BART General Manager announces resignation


BART General Manager announces resignation

Thomas E. Margro is BART's Longest Serving GM

The man who brought BART the highest customer satisfaction rating in BART history by improving BART's on-time performance, replacing all of its antiquated ticket machines and faregates and opening the San Francisco International Airport/Millbrae extension, announced today that he is resigning. General Manager Thomas E. Margro said his resignation will be effective June 29, 2007.

"It has been with great pride and pleasure that I have served as General Manager for close to eleven years," Margro said. "It has been an exciting and professionally rewarding experience for me to lead such a great organization that provides a critical transportation service to the Bay Area public."

The BART Board of Directors hired Margro to be BART's General Manager on September 30, 1996. When he resigns on June 29, Margro will have been the General Manager for 10 years and ten months, making him BART's longest serving General Manager.

"Tom is a great public servant. He has deftly steered us through good times and hard times. The riders owe Tom a great deal of gratitude," BART Board President Lynette Sweet said. "Now we look forward to the next chapter."

The General Manager is one of four Board appointed officers reporting to the Board. President Sweet says the Board will begin searching immediately for Margro's replacement. "We are going to look both internally and nationwide," Sweet said. "We are going to take our time to make sure we find the right person."

Under Margro's leadership, BART has accomplished a wide array of outstanding achievements for the BART rider.

RENOVATION PROGRAM: At the beginning of Margro's tenure, BART passengers struggled with malfunctioning faregates, broken escalators, quirky ticket machines and late trains. But in 2005, Margro completed BART's 10-year, $1.2 billion Renovation Program on-time and under budget. That program replaced all of BART's ailing ticket machines, elevators, escalators and faregates along with rehabbing all of BART's 669 rail cars. The result dramatically elevated the customer experience for passengers, who now get to their destination 94% of the time on schedule.

RIDERS COME FIRST EVEN IN THE WORST OF ECONOMIC TIMES: Between 2001 and 2005 the dot-com bust and 9/11 caused BART to witness the worst economic downturn in the agency's history. The dramatic drop off in revenues forced BART to make many cutbacks. However, Margro made it clear he was committed to the rider by refusing to recommend cuts to train service - a move many other transit agencies in the nation made to deal with their declining dollars. When faced with a $30 million budget shortfall on April 14, 2005, Margro told the Board, "It's my belief that if we cut service, we will create a downward spiral from which it would be difficult to recover. That's because service cuts lead to drops in ridership and it's the riders who provide BART with its largest single source of revenue."

WORLD CLASS SERVICE TO SFO: Perhaps Margro's crowning achievement was completing the five station, $1.5 billion, nearly ten mile San Francisco International Airport/Millbrae extension, which opened in June 2003. Riders can now get to SFO from downtown San Francisco in under 30 minutes and for about $5.00.

HIGHEST CUSTOMER SATISFACTION RATING IN HISTORY: Under Margro's leadership, BART achieved its highest customer satisfaction rating in its history. In 2004, BART surveyed 6,100 riders, who gave the agency an 86% customer satisfaction rating.

#1 TRANSIT SYSTEM IN AMERICA: In 2004, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) named BART the #1 Transit System in America. It's the highest honor any transit system can claim. APTA awarded BART the honor for completing the Renovation Program on-time and under budget, opening the SFO/Millbrae Extension through the worst economic downturn in BART history while achieving an 86% customer satisfaction rating - the highest in BART's history.

"Under Tom, BART has witnessed an incredible jump in prestige and efficiency," BART Director James Fang said. Fang was one of the Directors who was on the Board that appointed Margro to the General Manager post in 1996. "During his tenure, he has made BART truly the number one system in the country if not the world. I will personally miss his leadership and cooperation."

Margro had previously worked for the BART District for over five years as Assistant General Manager of Transit System Development. He was responsible for the implementation of the BART Extensions Program, which designed and built the extensions to Pittsburg/Bay Point, Dublin/Pleasanton and San Francisco International Airport/Millbrae.

Before coming to BART, he was employed by the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) for eighteen years, working in engineering, operations and capital projects. During the time with SEPTA, he served as Manager of Facilities Engineering, Senior Program Manager, Electrical Facilities, Chief Engineer, and finally, as Assistant General Manager of Engineering and Construction. He also worked for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, where he held the position of Director of Maintenance and Engineering Services/Chief Engineer.

Tom attended Syracuse University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also obtained a Master's Degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Systems Engineering and completed additional post graduate studies in systems engineering. Tom is a Registered Professional Engineer and has served on several American Public Transportation Association committees.

After 41 years of work in both the public and private sectors, Margro says it's time to do something different.

"While I try to figure out what that is, I'm going to spend quality time with my grandson, my two sons and my wife, Fran."