Why labor contract is important to the Bay Area
BART’s contract negotiations are about BART’s ability to keep the system reliable and the Bay Area mobile for the years to come. BART needs about $500 million annually to replace outdated computers and other systems to keep trains running on-time and at optimal speeds. We also need to replace and grow our fleet of trains cars at a cost of $3.1 billion.
Recently a team of the world’s top transportation researchers issued this report, which found that if BART is to continue serving the Bay Area efficiently, it must achieve savings today to ensure its reliability tomorrow.
The research team says BART is critical to keeping the Bay Area moving. The report shows BART’s 95% on-time performance is the top reason people choose to ride rather than drive. If BART can't find the savings to maintain that reliability it will cause tens of thousands of riders to become frustrated with BART and switch to driving. As a result those former BART riders will have to spend up to an additional $1,100 annually on bridge tolls, gas, vehicle maintenance and parking fees. The Bay Area would experience big increases in commute times. For example, experts calculate a BART ride between Walnut Creek and San Francisco will increase by 30 minutes each day.
Modernizing the system to meet future demands will require a shared responsibility and significant investment from all Bay Area stakeholders: BART employees; riders; elected officials; and the community. Learn more about what BART is doing to upgrade its aging system by watching this video.