Viewpoint: So BART’s being bailed out. Now it’s got to meet basic service standards

GrowSF reports that California plans to keep local transit agencies afloat, according to the latest budget revision. However, BART’s essential problems—pervasive passenger drug use, violence, and unclean conditions—will remain. A sharp 180 turn is needed, says GrowSF, to ensure people are comfortable taking public transportation again in the Bay Area.

Besides the the downtown “doom loop” that has been dominating local headlines, the SF and the Bay Area also face a transit “death spiral”. With fewer people working downtown, the most sluggish return-to-office in the country, and with street conditions continuing to worsen, fewer and fewer people are riding transit. State lawmakers noticed and recently introduced a budget that would have slashed funding for public transit. According to Muni and BART, these budget cuts would force them to shut down dozens of lines and reduce service levels.

But now, reports Ricardo Cano in the SF Chronicle, this doomsday scenario will be avoided. Thanks to transit advocates, the state restored over $1 billion back to transit agencies to ensure they can keep operating.

We’re happy that public transit will remain in operation, but this crisis highlights the need for drastic reforms at every level of government. Public transit operators need to restore the basics of good service on buses and trains: zero tolerance for people doing drugs or using it as a de-facto homeless shelter, zero tolerance for violence and mayhem, clean bus stops, stations, buses, and trains, ensuring people pay their fares, and arriving on time. A bustling downtown depends on great public transit, but we’re currently stuck with neither.

This article originally appeared in GrowSF. Read the whole thing here.

Follow Opportunity Now on Twitter @svopportunity