Council Working to Restore Confidence in Public Transit
Public safety is the core of a functioning and productive society and vital for attracting and retaining a competitive workforce, however concerns about crime, safety and cleanliness have become a big obstacle to riders returning to our public transportation systems. The Bay Area Council Employer Return to Work surveys consistently shows an overwhelming number of respondents concerned about transit safety: In the most recent survey from September of this year, two thirds of respondents stated that they are somewhat or very concerned for themselves and their employees’ personal safety when riding public transit. According to the 2022 Bay Area Council Poll, 40% of respondents cited personal safety as the reason that they do not take public transit in the Bay Area more frequently.
Aswe continue to bring employees back into the office or consider plans to do so, it is critical that we address public safety first and foremost and do so with a sense of urgency before more serious incidents take place or become the norm for our region’s public transit systems. The Bay Area Council has launched its public safety portfolio by focusing on the intersection of public transit and public safety, specifically on the Bay Area’s most essential transit system – BART.
With lagging ridership, the system projects it will go bankrupt by 2025, drastically reducing service or ending it all together, which would result in a disjointed and broken region and the loss of billions of invested dollars. The Council swiftly organized its members in drafting and submitting a letter to the BART Board, detailing our shared concerns with the state of safety, reliability, and cleanliness on BART and inviting BART to work in collaboration with the business community to identify speedy solutions. The Council also developed a transit safety work plan, the elements of which will be implemented throughout 2023 and beyond.
Click here to view the Bay Area Council letter to the BART Board, and click here to read the Board’s response.
Join the movement to make BART and transit in the Bay Area safer for all who live, work, and visit by attending the BART Roundtable event taking place on Thursday, February 16th at 3:00pm (PST). Register here.