As a daily BART rider, I experience service disruptions, poorly maintained BART stations with broken escalators and frequently inoperable elevators. BART’s core infrastructure is falling apart, and this November’s $3.5 billion bond measure, Measure RR, is essential. San Francisco Bay Area residents need safe, clean, reliable and accessible transportation.
BART was built in the 1960s to accommodate 200,000 daily riders - in 2016, we have grown to over 400,000 daily riders. We cannot build more roads, but we can increase capacity in our multimodal transportation network to keep everyone moving safely, comfortably and efficiently.
My priorities for BART include:
Keeping Our Stations Clean
BART stations are filthy, stairs and escalators smell like a latrine and some are used as homeless encampments - cleaning them up must be a top priority. This includes reopening station bathrooms, staffing those bathrooms, installing security cameras, and allocating more funding into general maintenance and janitorial services. It also means working with human services agencies to connect those in need to services.
Making BART More Affordable and Accessible
Affordable transit options are extremely important to working mothers and their families, hospitality workers and our lower income transit dependent residents. I plan to revisit the idea of a monthly pass by utilizing the Station Profile Survey to get a sense of where lower income riders are boarding and look at setting fare policies that would help this population and increase their ridership.
We must also work hard to keep our elevators and escalators running properly to ensure disabled residents who may rely solely on public transportation are able to access the platforms. When elevators and escalators don't work, it's critical that the communication to the public is clear and pervasive, so they know where they can exit or can choose to avoid particular stations. We must ensure shuttle service is available to transport those in need between stations when elevators are not operable. I am interested in exploring solutions to the persistent elevator problems, like looking at elevator access being available to those with a BART or Clipper card only, to ensure those entering it are using it to access the platform.
Accessibility extends to wayfinding information. BART lacks signage and the current audio system is hard to understand. It's not always clear what station you've arrived in because of the inconsistency in signage and the bad audio system. I will work to improve wayfinding information, extending from before you enter into the platform area. These things are critical for all riders, but especially for those who are physically or visually impaired. I am also interested in exploring solutions that work with cell phones, transit applications and Google maps that would provide real-time information on details ranging from escalator and elevator outages to closed exits and crowded trains.
Improving Efficiency and Reliability
BART’s train control systems have not been updated since the 1960s. We live in one of the most technologically innovative regions in the world and we must update BART technology to help avoid service disruptions and keep trains running on schedule.
Upgrading our tracks will decrease the need for nightly maintenance on the tracks and avoid closing entire sections of the tracks for major repairs. By focusing on keeping BART in a “state of good repair,” we will exponentially improve the efficiency and reliability of our trains. I want to ensure that future extensions don't come at the expense of neglecting the core infrastructure.
Workers who commute during off-peak hours have limited public transit options and are often lower wage workers who are completely transit dependent. We must explore expanding late night and early morning service to make their commutes easier. We must also coordinate with other regional operators such as Muni, Caltrain and AC Transit on improved timed connections and filling early morning or late night service gaps.
We need to move forward with a serious assessment of a second transbay tube. The current tube is stressed by congestion, which is why the system cannot run late night or early on weekends because it needs those hours to make repairs. I would lead the charge to begin the planning process to make this second tube a reality.
I will only support expansion plans that pay into the core system and are responsive to our housing and job growth plans and improve our regional transportation network. I support transit-oriented development at BART station that includes affordable housing.