BART ridership is exploding, but funding problems could cripple service
With more than 400,000 riders each day, BART is more important than ever to the Bay Area’s transportation system, economy, and quality of life.
But for decades, BART misplaced its priorities. It spent too much money on expensive expansions that only draw a few new riders, and not enough on investments to keep the core system in good working order.
If you ride BART, you’ve seen the results firsthand: system-wide delays, jam-packed trains, and aging cars.
BART’s current Board of Directors doesn’t have to continue repeating past mistakes. They should focus future investments on keeping BART safe, frequent, reliable, and affordable for everyone.
Our campaign to keep BART safe and dependable for everyone
TransForm’s Save BART Campaign is working to make sure that the BART Board of Directors prioritizes improvements that make the core system better – safer, more frequent, more reliable, and more affordable – rather than committing to expensive expansions that only serve a limited number of people.
New leadership at BART recognizes the need to prioritize safety and repairs, keep BART affordable, and increase core capacity to accommodate 750,000 passengers a day. But to do all this, they need to overcome a $4.8 billion budget shortfall in the years ahead.
In November 2016, voters in three counties strongly supported investments in the safety and reliability of the BART system we all rely on. They saw through the political attacks to the urgent need to maintain BART for working people, families, and our economy. The passage of Measure RR sets BART up to finally do what we’ve been calling on them to do for years — focus on improving the core system and serving existing riders better. See our op-ed in support of Measure RR.
TransForm Successfully Pushes BART to Act For Affordable Housing
Thanks for years of our advocacy, on December 1, 2016, the BART board adopted several policy shifts we had been advocating:
- Mandate a minimum 35% of all housing built on BART property be affordable;
- Officially align their TDM guidelines with TransForm's GreenTRIP standards; and
- Pledging a "no net loss" of households making less than $50K in their station areas (this last one will be tough to control, but will be a metric they should be keeping an eye on as they develop their own properties).
Making the most of BART projects already underway
We’re also keeping a close eye on decisions about the three expensive extensions already underway – San Jose, Eastern Contra Costa, and Oakland Airport. BART must learn from its past mistakes and make sure new proposals – such as the wildly expensive proposal for BART to Livermore – do not compromise existing service and raise costs for riders. And we’re working to ensure BART uses its land around stations to support walkable, affordable neighborhoods where people can easily and safely use BART to get around.