New BART Budget Funds New Rail Cars, Prioritizes Passenger Needs

June 14, 2013 · 28 comments

The BART Board of Directors on Thursday approved a $1.5 billion balanced budget for fiscal year 2014 that responds to customer priorities with investments in cleaner stations, new trains and other system improvements. The budget assumes weekday ridership of around 404,000 trips, an increase of 3.1% compared to the current fiscal year average.

“This budget addresses core issues for our riders such as safety, reliability and cleanliness,” said Board President Tom Radulovich. “We are investing in programs and projects that will have the greatest benefit to our customers as BART begins its fifth decade of service to the Bay Area.”

The budget directs $46 million in operating funds toward an initial order for 410 new rail cars, the first of which are scheduled to be in service in 2017. For more information on the new rail cars visit www.bart.gov/cars.

The budget also puts aside $7.5 million from the upcoming January 2014 inflation-based fare increase to help pay for three critical funding needs: ordering additional rail cars for a larger fleet to accommodate increased ridership; a new train control system that will allow trains to run closer together; and a facility to maintain the new fleet.

Another $7 million is dedicated to replace existing train car seats and floors with easier-to-clean materials; to overhaul propulsion systems for a smoother ride; and to upgrade heating and air conditioning systems for greater passenger comfort.

Some other items in the new budget focusing on customer’s needs include:

  • Deep cleaning of stations
  • Accessibility and pedestrian improvements at stations
  • Additional secure bike parking
  • Expansion of security cameras for greater passenger and employee safety
  • Pilot projects to reduce train noise
  • Escalator overhauls and reliability improvements
  • Continued earthquake safety retrofits
  • Brighter and improved signage
  • Transient population management
  • Increased parking enforcement

The budget includes no changes in the assumption of the contractual arrangement with employees on wages or benefits, so it may need to be adjusted following adoption of new labor contracts, set to expire June 30, 2013. Negotiations are underway.

The budget does, however, include a 1% wage increase to begin July 1, 2013, for employees, based on meeting criteria specified in 2009 contracts. The criteria included increases in sales tax revenue and ridership and an upper limit on increases in pension and medical costs.

The budget for fiscal year 2014 takes effect July 1, 2013, and runs through June 30, 2014.

1 james June 14, 2013 at 5:20 AM

About time they had some focus on sanitation.

I did some carpentry work for a BART train conductor. He told me never to sit or , touch any seat on any BART train. He said they are the filthiest things on the planet.

He told me off stories of homeless people defecating and urinating while sitting in the seats.

He had been with BART for over a decade and he said he had never seen the seats steam cleaned or disinfected.

He recommended if you have to ride BART to bring a towel or newspaper to sit on and wear rubber gloves.

2 Chupacabra June 14, 2013 at 6:03 AM

The union wants a 23% raise…say good by to anything in that budget if that happens.

3 Bullwinkle June 14, 2013 at 6:19 AM

Is there going to be any naked people harassing passengers management as well? Btw, way to talk about homeless people like their a hurdle of animals needing to be managed… Nice BART

4 WC44 June 14, 2013 at 7:35 AM

A budget that makes sense. Hopefully the BART employees realize that nobody is getting big raises and their are lots of people willing to do what they do.

5 Rider June 14, 2013 at 8:24 AM

They need to spend their money on PR. I feel ripped off every time BART is in the news.

Or, maybe we should privatize them. That would straighten things out in a hurry.

6 Mr. John June 14, 2013 at 8:37 AM

My top 5 most desired improvements for BART:
1.) Bikes only in the end car at all times.
2.) Free wireless in all stations and on all trains (get it sponsored by a cable company and they might be able to get it done for free – when the wireless first switches to the BART system on a given day you get an ad or two and then are free to go until you leave the system).
3.) Coordinate with other mass transit systems to give us access to an unlimited mass transit pass for any mass transit train, bus, etc… in California.

7 Teacher wannabe June 14, 2013 at 8:48 AM

@James. Must have been the first few years. Nothing like that has EVER happened in my 15 yrs riding. There was one homeless guy stinking up the car but they kicked him off as soon as someone complained.

And HOORAY for more bike lockers. Cant wait til July 1st. And to all the anti-bike riders, remember the 1st 3 cars are no bikes. So you’ll have the cars all to yourselves.

8 Connie Dobbs June 14, 2013 at 9:02 AM

One of the things they plan to do to increase ridership is to ticket/tow more cars.

9 DoReMi June 14, 2013 at 9:03 AM

A wage increase for city employees that make more than 100,000.00 yearly, serving those who make 50,000.00 yearly??????? Ahuh. lets level that playing field on this scam!!! Where are our ‘fearless’ liberals now???

10 Dorothy June 14, 2013 at 9:07 AM

Removing seats will provide greater passenger comfort?

11 Shulla June 14, 2013 at 9:08 AM

This article doesn’t mention the fact that the new cars have LESS seating than the current cars. How is this prioritizing passenger needs? Love the manipulated wording in the “bike survey” to get the results they wanted, not what the riding public wants. BART is out of control.

12 MSkitty June 14, 2013 at 9:19 AM

It’s about time. When bart was first built in the 70’s–it was the cleanest and safest way to ride. Over the years bart has degraded–there used to be bathrooms in every station–clean and sanitized. Now most of the are shut down and the homeless use the whole bart system as a toilet; feces and urine everywhere. (a few articles about this was on claycord)

Something like this needs to happen.

