Last summer, when the City of Oakland announced its new Broadway shuttle, the concept alone was enough to generate palpable excitement: a free service, running roughly once every fifteen minutes during the workday from Jack London Square to Uptown. In essence, it meant the DTO's vast army of worker bees were no longer relegated to hitting up the same four sandwich joints day in and day out, nor were BART commuters with offices on the farther edges of downtown forced to walk to work through rain, wind, and other inclement weather. Execution-wise, the service definitely lived up to the hype: The Broadway Shuttle essentially represents a fitter, happier, more productive AC Transit alterna-universe, one in which people are polite to each other and their drivers, presumably because they're grateful for the gift of a free ride. And, consequently, the shuttle's also home to hands-down the nicest drivers around — with a ridership considerably more well-behaved than those on the rest of the system. These drivers will wish you a nice day, actually stop when they see someone running frantically to catch the bus, and, if you're a regular, may even remember your name. Even better, the project's coordinators recently got a grant from the Alameda County Transportation Commission to keep the bus running until 1 a.m. on weekends.
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