Measure RR aims to help BART raise billions, critics say board can't be trusted with money

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Measure RR aims to help BART raise money to make infrastructure improvements, but critics are pushing back saying BART can't be trusted with more taxpayer money. (KGO-TV)

Measure RR is on the ballot in three Bay Area counties this election and supporters say is vital to the very existence of the aging BART system.

However, critics say BART and its board can't be trusted with more taxpayer money.

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"It's an incomplete plan, with a lot of loopholes," State Senator Steve Glazer said.

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With less than two weeks to go before election day, Glazer is pushing back against Measure RR, a bond to raise billions for BART infrastructure improvements. "BART knew about this since 1993, that's when the system reached capacity. And so for the last 23 years they've sat on their hands, they've done five employee contracts, giving out lavish raises," Glazer said.

Measure RR is a property tax measure in Contra Costa, Alameda and San Francisco counties that would raise $3.5 billion to repair and replace equipment and systems that are well into their fifth decade.

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"Our message to voters is that we really need this bond," Rebecca Saltzman is on the BART board of directors.

"Most of the infrastructure is original, state and federal government," BART board member Rebecca Saltzman said.

But critics cite the BART board's record on labor negotiations as a prime reason to oppose Measure RR.

"Let's send the board back to the board room to come up with a better measure that protects the taxpayers better and has some constraint on how the money is spent," BART board candidate Deborah Allen said.

If passed, 90 percent of Measure RR money would go toward infrastructure improvements, 10 percent toward reducing congestion, and improving station access.

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