Regardless of today’s delays, BART has been off and running in many different directions. According to their website, they’re cleaning up their act, making safety a priority, focusing on their employees’ welfare, and working to keep BART affordable even as they move forward on extending their reach to the Oakland Airport.
$4.5 million in projected surplus revenues will be allocated for such projects as replacement seats and deep-cleaning for 50 of its cars. On the affordable side, BART is using $200,000 in an attempt to defer increases in East Bay paratransit fares for 4 months. This is after BART riders balked gave the thumbs down to temporary fare decreases that had been proposed by its Board.
According to the SF Examiner, 80 percent of riders didn’t support BART’s two separate options for fare rollbacks. The people spoke and BART apparently listened.
BART has also allocated $62,000 to convert four of their part-time utility workers to full-time and are say they are working on improving station agent customer service.
Another issue BART’s been keen to has been the Oakland Airport Connector. According to SFGate, plans to develop a route connecting the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station with the airport itself had been stalemated by the federal government’s revocation of $70 million in stimulus funding.
Given the proposed Connector’s cost, lack of federal government backing, and that for every vehement supporter of the route there are just as many in opposition, BART had to shake out the couch cushions to pull together the funds to put their plan in motion, coming up with a plan that “patches together grants, loans and cost savings to replace the lost stimulus money.”
The controversial funding plan was approved with an 8-1 vote. In addition to starting construction on the Oakland Airport Connector, the project will reportedly offer many jobs for the community.