BART customer satisfaction drops

'High ridership, aging infrastructure stressing BART system,' BART general manager says

BART is looking to improve service after numbers from a recent survey revealed customer satisfaction with the transportation service has fallen.

The survey found 74% of riders were satisfied with BART service, down from 84% of those surveyed in 2012.

"High ridership and an aging infrastructure are stressing the BART system," BART General Manager Grace Crunican said in a statement. "This survey underscores the importance of current and planned initiatives to modernize and increase the capacity of BART stations and BART train service."

Customers' perception of seat availability has fallen by 8.5% since a 2012 survey, officials said.

Customers were also concerned with the temperatures inside trains, interior cleanliness and the cleanliness of stations.

Officials said BART plans to improve operational flexibility during peak commute hours and during delays with train rehabilitation projects and the implementation of the Contra Costa Crossover on the Pittsburg/Bay Point line, a project which will simplify moving trains from one track to another.

BART also plans on upgrading air conditioning systems on the most problematic cars and is proposing hiring additional cleaning crews to help keep up with increased ridership.

Dennis Culver, Bay City News

— Bay City News Service

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4 people like this
Posted by Carol
a resident of Del Prado
on Feb 3, 2015 at 8:28 am

BART. Too many panhandlers, and increasing safety risks for passengers a concern.

3 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 3, 2015 at 8:55 am

74% isn't bad but it has declined from where it was before. Still, it gets 84,000 people out of their cars each weekday which is it's purpose.

It's still a great way to get to SF from our area and not have to hassle with parking and traffic. And when you add up the time and cost it's really about the same as going in your car - unless you're travelling with a group, then it gets expensive for the tickets.

3 people like this
Posted by Sue
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 3, 2015 at 10:37 am

When I read the article I was amused by the discussion of BART bathrooms. I remember their being closed. I have planned ahead for many years, assuming there are none. Has anyone seen one?

5 people like this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 3, 2015 at 2:16 pm

To Sue - Even if there are bathrooms at BART, I'd rather not step inside one unless it's an absolute emergency.

1 person likes this
Posted by Citizen
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 3, 2015 at 3:00 pm

I completed a round trip today to and from San Fran. The cars were relatively clean considering the people traveling. The cars interior are quite worn and need refurbishing. I was surprised how courteous the "bike" riders were in accessing the cars and gave way for walking passengers. Well done, bikers! Get a "senior" pass for those who can and it will save allot. The rest rooms are well hidden at the ends of the station and I agree with Ed, only in an emergency!! It definitely beats driving and parking, unless there's a contagion going around! Great for accessing the airports also.

1 person likes this
Posted by Gina
a resident of Livermore
on Feb 4, 2015 at 9:30 am

I have been commuting on BART since it came to the tri-valley area and in my opinion the quality has gone downs substantially. I leave from the first station in Dublin/Pleasanton at 5:30 in the morning. they have now reduced the train cars so much that the cars are almost full when they leave the station, and almost every morning there is a foul smelling person or two, asking for money or food, before they spread out on a few seats and start snoring.
If the trains are this packed this early I can only imagine what they are like leaving at 7:30 in the morning.
I leave SF at 3:00 in the afternoon and usually have to take the train back a few stations so that I can actually get a seat for the long trek home.
So being so experienced on the trains. I can tell you that on rainy days.. the trains break down.. on really hot days the trains break down (which is way fun when you are in a car with no air). On normal days.. they still break down although not as often.
It is more convenient than driving.. not sure its more affordable though, fares and parking have gone up substantially in the past two years, while the quality of service has gone down.

1 person likes this
Posted by commuter
a resident of Birdland
on Feb 4, 2015 at 10:04 am

I commute and transfer on BART regularly leaving between 6:30 and 7:00 am and returning between 6 and 7 pm. The cars are often full by West Dublin - used to fill up in Bay Fair. I didn't see a survey - my rating has dropped 50% in satisfaction since I started commuting.

Often the BART trains in the morning have a foul smell - with or without a person. I have often moved cars. Riders shouldn't put their feet up on the chairs. One commuter puts down a plastic before sitting (I should be doing the same). Often a car does not have heat or A/C. Since the strike the car maintenance has gone down, pan handlers up and "police incidents" up. I'm beginning to worry about my safety (from the BART police as much as the trouble makers.)

Expect a 10-15 minute delay. Last year I almost didn't make my plane (SFO). The new Oakland BART seems to have more problems than not.

That being said, I've commuted whenever possible. I'm a big promoter of public transit. I'm job hunting. I'm looking favorably at driving to Silicon Valley vs using BART to SFO or Oakland. If the cars were cleaner and safer, I'd rather use BART.

1 person likes this
Posted by Done
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Feb 4, 2015 at 11:24 am

I haven't rode BART in years due to safety issues. Once your on the train your stuck with whomever is on that train. We have had several incidents with undesirable people and no BART police or security to help. No thanks! I'll take my car. Until BART takes steps to insure my family is safe I'm done with BART. I understand its normally good during commute hours but not with the family.

1 person likes this
Posted by Ed
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Feb 4, 2015 at 12:45 pm

To Done - I agree with your concerns. I've commuted on BART off and on for years. Last year I had a job in Oakland. Safety wasn't so much of a worry but there were many times where people were playing their music loudly in their headphones so it could be heard 3-4 rows away, or people arguing on a cell phone with someone, or people with really bad BO (no joke) in a crowded car at rush hour.

I know, it's the public and that's what happens when you get out of your car but it grew tiresome having to deal with all of it.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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