BART Names New General Manager to Lead System Forward
BART this week named a new general manager to move the regional mass transit system forward as it makes progress on an ambitious initiative to rebuild and expand while addressing growing rider concerns about safety, performance and cleanliness. Robert Powers takes over from Grace Crunican, who hired him seven years ago. The Bay Area Council was instrumental in conceiving and creating BART following World War II and has been a leading supporter of investing in the system over many decades. We extend our hearty congratulations to Powers on his appointment and look forward to working with him to make BART the best mass transit system in the world, and we offer our warmest thanks to Crunican for her leadership.
At a news conference to announce his appointment, Powers said he will focus on fully staffing the BART Police Department, continuing to rebuild the system’s aging infrastructure and completing a massive fleet replacement program. Powers also acknowledged the challenges ahead in repairing the system’s flagging reputation and stemming declining ridership.
“We have a problem,” Powers told the San Francisco Chronicle in a story on his appointment. Our low customer satisfaction numbers are unacceptable. We can do better. We will do better, and we must do better “We really are on the path of a world-class transit organization, but there is a lot of work to do.”
News of Powers’ appointment comes just a few weeks after BART got a glowing review on its progress in implementing projects under Measure RR, a $3.5 bond measure in 2016 that the Bay Area Council helped lead to victory with 70 percent voter approval. The Measure RR Bond Oversight Committee was formed to monitor progress on the work. The annual report highlighted 32 projects that are in progress or have been completed and another 50 projects that are in planning or design stages. Read the Oversight Committee report>>