On Thursday June 9th, the BART Board of Directors voted 9-0 to approve an historical $3.5 billion general obligation bond measure that will fund BART’s plan to improve safety, increase train reliability and reduce traffic. The bond will be on the November general election ballot.
The bond measure is a key funding component of BART’s plan to rebuild and renew its aging system, which faces increasing problems as various physical parts of the 44-year-old railway reach the end of their useful lives. The plan replaces and repairs 90 miles of deteriorating tracks and other aging infrastructure in order to maintain BART’s excellent safety record and protects our environment by keeping thousands of cars off the road.
Over the past year, BART’s community outreach department has held over 230 community meetings with local stakeholders and civic groups to ensure widespread understanding of BART’s needs, and to hear the public’s thoughts about its capital reinvestment program. At Thursday’s press conference following the crucial board vote, over a dozen Bay Area leaders appeared in support of BART’s decision to go to the ballot. Many told stories of what BART means to them, and how it plays an increasingly important regional role.
To view the press conference, please visit http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2016/news20160609
If voters choose to pass the measure in November, great care will be taken to ensure the public’s money is protected and spent wisely. An independent audit committee will be commissioned to publish regular, transparent reports on how the money is being spent, with open, frequent and public meetings.
Public transportation continues to be at the intersection of many of the great issues facing cities in the 21st century – and voters were wise in choosing to build such an extraordinary work as BART back in 1962. Since then, BART has been a staple of this region’s culture, workforce, and values. As both riders and service providers, BART appreciates and is deeply grateful for the opportunity to connect residents to the people and places they care about.
Complete details of what is in the bond and how it relates to safety, reliability, and relief of traffic congestion can be found at bart.gov/betterbart.