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About this blog: I am a native of Alameda County, grew up in Pleasanton and currently live in the house I grew up in that is more than 100 years old. I spent 39 years in the daily newspaper business and wrote a column for more than 25 years in add...  (More)

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A bad week for BART executives

Uploaded: Feb 2, 2017
It’s been a bad couple of weeks for BART executives and directors.
Last week, BART released results of its biannual survey that showed satisfaction with the system was at a 20-year low. With crowded cars, shabby and dirty stations, the system is showing its age and the lack of focus from the board and senior management on their customers. BART has taken exceptionally good care of its overpaid employees and forgotten its mission to serve taxpaying commuters.
Secondly, this week a judge ruled that BART had to pay a $1.3 million fine for its failure to follow rules on hazardous materials at its various sites in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties. The suit was brought by the district attorneys’ offices in those counties.
BART, like any other business or government agency, is required to have hazardous material business plans at its facilities. The suit charged that more 30 of BART’s 190 sites in the three counties did not have these plans. The plans are required so firms plan how to respond to emergencies involving hazardous materials.
Directors should be asking pointed questions of senior management about why the agency failed so significantly in an area that could have had major consequences for riders and employees.

Oakland Raider fans got some good news this week when Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson pulled out of the Las Vegas stadium deal. Adelson had committed up to $650 million to develop the $1.9 billion stadium. Goldman Sachs, which also was participating in the financing, now is reportedly reconsidering its role after Adelson pulled out.
Everything creates quite a challenge for Raider owner Mark Davis who has been committed to Las Vegas since the Legislature passed a plan to put $750 million of public money into the deal.
This also creates a bigger window for Ronnie Lott and his group to hammer together a better deal to present to the NFL. Until Adelson pulled out, Las Vegas had built momentum within the league where two-thirds of the owners must approve the relocation. Comments from the commissioner and other NFL executives had been more favorable toward the move. Commissioner Roger Godell has publicly said that the current Oakland proposal by the Lott group is not acceptable.
Now Mayor Libby Schaff and Lott’s team must put together a compelling plan that is achievable. The fan base is here—assuming the team is competitive—but the Raiders must do a better job reaching out into the Bay Area’s wealthy corporate community—much of which is not in the East Bay.
The 49ers move to Santa Clara and its abundant corporate checkbooks coupled with the San Francisco history leaves the Raiders with a limited market unless the ‘Niners continue flounder on the field and in the front office, while the Raiders flourish under Jack Del Rio.
Frankly, I do not think that the Black Hole helps the corporate connections.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Jake Waters, a resident of Birdland,
on Feb 3, 2017 at 8:52 am

I absolutely agree with your comments regarding BART. I happen to ride BART twice a week to San Francisco and witness the filth in the stations, platforms, and cars. In the years riding BART, I have observed on two occasions where BART officers where on the trains: one where the officer was going home, and the other was for the length of a station ride during New Year's Eve many years ago. I contacted BART police and they responded that the officers are on the trains all the time and are required to use the system 4 times during their shift. Well, that never happens. The wages and benefits these workers receive from all labor positions with BART is not returned in the service they provide. But in the end, voters keep granting them more money to operate.

Posted by Ptown Dad, a resident of Amador Estates,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 6:07 am

I used to enjoy riding BART when I moved to Pleasanton in the late 90's. Actually, I loved it. It was clean and I helped cut down on pollution. But over the past few years I've noticed that the cars are filthy. On a hot summer day the stench and humidity make it unbearable. I have wondered what would happen if an investigative reporter from a local TV station did a swab test of the interior of a train and took it to a lab to see what might be lurking inside those "germ tanks" they call cars. It looks like they have never even washed the outside of the cars. The BART management and board have failed their duty to the public. But they have it easy - the demand is so high they don't have to spend money on making their cars comfortable - they can put that money toward pensions and salaries instead. How nice of them to use our tax dollars that we paid with our hard-earned money in a way that benefits themselves.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore,
on Feb 8, 2017 at 10:39 am

Everything has a scent. What makes anybody believe that they smell like a rose?

Folks on BART smell like dogs, cats, hamsters, garbage, friend chicken, porkchops 'n raisins...what else is there?

Everybody has earwax. I've seen passenger pick their noses, ears, and scratch their arm pits....duh

If you can't tolerate the nastiness experienced on BART, walk, take a helicopter, hop a train to Martinez...sheeeeeeesh...none of my business how you smell...

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Posted by jenifer, a resident of Walnut Creek,
on Jul 14, 2017 at 9:57 pm

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This is wonderful information and also gets good knowledge and ideas from this article.A bad news was that this week a judge ruled that BART had to pay a $1.3 million fine for its failure to follow rules on hazardous materials at its various sites in Alameda, Contra Costa and San Mateo counties.BART has taken exceptionally good care of its overpaid employees and forgotten its mission to serve taxpaying commuters.
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