Some East Bay lawmakers oppose new BART bond proposal

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- A group of East Bay lawmakers are taking a stand demanding BART's management take certain steps before asking voters to approve a multi-billion dollar tax measure.

State Senator Steve Glazer has been a huge critic of BART, often saying that they mismanage money and are not transparent enough. "Why would we reward bad behavior with billions of dollars in new taxes?" he said.

Glazer wants the district to do some work to regain the trust of Bay Area taxpayers before asking them to pass a potential bond measure.

And it starts with their labor unions and avoiding another strike and the concessions made to end it in 2013. "They need to negotiate and approve a financially responsible contract now, not waiting until the current contract expires, next year in 2017," Glazer said.

READ MORE: BART considers bond measure to improve system

"Everywhere we go they're asking for more money and I think government needs to become more fiscally responsible," one man said.

The message comes as BART's board considers whether to put a measure on the November ballot to raise up to $4.8 billion through increased property taxes. "It's for infrastructure improvements. There's very strict rules what you can us bond money for. Not one penny would go toward salaries, can't buy train cars with it, think all of our rail, electrical substations," BART spokesperson Alicia Trost said.

Officials at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission said rehabilitating the 45-year-old BART system is vital to the health of the Bay Area economy. "This stuff is old and not only is it old, but it's very heavily used and increasingly heavily used," MTC spokesperson John Goodwin said.

The BART board has until August to decide whether to put the measure on the ballot. It would need 2/3rds approvalto pass.

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