bart has a new GM

boopiejones's picture

not sure what this means for bart, but i saw the following on sfgate today:

"BART's longtime No. 2 in command was named general manager at a closed session meeting today - the first female to head the transit agency.

The board voted 6-3 to put Dorothy Dugger in charge of the regional agency, effective immediately.

The other candidate was Beverly Scott, general manager of the Sacramento Regional Transit District.

The general manager's job at BART came open at the end of June when Tom Margro, who ran the agency for 11 years, resigned."

I ride BART quite frequently and it's normally interesting to see people just walk out side gates and not pay for their ride. But, for the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that you have put an agent in the middle booth at Civic Center (SF). First, I'd like to commend you for doing that because during the morning commute, it's very much needed. In any case, not only did you put an agent there, but a very nice and plesant one. She's very attentive and even one morning when someone was practically cursing her out, she maintained her cool, and just let the woman yell, and calmly gave her the procedure. The woman obviously was not having it, and from what I saw, stormed off. Not sure if she paid her fare or what the end result was, but I commend the agent for being professional. You should keep her, and specifically her, at that booth. She is a true example of why I continue to ride BART and a positive representation of how your station agents should conduct themselves. I know we as riders can be difficult, especially in a hurry, but I do commend her. I don't know her name, but she is a very nice looking young lady, African American, curly hair, wears glasses, and is at the middile booth at Civic Center, normally during the morning commute hours (I come through between 7-7:30am). Thanks again for hiring some professional people.

Ditto. I talked to her a few days ago in the late morning about the bike parking in the station. She is very nice.

Note that the article in the Chron indicates that the new BART director DRIVES to work. I doubt she will be any help.

Why don't you quote the whole story? She drives because the station that's closest to her house is also the one closest to her job, 19th St. Station. And she said it's too far to walk.

"Too far to walk, so I drive" - that is not the leadership I expect from someone who is the head of the biggest transportation district in the Bay Area.

It's 2.3 miles from her house to work. That's a half hour brisk walk. On a bicycle, 15 minutes. Even for a 50 year old woman.

It's .3 miles from her house to an AC transit bus, that will in 10 minutes time drop her off .3 miles from her office. Door to door, less than 30 minutes.

If she took AC Transit, there would be days she would be late due to AC Transit being screwed up. That would be *great* - then AC transit would have to admit they suck when the BART director points the finger at them.

This is so very Leona Helmsley - "Only the little people take transit"

boopiejones's picture

i think you are being irrational. first, you conveniently leave out the detail about the closest bart station being the one she works at. then, you get all on her case because she doesn't walk the 2.3 miles to the office??? a 2.3 mile drive will take about 5 minutes. that is probably 20 minutes faster than any other form of transportation you mentioned above. and yes, that includes biking - by the time you put on your helmet, rain gear in the winter, etc. a 15 minute bike ride becomes 20/25 minutes.

20 minutes each way is 40 minutes a day. you would never get me to give up 40 minutes of my life just so i could save a couple tablespoons of gas - and i am one of the "little people"

What I am saying is that if she has no experience actually TAKING transit, she should not be the person we want to RUN the transit. Someone bitches that the Caltrain does not connect to BART, and she thinks "Oh yes it does - it connects at Millbrae". When what we mean is "If there is a 13 minute headway between Caltrain and BART, it's not really connecting". 13 minutes each way is 26 minutes a day.

I'll allow her choice to drive, but why is this person the one most qualified to run BART? I want someone who has experienced first hand someone spilling coffee on them on the train, smelling a homeless person sleeping on the train, waiting for a BART delay, etc... to understand all this stuff we are bitching about on BARTRage.

And I'm not buying the argument re: biking. It takes far longer to park in a parking garage than it takes to put on a helmet, given I can put a helmet on in about 3 seconds. And amazingly, I always know where my bike is but I'm sure she sometimes can't find her car keys. That doesn't even mention gridlocked roads that bikes bypass (there is no way someone could drive my 13 minute bike to caltrain commute in under 20 minutes, not to mention they could not park).

First off, how do you or we know she doesn't have experience taking transit? For all we know, she coulda grew up in NYC or San Francisco and rode transit everyday. She coulda rode transit all her life for all we know. Just because she doesn't take it to work now doesn't mean she doesn't have experience taking transit. That's an ignorant and very uninformed assumption on your part.

And yes she is correct. Caltrain connects with BART at Millbrae, wether you believe it, accept it or not. Just because you have to wait a little while doesn't mean it's not a connect.

No headway on a connect is called a timed transfer BTW.

