State Sen. Quentin Kopp (Ind.-San Francisco) has scheduled public hearings in San Francisco and in Marin County next month on his proposal to merge two San Francisco Bay Area transit districts.
Kopp, chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, plans to introduce legislation next year to combine the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, a rail-subway service, and AC Transit, which operates bus lines in Alameda and Contra Costa counties.
The merger would be the first step in Kopp's ambitious master plan for mass transit in the traffic-choked nine-county Bay Area, which has 23 different transit agencies that in many cases compete against one another and do not offer smooth transfers.
Kopp said that if strong enough evidence is presented at a Dec. 16 legislative hearing on transit in San Francisco, he would consider a bill calling for the unification of all East Bay transit systems.
Those systems are AC, BART and four smaller companies that operate bus service in subregions of the East Bay.