(KRON) — The state senate select committee on Bay Area public transit was created to advocate for state funding for all Bay Area public transportation, but it’s a lack of transparency from BART that State Senator Steve Glazer says has led him to step down from the committee.
“What concerns me is fraud — is conflict of interest,” Glazer said. “Look, just a few weeks ago, the office of inspector general pointed out that BART set aside $350,000 to deal with the issue of homelessness, and they’ve only helped one person.”
Sen. Glazer cites an Alameda County grand jury’s findings last year that BART’s leadership has repeatedly blocked BART’s inspector general’s authority and independence. It’s an office Sen. Glazer helped create in 2017.
This week, he sent a letter of resignation to committee chair Scott Weiner.
“We need BART to fulfill their promises,” said Glazer. “The office of inspector general needs to be funded. It needs to have the staffing and the powers to do their work on behalf of the traveling public and the taxpayers. That’s what’s holding me back from being enthusiastic in this bailout request that they have made.”
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KRON4 reached out to BART for comment. A spokesperson deferred to Bevan Dufty, a member of the Bart Board of Directors. Dufty says he and BART Board President Janice Li met with Sen. Glazer last month to address his concerns.
“We are working towards a consensus and are very committed to trying to work through the issues that are on the table,” Dufty said. “I would like to point out that in terms of the recommendations that our inspector general has made, close to 90 percent of them have either been implemented or in the process of being implemented. So, as a parent — I guess I would say I’m always happy when I see a 90 percent from my son.”
BART is asking for hundreds of millions of dollars to balance the dramatic drop in ridership during and after the pandemic.