As BART’s leadership changes, so do, apparently, its priorities — while projects like the controversial Oakland Airport extension appear to be in jeopardy, new seats, later service, and HR expenses might be on the horizon.
When BART General Manager Dorothy Dugger resigned after being voted out by BART’s Board of Directors, the transit agency announced that 19-year BART veteran Dugger, 58, would receive a total settlement of $958,000.
The agency said $600,000 of that sum represents the cost of a severance package for her if she had been fired. It said $350,000 is to “ensure a smooth transition and avoid any litigation between the parties.”
BART By The Numbers
$958,000: Former BART GM Dorothy Duggar’s severance
$350,000: The amount intended to keep her from suing
$11,566: How much it cost to negotiate that deal
$110,000: How much BART expects to spend searching for her replacement
$18,000: How much BART expects to spend moving that replacement here
$160: How much interim BART GM is making an hour
$64,000,000: How much BART has spent on the Oakland Airport Connector project so far
$484,000,000: How much the entire project’s expected to cost
3 Miles: How long the connector is
669: The number of trains in BART’s fleet
$3,400,000,000: How much BART expects to spend replacing them all
12 Midnight: When the last BART trains leave on Friday night
1 AM: When it’s being proposed they leave
6 AM: When they start up again on Saturday
7 AM: When they’d start up again on Saturday per the proposal
6 months: Starting in September, how long the late Friday night pilot would last
$110,000: The estimated revenue loss during these hour changes
$1,200,000: The estimated total cost of this pilot program
13 hours: the amount of time a week BART has to spend on maintenance
But that’s not all they’re spending: according to the Ex, “negotiations with Dugger also cost BART $11,566 in legal fees.” The transit agency is also expecting to spend $110,000 on hiring an executive search firm to find her replacement, as well as “another $18,000 for relocation costs for their next general manager.”
BART’s interim General Manager Sherwood Wakeman, is earning $160 an hour for his work, as well.
BART Director Robert Raburn is worried about other places BART’s putting its money, specifically, the plan to have BART run from Oakland’s Coliseum station to the Oakland Airport.
Raburn told KCBS that though the transit agency’s already spent $64 million on construction, he believes that the project is a “burden on BART’s operating budget…it constrains us from looking at the priorities that we really want.”
Priorities like, perhaps, new seats for the trains. The public’s beginning to try out BART’s new “mobile seat lab”, giving their feedback on how BART should design the next generation of BART train cars, as part of their $3.4 billion plan to replace its entire fleet of 669 deteriorating cars.
The Capricious Commuter visited the lab, noting that the current “BART seats are spacious compared to those at many mass transit systems in America.”
But, many complain, BART’s hours are far shorter! But that perception might change, kind of : the Chron reports that on Thursday the BART Board will consider a proposal to have BART trains run for an hour later on Friday nights. Saturday service would begin an hour later, at 7 AM.
So BART wouldn’t really be increasing their hours during the proposed six month trial of this plan, which could begin in September.
Paul Oversier, BART’s assistant general manager of operations, told the Chron that “the estimated revenue loss of running regular late-night Friday service would be about $110,000. The overall cost of running the service would be $1.2 million for the demonstration project, including startup costs.”