BART Seeks to Increase Public Input with Night Board Meetings

February 25, 2014 · 17 comments

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In an effort to encourage more public participation and transparency, the BART Board of Directors will hold five night meetings between now and June.

The meetings will begin at 5 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month through June, with the first night session taking place on Thursday, February 27, 2014.

The Board, which also meets at 9am on the second Thursday of every month, will ensure topics with the most public interest and impact will be placed on the agendas of night time meetings. To use the public’s time efficiently, the Board will conduct closed sessions before the 5 pm start time.

“The goal of the evening meetings is to provide a more convenient opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on important decisions that affect their commute,” said BART Director Rebecca Saltzman, who was one of the leading voices in offering more night time meetings as a pilot program.

“We are eager to hear from BART riders and residents of the BART district, and we encourage people to attend the meetings to share their views.” Director Zakhary Mallett also pushed the idea, adding, “We have a responsibility of being accessible to the public and this extended trial of evening Board meetings is an important step that will help us achieve that.

Several important issues that are relevant to the public are coming before the Board in the near future and we want to provide the public an accessible opportunity to convey their views as we decide on these issues.”

The first scheduled night meeting will include a presentation on BART’s preliminary budget funding priorities for the next fiscal year and an update on the environmental review process of the proposed Livermore extension. Also scheduled is a discussion led by Board President Joel Keller on his idea to put an advisory measure on the ballot to ban transit strikes. Keller will seek input from other Board members and the public on his dispute resolution proposal, which would prohibit work stoppages.

Members of the public are invited to attend all Board meetings, which are held in the BART Board Room on the third floor of the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall at the corner of 20th and Webster in Oakland.

The schedule for night meetings is as follows:

  • Thursday, February 27, 2014, 5 pm
  • Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5 pm
  • Thursday, April 24, 2014, 5 pm
  • Thursday, May 22, 2014, 5 pm
  • Thursday, June 26, 2014, 5 pm

BART Police will provide safety escorts from the Board meeting room to the 19th Street BART station.

The agenda for each meeting is released to the public the Friday before each meeting and can be found online in the BART Board of Directors section.

1 just a concordian February 25, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Watch out for Bart delays on those days…

2 Meeting Schedule: February 25, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Closed Session: 5:00 PM – 8:45 PM

Open Session: 8:45 PM – 9:00 PM

3 Dorothy February 25, 2014 at 2:09 PM

No way am I going over to Oakland at night even if it’s still light out when I get there.

4 Anonymous February 25, 2014 at 2:14 PM

Oh sure go to Oakland at night.. Good way to keep the public away from meetings.

5 RANDOM TASK February 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

really I mean is there a clause that says unions and city councils need to hold meetings so they can belittle people and throw out any contest to their actions ……please again peddle your wares to some other floosy we are not buying it …….you are going to raise the fares and parking as well as try for a tax hike in nov so please stop now you are embarrassing yourself

6 Jess February 25, 2014 at 4:08 PM

Well, yes, Random Task, there are laws that say public bodies such as city councils must meet and vote in public.

7 BART February 25, 2014 at 6:42 PM

ghee, right when everyone is getting off of work. 7:00 p.m. sounds more apropriate. see what I mean about BART Management. They must quit at 3:00 p.m. or they wouldn’t even think about having a 5:00 p.m. meeting on a Thursday. BART does need to hear more from the passengers though because the system is in a HORRIBLE state a the moment.

8 ChampagneKitty February 25, 2014 at 6:49 PM

To those of you concerned about going to Oakland at night…contrary to popular belief, Oakland is not one big giant ghetto. Just like any other city, there are neighborhoods, some being better than others. I know this area. I worked here for many years. It is not considered a bad area. There are office buildings everywhere, along with the Paramount Theatre. If you were to go to the BART meeting, on the way there you will be in reverse commute traffic. People will be pouring out of office buildings and headed to either the BART station or one of the many parking lots. The article says BART will provide an escort back to the BART station after the meeting. So there’s nothing for you to worry about; you’ll be fine. Once all the office workers go home, there’s not much going on but there has been a lot of nice upscale new restaurants popping up in this neighborhood.

9 You can't be Serious February 25, 2014 at 7:48 PM

Champagne Kitty, you’re being naive. I’ve worked in downtown Oakland for over 20 years, and with the exception of the Oakland Coliseum, I wouldn’t step foot down there for ANY REASON at night.

“Nothing to worry about, you will be fine.” You can’t be serious?

The fact that BART police are providing safety escorts says it all. They don’t offer that in Lamorinda, Alamo or Danville.

There are nice areas of Oakland. But the meetings aren’t being held in the Skyline area, nor are they being held in Piedmont.

