BART Board Member Describes BART as 'Pyramid Scheme'

Like many transit advocates SF Weekly contacted this week, BART board member Tom Radulovich was relieved that the feds yanked $70 million from the controversial Oakland Airport Connector project, with the funds instead heading to Muni, BART and the Bay Area's other cash-strapped transit agencies.

But Radulovich, a BART board member since 1996, is hardly ecstatic. He figures it's just a matter of time before BART tries to ram through a project every bit as exorbitant and misbegotten as the airport connector.

The Feds “saved BART and the region from another boondoggle. This was not BART figuring out we shouldn't build boondoggles, but the people whose pockets we were trying to pick saying 'No, we're not that stupid,'” Radulovich says. “The 'culture of boondoggle' at BART hasn't gone away. Nobody seems to have learned any lessons here.”

In fact, continues the outspoken board member, BART is run as “a pyramid scheme. The whole regional rail expansion deal BART and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission concocted is based on levels of growth we're not going to see, haven't seen in a long time, and is also based on wildly optimistic notions of what things cost and how much money it'll generate. The wheels are coming off of it.” 

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