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Tri-Valley BART director criticizes GM for lack of detail in budget presentation

Original post made on Apr 27, 2020

BART Director Debora Allen blasted General Manager Bob Powers on Thursday for not providing enough details on the budget problems the transit agency is facing in the wake of a drastic drop in ridership due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 24, 2020, 11:22 AM

Comments (2)

Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2020 at 10:01 am

I appreciate BART Director Debora Allen's efforts to ask tough questions, and to (try to) exercise real financial oversight, and not just act as a rubber stamp for BART management.

Even in the best of times, BART requires significant inflows of tax dollars, as BART revenues don't come close to covering all costs and expenses. And with ridership down so severely, it is hard to argue that non-trivial cost-cutting steps are needed. In particular, some of BART's previously-planned "forays into the real estate business" (such as residential real estate near BART stations), that go well beyond BART's core function as a transit agency, need to be very closely examined. And with fewer trains running, on a temporarily reduced schedule, operating expenses should be lower.

Obviously these are challenging times for BART, as with many other organizations, but BART needs to act on things at least somewhat in the way that a business would....

Posted by Long Term Resident
a resident of Danville
on Apr 27, 2020 at 10:26 am

BART management have avoided making tough decisions for years. An immediate reduction in hours and/or pay is in order. Other business have had to do that, why not BART? Their labor costs are out of sight with the rich pensions and health care benefits. They are also some of the highest paid transit employees in the world. We are all paying for BART through sales tax, multiple bonds on our property taxes, parking fees, and ticket costs. Sadly, the system is a mess with old, filthy trains as well as not being safe to ride. I have been on transit systems throughout the world and most all are less expensive and much better than BART.

With the current situation, many businesses have been forced to review all aspects of their organizations to survive. BART should not get a free pass through stimulus funds.

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