Rockridge’s New BART Rep Has Change in Mind for Trains and Board

Friday, April 5, 2013

My name is Rebecca Saltzman, and I am the recently elected BART Board Member for District 3, which includes Rockridge.

I'm excited to represent Rockridge on the board. For five years, I lived a short walk away from the Rockridge BART station and used it frequently.

I have advocated for transit, bicycle, and pedestrian issues in Oakland and the East Bay for many years. When I'm not at BART, I'm Government Affairs Manager for the California League of Conservation Voters, where I help pass state laws protecting our transit systems and environment.

It's an exciting but also a challenging time at BART. Ridership is rapidly growing, approaching 400,000 average weekday ridership. The system is more than 40 years old, and growing ridership is stressing BART infrastructure. To keep BART reliable, we need to reinvest in our aging system. BART has billions of dollars in capital replacement and improvement needs. Our biggest needs are purchasing new rail cars, replacing the train control system, and expanding the Hayward maintenance facility.

Reinvesting in our core system is my number one priority as a BART director. I am also working to increase access to the BART board and our decisions. I have proposed holding board meetings in the evenings, when working people can attend, and the board will address this proposal soon. I want to make it easier to access BART board materials online. Another one of my priorities is improving access to BART stations, particularly by increasing transit, bike, and pedestrian connections. I will be working with AC Transit to improve connections between buses and BART.

I'm thrilled about the new Rockridge BART plaza, which connects the BART station to the surrounding neighborhood and adds inviting public open space. I greatly appreciate the hard work and the vision of the Rockridge community and my predecessor, Director Bob Franklin, in making this project happen.

I will work with the Rockridge community to further improve the BART station and BART service, and IÕd love to hear your ideas. Please e-mail me at RebeccaForBART@gmail.com or leave a phone message for me at 510/464-6095.

The BART board meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 9 a.m. in downtown Oakland. The public is invited to attend and provide comment on agenda items or general comment. You can also watch BART meetings online live or archived. Learn more about the board and its meetings at www.bart.gov/board.