13 The Closer June 14, 2013 at 9:21 AM

There is a picture in the cc times of what the cars will look like. There is hardly any seats in it. Mostly standing room.

14 The 10 Items Listed........ June 14, 2013 at 9:33 AM

have been complaints for 40 years…….nothing has happened……nothing will happen……just so much talk.

15 Always Right June 14, 2013 at 9:38 AM

Bikes take up more space so they should be required to pay twice – one fare for the rider and one for the bike.

That is the only fair and commonsensical. way to solve this problem.

16 @always right June 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

The actual mass they take is less than most 300 pound women on the train.

17 Winston June 14, 2013 at 9:47 AM

@Shulla Less seating is a good thing because seated passengers take up much more room than standing ones. Since BART is more or less at capacity in the transbay tube during rush hour, this is one way to make BART able to carry more people. IMHO, BART’s cars don’t go far enough in that direction. They should switch entirely to inward facing benches like the NYC subway.

18 nonewtaxesinwc June 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

@ always right, how about you pay tripple because you are an idiot? the people riding their bikes to the station leave yet another parking spot open for you…you should be thankful. Are you also implying that people with luggage going to SFO or OAK(these are airports) pay additional as well as their bags take up more room. @commonsensical…I hope to god you are kidding

19 nonewtaxesinwc June 14, 2013 at 9:50 AM

* triple

20 MSkitty June 14, 2013 at 10:08 AM

Correction–the building of bart was started in the sixties; bart opened in the early seventies.

21 Elwood June 14, 2013 at 11:45 AM

Replacing 30-year-old train cars instead of raising employees ridiculous wages and benefits? What ARE they thinking?

Let me tell you how the negotiations will go. The transit unions will strike. Then, THEIR employees, the politicians, will rush in and demand that BARTD management capitulate to their demands. History repeats itself.

22 BagsFlyFree June 14, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Hey BART! how about adding solar power to your stations to offset your electric bills (inflation protection opportunities galore)? Using this new power to help provide shade/rain protection for parked cars and also power AC in trains, USB outlets (income opportunity), more security cameras, and wifi routers to blanket the system with sponsored access = a Win-win!

Management needs to also prep before BART negotiations well in advance to have sub operators on standbye to lessen the impact of these all but guaranteed BART operator strikes. At some point we may need to “reboot” to force these unions to rethink their main purpose and to not “kill the host” so to speak.

BFF Out!

23 Elwood June 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

I was once a manager at a public agency.

Shortly after I went to work there, I was astonished to learn that the employees considered the mission of the agency to be to provide them with jobs.

Serving the public never entered the picture.

24 co co June 14, 2013 at 4:24 PM

The new train cars SUCK; there are no seats. I love the way BART says because they ordered a 1,000 cars there are actually 45% more seats. What a crock; have those cars will be out of service. BART should be called B.S.-ART because everything they say is a lie or close to it. The new seats are like muni seats and most of us have a long commute; it is really uncomfortable and horrible. BART SUCKS and thank you for your patience. BART OPERATIONS CONTROL.

25 co co June 14, 2013 at 4:27 PM

p.s. I love that expansion of security cameras for employee and passenger safety when BART Police refuses to check footage for theft crimes.

26 DrDuran June 14, 2013 at 7:09 PM

@ Chupacabra #2

No, the unions put forth a proposal calling for 5% raises per yer for a 3 year contract, plus a cost of living increase based on the CPI change for the Bay Area. You’re accepting BART’s BS talking point to call it a “23% raise” as if the day the contract takes effect the workers will be making 23% more. In contract negotiations you always ask for more than you can possibly get and then bargain down from there.

27 Bubbles June 15, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I love the people on here! They believe everything they read! Do people actually think the raise a union member gets changes the cost or cleanliness of the trains and stations? I have a good friend that works for BART. The had no raises and paid more of their medical over the last four year contract and gave over 100 million in concessions in the one before. Did you see the stations get cleaner? How about those trains? No they had a hiring freeze and wasted millions on paying employees overtime that didn’t really want to work it. If the unions members didn’t work it there would have been unopened stations and trains that didn’t come. They should have hired the people to get these things cleaned. Also notice the fares went up! The parking fees went up! The union gave money back. The only thing that happens is BART Management keeps getting bigger and bigger perks. Look on the internet about the new General Manager Grace in just one week she spent 12k in travel expenses. Must be nice to travel first class. How about the 1 million they just spent over three months to bring in outside labor negotiators thats your tax money. BART has a full in house negotiations team. Dare I say that these outside negotiators are “friends” of the Board of Directors. Keep the idea that it’s all the unions fault! Or maybe open your mind and look into facts. Anything that BART releases is not true and fabricated. They don’t care about their employees or the public.

28 LOL June 15, 2013 at 8:52 AM

I spoke to a BART employee the other day about the video going around with the Nude guy attacking people. The BART employee was the one that pulled him off a few ladies until BART police finally arrived. BART had that employee under investigation and planned to reprimand him until it hit the media and people appreciated him saving those people. The lady I talked to said that another BART employee pulled a crazed man off a female station attendant two months ago and he was written up and told if he ever touched anyone again he would be fired.

I wouldn’t want to be a BART employee! I barely like riding anymore I can’t imagine having to deal with all this craziness anymore. People can talk about making to much money while they sit in a secured building at work. These people get attacked all the time. The poor Station Attendant where I get on is sweet and she said she’s been with BART 26 years and she never used to be scared and she’s afraid to come out of here booth now.

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