New urgency is gathering around the future of the Bay Area’s largest and most important mass transit system. A report this week by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Matier & Ross described how the system’s tracks and supporting ties are worn beyond standards. We already know that BART’s rail cars are the oldest of any comparably sized mass transit system in the nation. The Bay Area Council, which was instrumental in the creation of BART, has long advocated for a larger and stronger system.

A report that our Bay Area Council Economic Institute currently is developing will examine the economic costs and impacts to the region of a full-day BART shutdown. We also are participating in early discussions regarding a possible bond measure to help fund BART’s $4.8 billion system improvement program. BART is integral to the economic success of the region and the system remains a remarkable transit success story, routinely serving over 420,000 daily trips. But BART’s aging pains are becoming impossible to ignore, resulting in shorter, more crowded trains and growing services interruptions. It’s an issue on which we are continuing to focus. To engage in our transportation policy work, contact Senior Vice President Michael Cunningham.

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