When she was assistant General Manager, she was often one of the last people to leave the office. To be honest, I don't think it is safe for a 50 year old woman to walk alone after dark in Oakland. Or even to ride A.C. Transit in downtown Oakland, for that matter.

I'm a fairly big guy, and I've had some close calls in the years I've worked in Oakland to the point that I've considered driving to work myself (and did for a time). Since I've worked at BART, we've had people mugged of their laptops, someone shot to death in front of the BofA at Kaiser Center in the middle of the day, etc.

BART police won't provide escorts to people who work late at night (probably due to the liability issues), and it's scary enough walking two blocks to BART at 9 p.m. I can't imagine having to walk 2.3 MILES.

First off, how do you or we know she doesn't have experience taking transit? [snip] That's an ignorant and very uninformed assumption on your part.

NOBODY calls me ignorant and uninformed.

During her upbringing on a chicken farm in Alabama, "transit wasn't a big part of my early childhood," Dugger told reporters at BART's headquarters near Lake Merritt in Oakland.

That said - I will 100% defer to safety issues. Absolutely. Of course, she should be pointing the finger at Dellums to get his city's shite together.

And fine - Caltrain is a connect, not a timed transfer. BART has stated over and over how the numbers for the extension are low. This is in large part because nobody wants to transfer from BART to Caltrain, because the transfer is not timed. If their goal is to get riders to use the connection, they should make a meager attempt to time it.

And I blame *BART* for the problem. When BART opened the extension, Caltrain tweaked their schedule to match BART arrival times. Within 2 weeks, BART changed their schedule to Millbrae, nullifying the impact of the Caltrain schedule change. At this point, modifications would be difficult with Caltrain's very tightly timed Baby Bullets, but history shows BART does not consider interagency workings to be a priority.

boopiejones's picture

"transit wasn't a big part of my early childhood" - um, i never knew that the product that i now market and underwrite existed until after graduating from college. additionally, i will NEVER have a need for said product - does that make me unqualified for my job?

more importantly, you once again failed to mention all the facts from the article you referenced. other points from that same "chicken farm" article:

-Dugger began working at BART in 1992
-Dugger came to BART after a decade at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, most recently as director of government and community affairs.
-Before joining the Port Authority in 1982, Dugger worked in Washington, D.C., as legislative director of the American Civil Liberties Union and also worked on state legislative and Congressional campaigns.

i am quite sure that she DOES have experience taking public transit, especially during her 10 years working in new york. just because someone "grew up" on a chicken farm doesn't mean they have no experience with public transit.

Thorbjørn's picture

I work about two blocks from the BART offices at the Kaiser Center and live even closer than she does to 19th Street (near MacArthur station). Most days I take BART a single stop and it takes me 15 minutes total to get to work, including walking to MacArthur. If I walk directly and don't take BART it's about 1.6 miles, almost exactly 30 minutes, and through some ugly, if not sometimes unsafe neighborhoods (especially after dark by myself).

What is she supposed to show her loyalty and dedication to BART by selling her house and buying something close to a BART station to satisfy her critics? And yes, it would be closer to a 40 to 45 minute walk if she lives 2.3 miles away. It gets dark at 5:00 or 5:30 in the winter, too, so she'd have to cut out before 5 to get home before dark.

I get it. Only a daily rider begins to see so many annoying and wrong things with BART. Most casual weekend "lets go to a ball game" riders miss out on the fun and the things that are so wrong and painful with the system. I just hope she keeps her finger on these kinds of things since her situation clearly makes it less than practical for her to take BART to work.

I agree that it would be very nice for BART to time the connection with Caltrain better, especially since it's already a time waste to take BART all the way to Millbrae since the Caltrain goes from downtown to there much faster). The 13 minute delay can't be encouraging people to take BART all the way out there. 2-5 minutes delays between the times seems much more reasonable, at least to the major baby bullet trains.

Shrapnel's picture

You said EVERYTHING I was gonna.

Way to steal my thunder... lol

But very good and valid points!

I am behind her 100%. Hopefully she'll bring some changes to the things Uncle Tommy fucked with.

All things said, I'm hopeful nonetheless, but if you think BART is screwed up, maybe this should not be what you were hoping for. She's been working there just the same. I'm not saying she's Dick Cheney to Tom Margro's George Bush, but maybe a fresh viewpoint would have been worthwhile. Is she just part of the BART bueracracy, or is she a real advocate of transit?

Hard to say, hey man, this is BARTRage after all. All things considered she probably drives less to and from work than at least 15% of people who take BART daily but drive to and from the station.