“A rider’s platform”
I’m not an insider politician. I’m a CFO and a San Francisco businesswoman with over 20 years’ experience who rides BART. Here’s what I see needs to be done.
Candidate for BART Director
Priority #1: Safety for ALL BART riders and workers.
The violence and the unsanitary conditions on BART is unacceptable and unworthy of a world-class transit system in a world-class city. I will implement technology and apps for crowd-based solutions to prevent and stop crimes on BART.
I will adequately fund police for full-staffing and state-of-the-art communications and equipment; protect riders and make stations secure; while at the same time provide the training necessary to ensure that all people are treated with fairness and respect in all situations. By hiring more BART police for a greater police presence on station platforms and trains, we are increasing officer visibility which will restore rider confidence in the safety of the system.
I also support the Safety Initiatives proposed by the BART staff, including replacing analog cameras with more sophisticated digital ones.
BART must get its fiscal house in order.
BART has lost the confidence of riders and taxpayers who do not believe the BART directors have the political will to wisely spend their money. Too many BART directors are beholden to special interests.
As a Chief Financial Officer and businesswoman, I understand that BART spending needs to prioritize the needs of the riders and taxpayers, and exercise fiscal prudence in the way they allocate the $2.3 billion annual budget. For example, BART currently has $1 billion and growing of unfunded pension liabilities that need to be addressed if the agency is to be solvent for future generations.
Fare evasion cannot be ignored
We can no longer ignore the impact of fare evasion on our budget and public safety. While conservative estimates say fare evasion costs BART between $20 million and $25 million each year, a more accurate figure is as much as $85 million. This is lost revenue that winds up costing the Taxpayers more, and it is revenue that BART could be using to improve security and upgrade fare-gate technology.
BART is still using 1972 technology to battle a 2018 problem. It’s time to modernize the fare system. I will implement station hardening to reduce drug activity and fare evaders. Other transit agencies in the country have added modern fare gates and seen a dramatic drop in crime and fare cheaters.
BART must refocus on its mission – safe, clean, reliable transit.
BART suffers from mission drift. It provides homeless and drug addiction services, art galleries in stations, new expansive public plazas, and now is developing parking lots into housing, ALL with money designated for transit.
This year’s AB2923 is going to further divert BART’s attention and transit dollars away from its mission and focus even more staff resources on building housing towers at a faster pace, with diminished parking. This will shortchange riders.
BART should leave development decisions in the hands of local elected leaders and not try to do the jobs of others or overrule the will of the communities it serves. AB2923’s likely passage means it is now more important than ever to elect strong, independent BART Board members who will act independently from developers and the construction industries.
Once BART is consistently achieving its mission of safe, clean, reliable transit, only then should we focus energy on partnering with our local communities to develop new housing around BART stations.
Improving parking and access is fiscally responsible
Millions of dollars could be saved by making the parking lots around BART stations more efficient and cost-effective. BART should work with the local communities to improve access to all stations with modernized parking systems, improved drop-off areas, more locking stations for bikes, carpool parking, charging stations, and other private means of transportation. BART should consider putting gates at all parking lots to ensure that parking fares are paid and recorded efficiently and accurately.