BART board elects former mayor to lead agency


BART board elects former mayor to lead agency

President Gail Murray pledges to maintains BART's role as a leader in the transit community

The BART Board of Directors unanimously elected BART Director and former Walnut Creek Mayor Gail Murray to its most powerful post: Board President. The Board also elected Director Thomas Blalock to serve as Vice President of the Board.

Both assumed their respective posts after the nine member Board of Directors cast their votes during the December 20th Board meeting at BART Headquarters in Oakland. The BART Board is made up of three voter-elected Directors from each of the BART District's three counaties; San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa. Every year the Board Members choose their Board President and Vice President.

Historically, the Board Member who assumes the President and Vice President posts will be from a different county than the Board Member who previously held each post.

After her election, President Murray delivered a speech in which she first thanked outgoing President Lynette Sweet for "her direction and leadership." President Murray then said she would use her presidency to maintain BART's role as a leader in the transit industry.

"My goals for the upcoming year focus on sustainability and the environment, access, seamless transportation, and BART's future financial stability that will enable us to serve the public and region well into the future," she said. "I've been in public service long enough to know that these goals can only be achieved by fusing viable partnerships with other transit operators, our host cities, local communities, transportation and regulatory agencies and most importantly, our riders and the public."

Voters elected Gail Murray to her first term in November 2004. She represents District 1, which includes Walnut Creek, Concord, Clayton, Pleasant Hill, Orinda, Moraga, Lafayette and half of Danville. President Murray has a wealth of transportation experience. She is the President of Gail Murray Consulting, which specializes in public transit policy and planning. She is also a Research Associate with the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University.

Voters elected Tom Blalock to the BART Board of Directors on November 8, 1994 and re-elected him in 1998, 2002 and 2006 to represent Fremont, Newark, Union City and portions of Hayward. His BART Board colleagues chose him to serve as Vice President of the Board in 1999 and President of the Board in 2000.

Vice President Blalock brings to the BART Board an extensive background in planning, engineering and administration. His professional career spans 43 years working for three cities: Mountain View, Sunnyvale and Fremont. He's held notable positions including Traffic Engineer in Sunnyvale and 20 years as Public Works Director in Fremont. He retired in August 1995. Learn more about his extensive resume by visiting

At the December 20th meeting of the BART Board of Directors, Vice President Blalock said, "2008 will be an important year for three BART expansion projects; the Warm Springs extension in Fremont, the Oakland Airport Connector and eBART extension in Contra Costa County. At the same time it will also be an important year to reinvest in our existing system by keeping our trains both on-time and clean as our ridership expands."