BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- When Bob Powers took over as BART general manager in July, he said he would get out of his office and meet with riders about their concerns. He's been doing just that for the past five months.
Since October, Powers has been going to BART stations and walking up to riders to get their opinions on improving the transit system. He's already talked to more than 600 riders.
"It's very constructive from the riders," said Powers during a recent visit to the Downtown Berkeley station. "It shows how much they want BART to be successful because of how important it is to their day-to-day life."
The most frequent complaints involve overcrowding, safety, homelessness, cleanliness and fare evasion. But not everyone has bad things to say. Riders are glad to see new trains and complimented Powers for reaching out personally to riders and they suggested ways of improving the system that BART is evaluating, such as mobile ticketing and offering a weekend or a reverse commute discount.
"We are taking everything that we have heard from the listening tour," said Powers. "We are putting it into categories. And we are going to post it to our website, and right adjacent to that what we are going to do about it."
BART has already started posting on its website what it is doing about some of the concerns. (Click here to link to the BART's Riders-First Action Plan)
Powers said his goal is to return to the stations he visited and show the riders how the system has addressed each concern.
Powers will continue his BART Listens tour tomorrow at Oakland International Airport on Wednesday, February 26. He will meet with riders for about an hour starting at 3:30 p.m. He will then visit the Warm Springs and South San Francisco stations in March.