BART announces its 50 accomplishments in 2020

At BART, we are firm believers that by thinking strategically, working hard, and engaging community, we can and will achieve remarkable things. With that, we chose to end 2020 with optimism.

Here is a list of 50 BART accomplishments in 2020.

Let’s start with improvements to the rider experience:

We launched some new features:

We took big steps forward on exciting multi-year projects:

We made changes within policing:

  • Hired Ed Alvarez, a 23-year veteran of the BART Police Department, bringing a new vision for safety
  • Created a train team of 12 police officers dedicated to riding trains and walking platforms on nights and weekends
  • Launched the successful and award-winning unarmed Ambassador Pilot and formalized the program
  • Hired 35 officers, bringing vacancies to a new low of 20
  • Established the new Progressive Policing and Community Engagement Bureau within BPD

We advanced police reforms:

  • Began Integrating Communications, Assessment, and Tactics (ICAT) training to give officers the skills to safely defuse critical incidents with people experiencing a mental health crisis
  • Banned the use of the Carotid Control Hold
  • Expanded the officer-worn body camera activation buffer with new audio requirement
  • Held 16 stakeholder outreach meetings to solicit feed-back on new public safety approaches with 1000 survey responses

We focused on infrastructure:

We continued efforts to modernize our stations:

We supported local, small businesses:

  • Hosted 44 outreach and matchmaking events between small businesses and Primes to increase opportunities available to small businesse, helping to continue essential construction projects
  • Awarded a Progressive Design-Build contract for the new BART Headquarters in Oakland with 32% small business participation

We continued our Transit Oriented Development (TOD) efforts:

  • Adopted AB 2923 development principles and released BART’s TOD Work Plan
  • Amended policy to support the production of affordable housing by allowing for a discount of up to 60% from fair market value for land for projects with affordable housing
  • Approved plans for development at West Oakland Station that includes 762 housing units, 30% affordable
  • Selected development team to advance development at El Cerrito Plaza Station
  • Our development partners completed over 600 new homes during the pandemic, and broke ground on 400 new homes, 150,000sf of office, & 164 room hotel

We focused on financial stability:

  • Secured AAA bond rating
  • Advocated for and secured emergency relief funds
  • Secured dedicated funding for our long-term efforts to reduce crowding and increase service:
    • Full Funding Grant Agreement for FTA Capital Investment Grant ($1.169B)
    • California Transit and Intercity Rail Program ($107M)
    • California Solutions for Congested Corridors ($60M)

We invested in our employees:

  • Developed an emergency budget plan to avoid lay-offs
  • Approved new labor contracts more than 6 months early
  • 16 employees from 10 departments completed the Government Alliance on Race and Equity training series and established a Race and Equity Action Plan
  • Increased inventory and distribution of PPE and disinfecting products, deployed free COVID testing and contact tracing

We prioritized COVID-19 response:

  • Was one of the first transit agencies in the U.S. to release a comprehensive pandemic response plan with the launch of the 15-Step Welcome Back Plan
  • Made available free masks at all stations
  • Offered free hand sanitizer stations systemwide
  • Sharing crowding data 
  • Testing disinfecting technologies and upgraded air filters
  • Reprioritized cleaning schedules to ensure all train cars are sprayed with disinfecting mist every 24 hours
  • Coordinated with the region’s transit systems to develop the Healthy Transit Plan, establishing a baseline set of COVID-19 response measures across all systems
  • Accelerated efforts for a contactless experience with 100% Clipper only conversion systemwide
  • Partnered with community organizations, county officials and medical groups to provide free COVID-19 testing in our parking lots and plazas


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