I cashed my paycheck in that area once. I had to yell through security glass so loudly that the security guards (several of them) couldn’t stop laughing. A well dressed white guy. I must of been pretty desperate to cash my check. They offered the ladies a walk to their cars, and most of them took them up on it. I’d never seen so many security guards at one branch in my life. All armed.

Yea, this area of Oakland is really, really, nice. If you don’t wise up, you’ll be an easy target.

10 KAD February 25, 2014 at 8:08 PM

I worked in Oakland for a number of years and left work at odd hours. I also lived there for a while. Oakland gets a bad rap. ChampagneKitty is correct, you will be fine in this area of town and there are some good upscale restaurants. It is too bad that more work has not gone into fixing up the downtown area after the 89 earthquake.

11 ChampagneKitty February 25, 2014 at 8:10 PM

I worked there for 18 years and I’m being naive?

12 RANDOM TASK February 25, 2014 at 8:33 PM

No worries #8 Concord is well on its way to becoming another oaktown ……bums and gangs as well as bad roads… mismanagement…fraud. .corruption ….back door pay offs …..60k in white fence that gets repairs every 2 months at a cost of 12k per incident ……waste ..waste and oh yeah temp tax hikes that oh yeah stay on the books …..so where is that money going now and why is it needed ……no one will say accept for too bad we told you it may not be taken off so deal with it ……the bait and switch is a general rule in demifornia and they are changing the rules every day ……sleep well the rain is coming and the roads will have pot holes and washouts that the state will claim they have no money for ……as the golden gate bridge ..who took off toll takers has said they have a influx of millions from fines as well as tolls per hour increase……and they are already looking to increase the toll to 7 dollars …….WHY ….because they can and will take everything as they have for 40 years …why stop now

13 juanita February 25, 2014 at 8:51 PM

im a black woman who stays in bay point. I was born in oakland. and not a nice area either. 73rd and holly-east oakland. you cant be serious—#9. he keeping it real. downtown oakland—after all the working folks go home, its crazy. opd can only do so much. they try. stay home. hear about it on the news. read the paper. whos this random task dude? he a trip.

14 David February 25, 2014 at 9:15 PM

Champagne Kitty, you can work somewhere 150 years and still be naïve. You’re sugarcoating the area. You were there during BUSINESS HOURS! I’ve worked in downtown Oakland as well. After 5 p.m., things change! Champagne Kitty and KAD are both very naïve. Hey—go to downtown Oakland every night. Hang out at MacArthur BART for all I care. Don’t come whining on Claycord when you get mugged, robbed, raped. Oakland is a gutter. Oakland gets a bad rap for a reason. It’s a crappy city.

15 WTF February 25, 2014 at 9:25 PM

If you’re into gang banging, crack smoking, car jacking, armed robbery—Oakland is a great place to go after dark.

If not, you might want to stay home. If you’re that interested in what goes on at the meeting, you’ll hear it on the news or read about it in the paper.

What does upscale restaurants have to do with anything?

Oakland sucks!!!

16 Alan February 25, 2014 at 9:53 PM

I work right there……Chase Bank—–350 20th (20th and Webster). Probably the same bank You Can’t Be Serious (#9) is referring to. Super thick glass, armed guards. I got transferred from Claycord to Oakland. I hate it.

No, don’t go there. Unless you want kids trying to sell their hip-hop CD, collecting for something that doesn’t exist (scam), bumming money.

Then there’s the violent crime on a daily basis. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about armed bank robbery. It’s coming. The turnover rate at that branch. Anyone need a job?

Sure……go there at night. Why not????

UNBELIEVABLE!!!!

17 @ 8, 10 & all others February 26, 2014 at 9:55 AM

I used to work @ BASS on 22nd back in the lare 70’s/early 80’s. I was in the box office twice when it was held up at gun point during the day/broad daylight, had a co-worker mugged & rapped around 7pm one night when she was leaving and in general wasn’t fond of the area after dark. Part of the problem is there are no people in the area once the offices close. Oakland, when dark and deserted is not really safe. FYI – I worked 2 years from 1pm until 9pm and always had 3 males with me on the same shift and they walked me across the street to my car. Yes, across the street to an open air parking lot, not a garage!!!! Then I worked 3 years 10-6 so that was better as I was leaving with all other people in downtown Oakland.
@ You Can’t Be Serious – there are no BART stations in Alamo or Danville so the don’t need security there. That part of you statement is silly
@ Random Task – what the hell does a BART meeting have to do with the City of Concord. You really need to adjust your meds as you a a blithering idiot ready for a visit to J Ward.

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