BART should not invest in retrofitting the Transbay Tube

Willow Yang/File

I am totally disgusted by BART’s use of money to unnecessarily retrofit the Transbay Tube. Even BART spokesperson Anna Duckworth said in her letter to the editor that it would take a very large and very rare earthquake in order for this retrofit to be necessary.

BART is in severe need of funds for multiple reasons. In my opinion, BART doesn’t run often enough or long enough. The new trains are overdue and have been delayed in their launch. Meanwhile, BART wastes large amounts of money on things like this ridiculous retrofit and overpaying both its executives and most workers. Some workers could easily be eliminated, starting with station agents in all locations aside from Downtown Oakland and San Francisco.

I grew up riding the L in Chicago, as my family didn’t have a car. I’ve also ridden the subway in New York extensively, and I’ve ridden the subways in Boston and Philadelphia. BART is by far the worst public transit system I’ve ever ridden. Trains are way too far apart most times, especially during rush hour. The trains are not long enough, people are sometimes forced to stand, and the trains are often uncomfortably crowded.

Now, those who run BART are going to waste millions of dollars and restrict train service even further by performing a totally unnecessary retrofit of the Transbay Tube. BART should prioritize running as many trains as possible as often as possible and other similar issues above all else. We badly need a BART riders’ union to represent those of us who ride BART regularly and are directly impacted by its policies.

I am thoroughly disenchanted with BART and only ride it because I’m a committed environmentalist who doesn’t want to consume or burn fossil fuels. If there were an alternative train system, I would certainly be using it; it couldn’t be worse than BART and would almost certainly be a lot better.