BART seeks to increase public input with night Board meetings
In an effort to encourage more public participation and transparency, the BART Board of Directors will hold five night meetings between now and June. The meetings will begin at 5 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month through June, with the first night session taking place on Thursday, February 27, 2014. The Board, which also meets at 9 am on the second Thursday of every month, will ensure topics with the most public interest and impact will be placed on the agendas of night time meetings. To use the public’s time efficiently, the Board will conduct closed sessions before the 5 pm start time.
“The goal of the evening meetings is to provide a more convenient opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on important decisions that affect their commute,” said BART Director Rebecca Saltzman, who was one of the leading voices in offering more night time meetings as a pilot program. “We are eager to hear from BART riders and residents of the BART district, and we encourage people to attend the meetings to share their views.” Director Zakhary Mallett also pushed the idea, adding, "We have a responsibility of being accessible to the public and this extended trial of evening Board meetings is an important step that will help us achieve that. Several important issues that are relevant to the public are coming before the Board in the near future and we want to provide the public an accessible opportunity to convey their views as we decide on these issues."
The first scheduled night meeting will include a presentation on BART’s preliminary budget funding priorities for the next fiscal year and an update on the environmental review process of the proposed Livermore extension. Also scheduled is a discussion led by Board President Joel Keller on his idea to put an advisory measure on the ballot to ban transit strikes. Keller will seek input from other Board members and the public on his dispute resolution proposal, which would prohibit work stoppages.
Members of the public are invited to attend all Board meetings, which are held in the BART Board Room on the third floor of the Kaiser Center 20th Street Mall at the corner of 20th and Webster in Oakland. The schedule for night meetings is as follows:
- Thursday, February 27, 2014, 5 pm
- Thursday, March 27, 2014, 5 pm
- Thursday, April 24, 2014, 5 pm
- Thursday, May 22, 2014, 5 pm
- Thursday, June 26, 2014, 5 pm
BART Police will provide safety escorts from the Board meeting room to the 19th Street BART station. The agenda for each meeting is released to the public the Friday before each meeting and can be found online in the BART Board of Directors section.