BART board meeting addresses low customer satisfaction

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The BART Board of Directors has a new president, and he's promising a dramatic effort to correct problems with the transit system.

This comes the day that BART officially released the results of the latest survey on rider satisfaction.

Thursday's BART board meeting was held in San Francisco's Ferry Building, instead of the transit agency's Oakland headquarters.



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It was a new venue, but people brought some of the same old gripes, according to riders at Civic Center Station.

"It sucks, the trains get crowded in the morning, that makes it really difficult coming in and out of the city," rider Gaby Guerrero from the East Bay said.

Rider Kevin Butler's biggest gripe was, "the homeless people sleeping on it, taking up space."

"Only thing that I don't like is the fare evading stuff," frequent passenger Arthur Campbell said.

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New BART Board President Bevan Dufty says those problems are tough to solve, but he promises they will be addressed.

"They're the problems affecting BART as they are affecting the Bay Area," he said.

BART does a customer satisfaction survey every two years, and the results they officially released today are worrisome.

A graph provided by BART shows 85 percent of people in 2016 said they would recommend BART to a friend. Last year, however, that number was dropped to 73 percent.

Nearly 20 percent fewer people were happy about steps to curb fare evasion.

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More than 16 percent fewer riders thought their personal security was being properly addressed.

"You're going to see work this year on reducing fare evasion, better fare gates and a lot initiatives that respond," Dufty said.

Dufty says homeless outreach programs are already underway in San Francisco and Contra Costa Counties and that drug use has been reduced, but not completely eliminated, at the Civic Center Station he calls cleaner and safer.

"We're working on what the public wants, but this is a tough year. But we're listening, we hear, and we're sorry. We're going to do better," he said.

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