OAKLAND, Calif. - A group called the Independent Institute is out with a negative report about BART, saying that the transit agency "fails across the board" in five key areas of performance.
The areas include BART's finances, which the authors call "reckless," on-time performance, customer satisfaction ratings, crime and cleanliness.
BART's spokeswoman Alicia Trost said the agency "vigorously denies the allegations made by a group that advocates privatizing public resources such as public transportation."
In fact, Trost said, "the ‘report’ is nothing more than a string of outdated, attention-getting headlines that makes no attempt to acknowledge the tremendous contributions BART provides the Bay Area."
BART provides a living wage with benefits to its workers, its financial team was awarded the prestigious Distinguished Budget Award from the Government Finance Officers Association; its on-time performance has consistently been above 90% and BART's crime rate has seen two straight years of reductions with double digit drops in violent crime and overall crime.
Trost added that the BART Police Department is among the fewer than 6 percent of law enforcement agencies across the country to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies in recognition of the department’s commitment to following industry-best practices.
"As with virtually any large organization, BART has room for improvement," Trost said. "Turning it into a for-profit company to line the pockets of corporate fat-cats is not the way to improve."