BART’s Future?

The following is reprinted from Speak Out Now’s workplace newsletter at Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

The news media, fueled by publicity from BART management and the Board, keeps raising the fear flag about the future of BART. Maybe they think people will vote to tax themselves billions of more dollars to keep BART rolling. It’s not a very good strategy when they are focused on riders’ fears and every incident on the trains or in the stations.

For better or worse, BART is a reflection of the Bay Area. It used to be a scene of excited A’s and Warriors fans riding to the games and tens of thousands of people riding to work and to concerts, museums, and to see friends and family.

That’s not happening now. But it’s not the fault of the BART system. It is the fault of the system we live in. The fact that some people who are deprived of housing, mentally ill, or strung out on drugs (or all three) use BART, isn’t created by BART. That’s like blaming the sidewalks for the same thing.

That doesn’t mean BART Management shouldn’t respond – intelligently – to the problems. But we haven’t seen much of that. The voices of BART workers need to be heard.