Tempo (bus rapid transit)

Tempo is a bus rapid transit (BRT) service in Oakland and San Leandro in California. It is operated by AC Transit as Line 1T. The route has dedicated lanes and center-boarding stations along much of the corridor, prepaid fares, signal preemption, and all-door boarding.

Tempo AC Transit with the "E" in "Tempo" stylized as a horizontal spectrum analyzer
A black-and-blue bus on a city street at a bus platform
A southbound bus at Downtown San Leandro station
OperatorAC Transit
Vehicle27 New Flyer XDE60[1]
Began serviceAugust 9, 2020 (2020-08-09)
Predecessors1, 1R
LocaleOakland, San Leandro
StartUptown Transit Center
ViaInternational Boulevard
EndSan Leandro BART station
Length9.5 mi (15.3 km)
Frequency10 minutes (6 am–7 pm)
15 minutes (7 pm–midnight)
30–60 minutes (midnight–6 am)
Journey time40–47 minutes
Ridership1,027,280 (2020)
TimetableAC Transit Tempo
MapAC Transit Tempo
←   List of AC Transit routes  6 →


The northern terminus of the line is at the Uptown Transit Center, located at the 19th Street/Oakland BART station. The lines continues down Broadway in mixed traffic, passing 12th Street/Oakland City Center BART station before the southbound and northbound routes split at 11th and 12th Streets, respectively. Both directions simultaneously meet at and run on Lake Merritt Boulevard before splitting again to 12th Street and International Boulevard. Southbound buses join International Boulevard at 14th Avenue and begin median running in an exclusive bus lane. Services continue to a station near Fruitvale BART and onward to San Leandro, where operation in mixed traffic resumes and the line continues down Davis Street to terminate at San Leandro BART.

Articulated buses call at specially built high-curbed bus stops at the north and south ends of the line while the majority of International Boulevard stops feature median strip boarding platforms.



A 1993 AC Transit study designed the Berkeley–Oakland–San Leandro corridor as a potential alignment for major transit investment.[2]: 1.19  The agency began work on a Major Investment Study (MIS) for the corridor in 1999. Telegraph Avenue was selected as the Berkeley–Oakland alignment in 2011; Shattuck Avenue had lower expected ridership, while College Avenue had fewer opportunities for transit-oriented development.[3]: 8  The 2002-released MIS recommended bus rapid transit (BRT) for the corridor; light rail was deemed not to be cost-effective, while enhancements to conventional bus service would not generate significant ridership increases.[2]: S2 

A route 1R bus in Oakland in 2012

Prior to 2007, Telegraph Avenue was primarily served by the 40/40L local/limited-stop routes, while International Boulevard and East 14th Street were served by the 82/82L pair. Service changes on June 24, 2007, included the establishment of Berkeley–Downtown Oakland–Bay Fair routes 1R and 1; the 82/82L were discontinued and the 40/40L were cut back to no longer serve Telegraph Avenue.[4]: 2.3 [5][6] Route 1R (the International Rapid) operated as a limited-stop overlay of local route 1; it had some bus rapid transit features like transit signal priority and wide stop spacing, but not all-door boarding or dedicated lanes. It was intended as a first phase while the full BRT service was planned.[3]: 8, 16 

The 2007 Draft Environmental Impact Statement/Environmental Impact Report considered whether to have Bay Fair or San Leandro as the southern terminus, and whether to have separate local and express services or a single combined service.[2]: S1  AC Transit later selected a combined service to San Leandro station as the Locally Preferred Alternative.[7] In April 2010, the Berkeley City Council voted against the inclusion of center bus lanes over concerns about reducing Telegraph Avenue to a single general traffic lane in each direction. The city's preferred alternative, with curbside stops and no dedicated bus lanes, was not compatible with BRT service standards. Berkeley withdrew from the project in 2011.[8][9] San Leandro also objected to center lanes on its portion of the line.[10]

The Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report, released in January 2012, removed the center lanes south of Georgia Way in San Leandro. It also included a Downtown Oakland–San Leandro alternative to allow the project to proceed without the Berkeley and North Oakland section. AC Transit approved this shorter alternative in April 2012, followed by the Oakland and San Leandro city councils that July.[8][11] (That June, the center lanes had been further cut to Broadmoor Street near the Oakland/San Leandro border by the San Leandro city council.[8])


The southbound BRT platform at 19th Street under construction in April 2020

Route 1R was eliminated on June 26, 2016 to allow for construction. Route 1 was changed to run only between Downtown Oakland and San Leandro station; new routes 6 and 10 were created to serve the Downtown Oakland–Berkeley and San Leandro–Bay Fair segments.[12] Groundbreaking was held in August 2016.[13] The project was funded by a mix of local, state, and federal funds; major sources included Federal Transit Administration Small Starts (31%), Regional Measure 2 bridge tolls (24%), AC Transit (10%), and Alameda County Measure B/Measure BB sales tax (9.2%).[14]

The service was branded Tempo in July 2020, with the service numbered 1T.[15] Route 1T service began on August 9, 2020, with local route 1 eliminated.[16] Tempo was fare-free for the first 90 days of service; fare collection started on November 9, 2020.[17] The total cost of the project was $232 million.[16]

A 2016 AC Transit study of potential improvements to major corridors proposed extensions of the Downtown Oakland–San Leandro corridor to Emeryville via West Grand Avenue, and to Bay Fair station via East 14th Street.[18]


  1. ^ Almond, Elliot (9 August 2020). "AC Transit rolls out new service linking Oakland and San Leandro". The Mercury News. Retrieved 10 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Federal Transit Administration; Alameda Contra Costa Transit District (May 2007). AC Transit East Bay Bus Rapid Transit Project Draft Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report (PDF).
  3. ^ a b Martin, Ajay; Perkins Haslam, Angie; LaVigne, Cory (February 9, 2011). "Line 1R Service and Reliability Study Final Report" (PDF). AC Transit Service and Operations Planning.
  4. ^ Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates (March 2008). "International/Telegraph Corridor Rapid Bus Study: Phase III" (PDF). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District.
  5. ^ "Change Happens: June 24" (Press release). Alameda Contra Costa Transit District. May 15, 2007. Archived from the original on November 1, 2007.
  6. ^ "AC Transit Service Changes: San Pablo to Hayward—Effective June 24, 2007". Alameda Contra Costa Transit District. May 15, 2007. Archived from the original on November 3, 2007.
  7. ^ Federal Transit Administration; Alameda Contra Costa Transit District (January 2012). "Summary" (PDF). AC Transit East Bay BRT Project: Final Environmental Impact Statement/ Environmental Impact Report. p. S.1-1.
  8. ^ a b c J. Douglas Allen-Taylor (July 19, 2012). "BRT Coming to East Oakland". East Bay Express.
  9. ^ Swan, Rachel (March 4, 2019). "East Oakland, despite resistance, edging out SF in building bus rapid transit". San Francisco Chronicle.
  10. ^ J. Douglas Allen-Taylor (February 2, 2011). "What's left of BRT?". East Bay Express.
  11. ^ "San Leandro City Council Approves Bus Rapid Transit" (Press release). Alameda Contra Costa Transit District. July 16, 2012.
  12. ^ "Service changes effective Sunday, June 26" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. June 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "AC TRANSIT ANNOUNCES THE GROUNDBREAKING CEREMONY FOR THE EAST BAY BUS RAPID TRANSIT" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. August 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "BRT Funding". Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District.
  15. ^ "Meet AC Transit Tempo" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. July 14, 2020.
  16. ^ a b "AC TRANSIT TEMPO OPENS TO RIDERS SUNDAY, AUGUST 9" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. August 7, 2020.
  17. ^ "Tempo Line 1T Fares Start November 9" (Press release). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. October 28, 2020.
  18. ^ "Major Corridors Study Final Report" (PDF). Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District. July 15, 2016. p. 54.

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