BART board appoints new general manager

Grace Crunican was selected as BART's new General Manager.

Bay Area Rapid Transit appointed Grace Crunican, a transportation professional who formerly worked for the Clinton administration, to be its new general manager at a special board meeting Wednesday.

BART’s Board of Directors voted 8-1 in favor of Crunican, whose new duties will include managing capital budgets totaling about $1.4 billion and running a workforce of about 3,100 employees servicing 44 stations.

Crunican will be paid $300,000 a year, with a potential $20,000 annual management bonus.

Among other projects, Crunican will supervise a systemwide initiative to replace aging BART cars, implement a redesign of Berkeley’s stations and test new self-help information kiosks at the Downtown Berkeley station.

Before being hired as BART’s general manager, Crunican spent 32 years in the transportation industry building connections in Oregon and Washington as deputy director and capital project manager for the city of Portland and as the director of Seattle’s Department of Transportation.

“I believe any endeavor is stronger through partnerships,” Crunican said in a statement. “This includes reaching out to BART’s customers, the communities BART serves, employees and other stakeholders.”

BART board President Bob Franklin, who represents the district that includes Berkeley, said Crunican’s experience at the local, state and federal levels will prove crucial to her management of both small- and large-scale projects.

Crunican will be BART’s ninth general manager, replacing interim general manager Sherwood Wakeman, who oversaw BART throughout the turbulent summer of 2011, during which a homeless man was shot and killed at the Civic Center station on July 3 and underground cellphone service was cut to prevent an Aug. 11 protest.

Franklin said he is confident that Crunican’s skills will be more than adequate to address BART’s current projects.

“Her management style was very attractive to the board,” he said. “I think she has a can-do attitude and a kind of open-mindedness that makes it so whatever she’s facing, she’s going to go at it full force.”
Crunican will start work in her new position Sept. 12.