After three months of planning, two online town halls, and one very important meeting, the BART Board of Directors has approved its 2016 budget – and we’re thrilled with the outcome.
Since April, TransForm has been weighing in on the budget process to make sure BART Directors were keeping their commitment to prioritizing maintenance and repairs. And with this new budget, they have done just that.
This $1.6 billion budget prioritizes funding for important maintenance projects that desperately need some TLC. From repairing cars, hiring extra custodians to keep the stations and trains clean, and replacing worn rails, BART is putting its budget where its mouth is, and taking important steps to getting the system back up to a state of good repair.
In recognition of the increasing demand for BART trips, the agency is also adding capacity to help keep riders from feeling like sardines on their daily commute. Here's a summary of the service improvements to begin in the fall:
But as we've repeatedly seen, BART’s aging infrastructure isn’t just inconvenient, it’s costly and even dangerous. So as much as we’d like to celebrate, we can’t shake off BART’s looming $4.8 billion shortfall that still remains.
BART’s ridership is growing larger and larger every day. Right now, BART carries an average of 422,695 riders Monday through Friday. The BART Board projects that in 2016 this number will increase to 429,695 riders. That’s as many Bay Area folks as could squeeze into 21 Oracle Arenas! If you’re on those trains, chances are you know how much work lies ahead to make BART a reliable, safe, and frequent service.
In order to make a better BART a reality, the BART Board of Directors needs to continue its momentum and GO BIG on a 2016 funding measure.
BART needs billions of dollars to close the gap and ensure that it can take care of its core service. But they’re not going to reach that without asking for our help. As voters, we have the opportunity to revitalize BART and bring it into the 21st century (no more floppy discs!).
BART keeps the Bay Area moving. It needs to be fixed up, so that it can keep up – with our commutes, our economy, and our future. Join us in calling on the BART Board to go BIG in addressing the shortfall in maintenance and infrastructure needs.