May 312014

Kaiser-San-Leandro_thumbThe new Kaiser Hospital in San Leandro will be opening this upcoming Tuesday, but patients that don’t drive may continue going elsewhere.  That’s because the new Kaiser Hospital is pretty much inaccessible using public transportation.

Only one bus line stops anywhere near the new Kaiser, and the stop is two blocks away.  The stop is unshaded and there isn’t even a bench on which passengers can seat and wait.  This is problematic for people who have mobility issues, but are not on wheelchairs.  This bus, moreover, only stops once an hour, only runs on weekdays and stops running shortly after 8 PM.  You can catch it at the San Leandro BART station, the 4-mile ride takes 45 minutes.

While Mayor Stephen Cassidy had announced that there would be a shuttle to the Kaiser Hospital, it turns out that it is just meant for commuting employees. While members of the public can hop on, it only runs in one direction (to Kaiser in the morning, to BART in the afternoon), and only during commuter hours.

Update: Kaiser is now running a pilot shuttle program during mid-day. The shuttle runs every 40 minutes between 10:20 AM and 3 PM.  You can catch the shuttle back to BART, though the schedule only mid-day times are listed on the new schedule.  Note this program is a pilot and may end at any minute.

The employee shuttle is not (yet?) listed on Kaiser San Leandro’s Transportation page, so patients don’t actually have a way of knowing about it.

The better alternative for Kaiser patients who live in San Leandro and don’t drive continues to be using the Fremont Kaiser facilities, the train ride to Fremont takes only 23-minutes and the Hospital is only a couple of blocks away from the station.  BART is not only more comfortable than AC Transit, but it usually runs on time and BART stations have benches and roofs.  Alternatively, you can take BART to Oakland and then the free shuttle to Kaiser.

It is very unfortunate that the San Leandro Kaiser has not made itself accessible to public transportation and has not established a free shuttle for patients from the BART station and other stops. I urge City leader to work with Kaiser to make it accessible to all its members in San Leandro, not just those that have cars.


  2 Responses to “New San Leandro Kaiser Hospital Shuns Public Transportation”

  1. Your blog posting is full of errors. The shuttle from the San Leandro BART station to the Kaiser hospital is free & open to the public. The shuttle runs both directions every 10 minutes from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., and then from 3 p.m. to 7:10 p.m. There is also mid-day service from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the mid-day the shuttle runs every 30 minutes. Over time and with greater demand, the shuttle hours of operations and frequency may be expanded.

    • I contacted Kaiser Permanente to get the actual story and they sent me the latest schedule for the employee shuttle. I’m updating the story with the schedule.

      You will note that the shuttle runs every 5 to 10 minutes from 5:30 to 9:45 AM and then again from 3:15 to 7:10 PM. The schedule only lists boarding times in the morning from BART or in the afternoon from Kaiser, but they will pick up passengers for the trip back, though they are not providing a schedule for this.

      There is a pilot program with a mid-day shuttle running every 40 minutes from Bart to Kaiser and viceversa. As it’s a pilot program, the hours may be expanded or it may be eliminated altogether. As the shuttle is primarily for the use of employees, and it’s existence is not even being communicated to patients, it seems of very little use to patients. My bet is that in a few months they’ll close it saying there was no need for it.

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