He said, "This makes the Bay Area the first region in the country to have a program to cut global warming pollution by trying to decrease demand on the roadways."
Cohen said that's important because "transportation is by far the biggest source of global warming pollution in California and the country."
Critics acknowledged that the project was likely to be approved but criticized BART for not providing sufficient information about the project, not updating ridership figures and not giving due consideration to alternatives, including a less-costly rapid bus service. BART estimates that 4,350 passengers a day will ride the people mover - an estimate it updated earlier this year.
John Knox White of TransForm, a transit advocacy group, called on BART to delay the decision and take a harder look at the project.
"You need to have the information before you can vote," he said.