BART Board elects first former employee as Board President


BART Board elects first former employee as Board President

The BART Board of Directors on Thursday unanimously elected Bob Franklin to serve as its new president. Franklin holds the distinction of being the first former BART employee to serve as president of the BART Board of Directors. The Board also unanimously elected Board Member John McPartland to serve as vice president.
Both assumed their respective posts after the Board of Directors cast their votes during a meeting at BART Headquarters in Oakland.  The nine-member BART Board is made up of three elected directors from each of the BART District’s three counties; San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa.

Every year in December, the board members choose their 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 his election, Franklin first thanked outgoing Board President James Fang for his leadership during 2010.  He also extended his appreciation to his fellow board members saying, “thanks to my colleagues on the Board for their unanimous support of my presidency; it is an honor and a privilege and I will treat it with respect. It is a career highlight for me.”

Franklin then said that BART has many exciting initiatives that will be launched or continue in 2011. His top three include raising awareness about BART’s need to replace and expand its fleet of 669 train cars, “We have the oldest fleet for an agency of our type, with cars that average 30 years old. By the time we replace these cars, the average age will have increased to 46 to 51 years old.” (Visit for more information.)

Franklin said his second initiative is to improve community relations. “We have a 96% on-time record and our system has never had a major accident. We need to reach out to the public and our passengers and remind them of all the positive gains at BART,” he said.

Lastly, Franklin said he wants to create a more positive relationship with the employees. “This year we will solicit and implement ideas from Station Agents and Train Operators on how to improve our service from the people who know our system best.”

After his remarks, the board elected McPartland as its vice president. McPartland also thanked Director Fang for his focus on jobs and service.  “My job is to back up the president, and I will start by volunteering to head any committee or action that has to do with public safety or seismic," he said.

About President Bob Franklin

Voters elected Bob Franklin to the BART Board of Directors on November 2, 2004.  Director Franklin represents BART District 3, which covers Kensington, Piedmont, San Leandro, San Lorenzo and portions of Berkeley, Oakland, Hayward and Castro Valley.
Prior to being elected, Franklin worked for BART for six years in the Finance and Planning departments.  He was the Executive Staff Assistant to the Controller-Treasurer, working on bond deals for the SFO extension, leaseback transactions, and the Business Advancement Plan.  He was the project manager and coordinator for several projects within the Finance Department.

Before coming to BART, Franklin worked for the United States Forest Service, fighting forest fires in the Western United States.  He also worked on an organic vegetable farm.  Additionally, Franklin worked for the Second Harvest Food Bank and for his father’s office supply business.   Franklin graduated Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English in 1986. Visit for more information.

About Vice President John McPartland

Voters elected Alameda County native John McPartland to represent District #5, which includes the cities of Castro Valley (partial), Dublin, Hayward (partial), Livermore, Pleasanton, Sunol, Danville (partial) and San Ramon.

Before joining the Board, McPartland was a BART Safety Specialist for six years where he served as a liaison to, and facilitated disaster response training with, public safety agencies within the BART service area.  He also planned and conducted disaster training exercises between BART emergency operations staff and state, county and local municipalities.

McPartland has a strong background in emergency management and leadership. Most recently, the Governor appointed him to the State Seismic Safety Commission.  He retired from the Oakland Fire Department after 25 years as a Chief Officer.  Additionally, he served as the Emergency Medical Services Manager and was a member of the Federal Urban Search and Rescue Task Force.  McPartland is also an accomplished instructor of emergency command and operations courses. Visit for more information.