BART officials discuss plans to renovate stations, upgrade system

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- BART has a vision of becoming a world-class transit agency like London's Tube. The reality right now is far from that if you talk to passengers.

A customer survey in 2016 showed satisfaction hit a 20 year low. This week BART's board of directors is discussing an ambitious plan to upgrade the system. Director Nick Josefowitz describes the plan as putting the customer first.

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BART riders are calling the transit service "gross," "dangerous," and downright "disturbing."

In this customer centric model all of the more than 40 BART stations will have a consistent, standardized look with signage making it easier for passengers to understand where they are, where they're going and how the system operates. Lighting will also be uniform whether you're at the Pleasant Hill station or the Embarcadero.

Part of the design guidelines also call for having retail, like coffee shops. Josefowitz says, "It's about creating community."

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There is a pot of $110 million from two bond measures to get the ball rolling, plus the directors will be asked to set aside money in this year's budget.

The customer friendly plan does not substitute for upgrades to the nuts and bolts of the system, including new trains, nor does it take away from the focus on quality of life issues like cleanliness, according to Josefowitz. The directors will talk about specifics and timetables at their meeting on Thursday.

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