports. On average, the BART system only uses about 30% of its capacity for passenger movement. Using some portion of the excess capacity for freight movement will increase the efficiency of the BART system and reduce land use and pollution by getting trucks off the highway. In a congested highway environment, BART may perform better than trucks as it is not impacted by incidents or congestion, helping to meet the limited-time-window delivery of air freight carriers.

Current Tasks